Saturday, October 24, 2015

Canadian turned back at the border with firearm

A shooter using the shoot invitation option was turned away at the border (Rainbow Bridge).  The purpose was to attend a Big 50 event.

The shooter did have the generic ATA letter, but no shoot invitation for that shoot. (Yes, some at the border will accept the ATA letter or a shoot flyer/schedule, but…)
A shoot invitation must be on organization letter head, listing the event(s), and addressed to the shooter.  A generic shoot flyer is not acceptable. (Yes, some at the border accept less)

Form Instruction: (2) An alien admitted under a nonimmigrant visa in possession of an invitation and/or registration confirmation to attend a competitive target shooting event or sports or hunting trade show sponsored by a national, State, or local organization devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms.
* In past conversations with ATF, fun shoots listed are considered competitive events. More than one shoot can be on the letter.

If you don’t need a VISA to enter the USA. (Read carefully the part on not needing a VISA).

ATF Form 6NIA (5330.3D)
Question 13. Were you admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa?

(See Instruction 1.) Yes    No
If you answered No, skip to question 16.

* No shooting invitation or hunting license required.

Instruction Sheet For ATF Form 6NIA (5330.3D)
A nonimmigrant alien is an alien in the United States in a nonimmigrant classification. The definition includes persons visiting the United States temporarily for business or pleasure, studying in the United States who maintain a residence abroad, and certain temporary foreign workers.
  1. The definition does not include permanent resident aliens nor does it apply to nonimmigrant aliens admitted to the United States pursuant to either the visa Waiver Program or to regulations otherwise exempting them from visa requirements. A nonimmigrant alien admitted without a visa is not prohibited from possessing or receiving firearms or ammunition in the United States.

ATF Firearms Q&As
Nonimmigrant Aliens (Read carefully the part on not needing a VISA).       

Answers to some common questions for those who may be considered a nonimmigrant alien or for federal firearms licensees conducting business with nonimmigrant alien customers.
What documentation does an alien need to show U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the United States with a firearm?

When entering the United States, an alien must show CBP both the approved Form 6 NIA (5330.3D) permit, and if admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, appropriate documentation demonstrating you fall within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition.

[27 CFR 478.120]

* No VISA required means no  need for a shoot invitation or hunting license.  I suggest you visit the ATF page and print out the Question and Answer and put it with your form.

If in doubt on the feasibility of using the No VISA required option (not all border people have been educated in this change to the law), the fallback is to use the Hunting License option. No shoot invitations required.

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