Buying a gun in the US and taking it back to Europe?


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Capitaine Nemo
April 13, 2008, 12:04 PM
Hey,

I'm going to the US soon and I taught about buying a gun over there and bringing it back to Switzerland. I've already discussed the subject with my gun store and they told me that importing guns from the US took months for them because of the bureaucracy. Would I have a problem with the US immigration and airlines? I don't think I would have a problem with the Swiss douane, because registry of guns isn't mandatory. Any idea if it's possible?

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buy guns
April 13, 2008, 12:12 PM
You have to be a US citizen to purchase guns new from a dealer. I'm not sure about face to face transactions but I don't think it would be the best idea anyway.

El Tejon
April 13, 2008, 01:00 PM
buy, you certain?;)

Cap'n,

1. Under what provision are you coming to the States? Student? Tourist? H1B?:confused:

2. What do you wish to purchase?

Gator
April 13, 2008, 02:57 PM
Would I have a problem with the US immigration and airlines?

Uh....YES! A major problem!

RP88
April 13, 2008, 04:20 PM
I honestly dont see why you would want to break your arm over buying a gun here, unless the gun you wish to buy is not found in Switzerland.

Technosavant
April 13, 2008, 04:48 PM
If you are legal to purchase the firearm in the US, then the question becomes export from the US and the import into Switzerland. The ATF would be the agency to check with regarding export (it can be done), and as for the Swiss end, you'll have to check with them.

Possible? Probably. Worthwhile? Depends on the gun. If it is something I could possibly find in Switzerland, I wouldn't bother unless it turns out to be a piece of cake.

geekWithA.45
April 13, 2008, 05:51 PM
Sorry.

We stopped letting non-citizens/greencards buy guns after 9/11.

Capitaine Nemo
April 13, 2008, 05:58 PM
I'm a US citizen, I just happen to live oversees. The gun market in Switzerland is ridiculous, a new Glock can cost over 1000 dollars and a SIG over 3000. That's why I would like to bring some guns back home. I also happen to work in aviation and I see guns going on planes frequently. I don't know for the US but it don't seem to be a huge problem in Europe. My gun shop had no clue whatsoever and I wanted to have some idea about what I would likely go through since I won't try to reach the ATF or the airline before arriving to the US.

Funderb
April 13, 2008, 06:00 PM
your only options look like waiting months or arms smuggling.

allank
April 13, 2008, 08:35 PM
Correction for geekWithA.45...Greencard (aka Lawful Permanent Residents) can purchase firearms basically similarly to US citizens. Non-resident aliens can purchase some firearms under certain circumstances. There was a long discussion about that recently:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=350650
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=320892

OMGWTFBBQ
April 13, 2008, 09:07 PM
Contact the ATF about it. It should be a fairly simple(submit form, wait), if not fast, process, atleast on this end. I have no idea about the regulations in Switzerland. I am under the impression that though they are fairly liberal about gun laws by European standards, they still regulate firearms more than most states over here. Another concern on this end would be your eligibility to purchase a firearm if you do not have a state of residency.

Gator
April 13, 2008, 10:12 PM
Since you are a US citizen and buy the gun in your home state (providing you have a US residence), it is pretty simple on this end. You will have to take the gun to customs before you depart and get it listed on a form 4457, Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad. Then check the Airlines requirements (some only allow a certain number of firearms), then all you have to worry about is Swiss customs!

StephenT
April 14, 2008, 12:10 AM
Personally, I wouldn't try it, not in this post 9/11 world. My dad smuggled a gun from the states to Switzerland back in the early 70s, and we still have it in our house there. I wouldn't be too worried going through the "nothing to declare" in Geneva because they rarely check the bags (at least in my experience). The problem would be in the states where all the bags are x-rayed. Plus, the eventually that the U.S. police would alert the Swiss authorities, in which case you'd get flagged at the passport check. As an American you might or might not lose your residency in the country if you're caught.

Maybe look into getting your gun someplace like the Czech Republic and bringing it back on the train from there? :D

LAK Supply
April 14, 2008, 12:20 AM
Since you are a US citizen the only issue would come on the Swiss side. Check their laws... they would be the ones to worry about unless your choice is restricted by the State Department (AR15 or others with "weapons of war" classification by the USSD). Post 9-11 has nothing to do with it.

Zoogster
April 14, 2008, 12:29 AM
The gun market in Switzerland is ridiculous, a new Glock can cost over 1000 dollars
That makes perfect sense, I mean just look how far you are from Austria! :rolleyes:

Most likely that inflated price has to do with local politics increasing the price of the weapon. If that is the case, they probably have it that way for a reason, like to keep handguns only in the hands of people willing to pay such prices.
Not every place has American values on ownership, even if keeping a military arm in the home is a national tradition.

If you evaluated the price I imagine you would come across politicly legislated costs that increase the retail cost of the firearm.

