Monday, June 30, 2014

Comment period, ATF Form 6NIA (Visitors with Firearms Entering the USA)


This is the form used by visitors to the USA who target shoot and or hunt and wish to temporarily import firearms and ammunition.  Without getting into to much detail, they cannot sell the firearm and they must depart with the firearm and ammunition every time they leave the USA.

The form has been out of date for the past few years, as it does not address the changes to the law in regard to non-VISA Nonimmigrants Aliens, which would include the vast majority of Canadians that shoot in the USA each year. 
The present form list requirements that are higher then U.S. federal law requires.  Hunting license and/or shoot invitation are not required under present law for non-VISA holders and this is not reflected in the current ATF Form 6NIA.

A comment period was issued for proposed changes/input by the government two months ago.

However, a decision on changes to the temporary import form used to bring firearms/ammunition in the USA has been put off until after July 23, 2014, as the comment period was extended for 30 days.

This what I THINK we will see at some point and is one of the written proposals posted by the governing agency:

Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who
are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of

What that means in english?  We can only guess, but it looks like you will be able to fill out the form on-line and receive it back via the internet!   Unlike the PDF that you may either mail, Fax or email, the on-line version will go directly to the ATF when you click send.  At some point you will receive an approved form by email attachment or be notified to access an account and download.

I will also PRESUME that current law will be reflected in a newly issued form.


As this is a request for comments, this is what I submitted to ATF as a suggested change.

1.  Do away with the one year renewal requirement for ATF Form 6NIA (5330.3D) for non-VISA visitors.  A new application submitted only when document information changes.  Presently, renewals are required each year.


2.  Do away with ATF Form 6NIA (5330.3D) for non-VISA visitors and allow for non-VISA visitors to document firearms and ammunition on U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form 4457. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is already verifying firearm/ammunition information upon each entry (to include immigration status) and thus having the non-VISA visitor fill out a Form 4457 on initial entry will be cost effective, as the ATF From 6NIA will not need to be processed for non-visa visitors.

May I add, U.S. citizens routinely fill out Form 4457 to document high value merchandise, as well as firearms, thus not adding to U.S. Customs and Border Protection workload.

I think they already know what they want to do, and the comment period is just a formality, but!

In any case sometime by the new year the shooting community will be seeing a new ATF Form 6NIA.  We can only hope for the best!


  1. I would agree that submitting a new form 6 renewal only when information changes makes good sense and reduces paperwork substantially. Right now, it's a bit of a pain having to do it every year when nothing has changed.

    I would question why it is done at all. How does it contribute to public safety any more than pre- form 6? Was there a problem before 9/11, which was really the impetus for implementing the form 6.

    It seems odd that I submit a form via fax. No one talks to me, just 3 weeks later an approved form arrives on my fax machine.

    Surely there are more important things that could contribute to public safety that could be done with the money now used to run this part of the program.

    Are US citizens really getting their money's worth?

  2. Of course they are not getting their monies worth. The purpose of the exercise is to make US Citizens feel that their government is protecting them.