Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by bergen, Jul 21, 2012.

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  1. i would like to buy a rifle in the USA - no problem there, I can do it quickly and efficiently.

    A friend of mine will arrive from UK and use the rifle on an advanced precision rifle course in Texas.

    Eventually i would like to transfer ownership of the rifle to him and he would import it into the UK as his own rifle for private use (long-range target / competition).

    Q1 - What paperwork will he need in UK in the form of firearms licenses?

    Q2 - What is the process of importing / Customs forms / permits etc?

    Q3 - Has anyone else imported into the UK from the US?

    Any advice gratefully received.

  2. Do it through a registered firearms dealer, and make sure your friend has a spare slot on his certificate for it. Its not as hard as it sounds.
  3. Before you go any further, the first thing that he will need is a UK Firearm Certificate. If he does not have one. He will need to apply for one and show "good reason" to own the individual firearm. ("I would like to own this rifle", is not 'good' enough.) It sounds as though her wishes to use the rifle for target shooting, which is a "good reason" However he will need to be a "full" member of a Rifle Club.

    If he cannot do the above then he will fall at the first hurdle. So what is his target shooting status in the UK?
  4. Most plod licensing depts have fairly decent advice on their websites: Metropolitan Police Service - Firearms Licensing - FAQs

    Most of your questions will be covered by these. If he's target shooting then as Beerhunter says needs to be full a member of a club. FAC costs £50.

    Providing he has a firearm certificate it should be declared to Customs (red channel) who should enter it onto the FAC if not already thereon. He should also notify his issuing force of its acquisition.

    I have to assume it's a standard bolt action type rifle (aka GB legal) and he wouldn't have a problem getting an FAC eg he's not prohibited etc. full club member and so on.

    If no FAC yet, get a dealer to collect it from the airport then he applies for an FAC. Many airline companies will allow fireams to be carried.
  5. Thanks Scalieback and you too Beerhunter. Both sets of comments well received.

    Friend has no FAC and is not a member of any club in UK. The rifle is an AI AX338.

    This may not be as bad as it sounds. He had an FAC with several pistols on it but didn't renew after handing everything in after Dunblane. He is an ex-RM sniper, 11 tours NI, MiD etc etc. He works in the Middle East, shoots with me a lot in the US and is presently looking to join a club in UK and begin the application for an FAC. He is squeaky clean, without even a parking ticket on his record. Lives in Devon and is on good terms with the local Bill.

    I have the rifle on hold at the dealers and as I said previously, the plan is to use it on course at TacPro in Mingus, Texas and then stow it in my gun-safe in the US until he is cleared to import it into the UK.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that if his FAC application is successful for that particular rifle then the mechanics of importing it are fairly simple?

  6. Two things. He'd need to join a club which have access to mil field firing ranges as most gallery etc ranges won't allow .338 anymore. To join a club he'd need to undergo the probationary period of three or six months depending on experience and the club.

    You do know we're talking '97 here :) Anyway, make sure the club are aware of his mil background. He may just need an assessment rather than the probationary period. Also, when the FEO (firearm enquiry officer) make sure he drops in about being an ex-bootie sniper. Imx, they'll have a little pre-cum at that.

    If he joins the club which has access to field firing ranges, has an open authority for a .338 and declares it to Customs; shouldn't be a problem imx.

    Exporting it from the USofA may be more of a problem but JJH and others are more knowledgeable in that arena.
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    the FCSA will be the club to join but US customs may be a real problem especially if its fitted with a muzzle brake, mildot scope, anything else that may get dragged under their silly rules on military equipment! Daft thing is they are made here yet cheaper in the USA!
  8. Just a wild idea but what about sending it to Accuracy International then on to an RFD? Could bypass the mil export restrictions.
  9. At a guess, no chance - because it would expose AI to the severe fines that come with attempting to bypass export restrictions...

    I work for a US civvy-oriented firm, and they take this stuff far more seriously than did my UK Defence industry employer.
  10. Ah well. AI would not want to upset their biggest customer I suppose.
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Why not just buy one here when he gets back, selling on the one in the states wont be a drama!
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Also getting an FAC isnt quick, he'll be looking at 6 months probation and anything up to a year depending upon which farce he dwells under. If you dont believe me ask Alsacien, his lad sweated blood and it still took 12 months to convince them he was genuine despite having ticked all the boxes on day 1.
  13. The main reason for buying it Stateside was for him to have his own rifle for the TacPro course, even though TacPro would supply an AI AW loaner rifle to him for the course (we are hoping to make a long distance shoot a yearly event in Mingus). Your solution is the simplest way to go and I will suggest to him that I will buy the AX and let him use it for the course whilst he progresses his UK paperwork. If he can export/import without too much drama then he is on a winner, if not I will keep it on my registration and put it in the safe with the rest of the toys and he can follow your suggestion and buy another in UK (eventually).

    Forgot to mention that he is a Jock and as tight as a duck's arrse

    Cheers for the help - appreciated.
  14. I'm a bit confused, OP - do you live in the USA? If you do, then you'll know, hopefully, that what you are planning is called a 'straw purchase' and is a Federal Offense. Living stateside and providing a foreigner with a firearm that would ostensibly be 'his' property might earn him, and you, a VERY long time to sort out an FAC - as much as ten years and an unlimited fine.

    Your proposal needs a LOT more consideration that has been expended so far.

    So sue me if I'm wrong.

  15. Almost correct. If I purchase a rifle on behalf of someone who is not legally allowed to purchase it themselves and then gift or sell that rifle to them then it is indeed an offense. If I purchase a rifle and register it in my name and later sell it to someone who is legally entitled to own the rifle then it is not an offense.

    The mechanics of buying and transferring legally and advice on doing this within the existing legislation (UK and US) was and is the point of this thread.