You should probably look into any legislated costs for import at the swiss level. It might not even be worth it to you if you learn they have expensive permits or fees that cause the price to be about equal to a local purchased firearm.
On other goods you would call that a tariff, but for firearms, its just a normal permit or fee for such a transaction. :neener:

Capitaine Nemo
April 14, 2008, 12:51 AM
I wouldn't worry much about the Swiss side because you can buy firearms from non-licensed sellers (anybody) through a contract and it's not necessary to register firearms. I'm a Swiss resident (I'm not an alien, I'm Swiss) but don't have a home state in the US. Do you need to have a US residency to buy a gun? It seemed worthwhile to bring back some guns legally (who talked about smuggling?) considering the prices here. Prices are high because the supply is low and the few gun shops don't have competition so they can drive the prices up.

StephenT
April 14, 2008, 01:13 AM
You will need to have U.S. residency to purchase a gun in the US. If you have a valid US driver license, just use that address when you complete the required form.

If you want to import it legally, definitely check what Swiss fees are involved.

DrewH
April 14, 2008, 01:40 AM
I wouldn't worry much about the Swiss side because you can buy firearms from non-licensed sellers (anybody) through a contract and it's not necessary to register firearms. I'm a Swiss resident (I'm not an alien, I'm Swiss) but don't have a home state in the US. Do you need to have a US residency to buy a gun? It seemed worthwhile to bring back some guns legally (who talked about smuggling?)

You need to be a resident of a U.S. state to buy a handgun in that U.S. state, as remarked above, along with being a U.S. citizen, or a green card holder (in which case you have to prove residency for circa 90 days) with some very limited exceptions.

So you really couldn't just buy one. But you are doing more than that. You are exporting a gun from the U.S., which requires U.S. government permission, numerous amounts of paperwork, and is a serious crime without that permission.

And you are importing a firearms to Switzerland. My guess is that if you import a gun to Switzerland you probably need permission, paperwork, and could face some serious penalties if you just bring it in without doing so, despite what you seem to think. Well worth checking out.

In short, you need to check with the proper authorities and get the proper permissions, cause you could get yourself in a world of hurt without doing so.

Rmeju
April 14, 2008, 02:45 AM
Prices are high because the supply is low and the few gun shops don't have competition so they can drive the prices up.

Sounds like you should open up a gun shop in Switzerland :D

It's like killing two birds with no stones

Reid

lvcat2004
April 14, 2008, 03:30 AM
You have to be a US citizen to purchase guns new from a dealer.

Sorry.

We stopped letting non-citizens/greencards buy guns after 9/11.


If you don't know, stop make things up.

Permanent residents (Greencard holder) can legally purchase any weapon that a U.S. citizen can purchase without any problem. I am a permanent resident and possess many firearms as well as CCW.

For non-permanent resident alien, i.e. on work visa, it is still possible for them to purchase firearms, but they are required to have a hunting license. Yes, even if you purchase a Glock 17, you need a hunting license...don't ask me why, but I've been through this before. Temporary visitors on short-term visa cannot purchase a firearm.

Since the OP is a U.S. citizen, this is a moot point, but I would think that transporting it out side of the country is not an easy task. Besides, does Switzerland allow non-citizens to possess firearms?? I've lived in Switzerland before, and all adults are required to serve in the military, and they all possess firearms for that purpose, and guess what, it's one of the safest countries in the World. You say that you're a Swiss resident, so do you mean you have a dual citizenship??

Gator
April 14, 2008, 03:41 AM
Americans travel abroad with firearms all the time, it is not that difficult. When I went to South Africa I took my Glock 19 with me, all I needed was one customs form, about the size of a 5 x 7 card, showing that it went out of the US with me, without that I couldn't have brought it back.

The OPs concern is with Swiss laws.

lvcat2004
April 14, 2008, 03:48 AM
Americans travel abroad with firearms all the time, it is not that difficult. When I went to South Africa I took my Glock 19 with me, all I needed was one customs form, about the size of a 5 x 7 card, showing that it went out of the US with me, without that I couldn't have brought it back.

The OPs concern is with Swiss laws.
__________________

Well, I didnt' realize that it's that easy, but it may depend very much on where you are going. If you were to go to a country where firearm/hangun is banned, and customs finds out that you have a hangun in your possession, you could head straight to jail, those countries would not take ignorance of their law as a valid excuse. I agree that Swiss Laws is where OP needs to look into, but I wonder if there is a problem if a layover is at a country that prohibits hanguns...hmm...interesting. Let us know what you find.

Gator
April 14, 2008, 04:13 AM
Right, getting the gun out of the US is the easy part. Stop overs can be a concern too, I took a flight that avoided a stop in London for just that reason.

schloe
April 14, 2008, 09:59 AM
geekwitha45 - you're wrong

Kharn
April 14, 2008, 10:17 AM
Contact an exporter, conducting the transaction in your native country will be easier.

Kharn

RNB65
April 14, 2008, 10:57 AM
Talk to a lawyer. On both sides of the Atlantic.
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geekWithA.45
April 14, 2008, 11:08 AM
Criminy.

I *know* that greencard holders can buy guns, just like citizens.

My intention was to say non-citizen/non-greencards, but it didn't come out right.

The bottom line is that your general issue non-immigrant alien had a heck of a lot less problem possessing arms prior to 9/11.

For the current situation, see here:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#r

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