Hot on the heels of defeating an ammunition ban proposal, the National Rifle Association has stopped yet another punitive Obama administration policy—this one aimed at severely restricting international travel for hunters and other gun owners.
After meeting with representatives from the NRA, firearms industry and sportsmen’s groups, and key members of Congress, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced it is returning to its previous system of facilitating the international transport of personal firearms and ammunition.
“We are pleased that we have been able to reverse a bureaucratic nightmare that would have jeopardized the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of our 5 million members, I want to thank Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. John Carter and Rep. Chris Stewart for their work to protect American hunters and sport shooters from a web of bureaucratic red tape when traveling outside the United States.”
CBP recently began enforcing regulatory changes requiring Americans traveling abroad to comply with commercial export requirements when transporting firearms and ammunition outside the U.S. for personal use. Under these requirements, in order to take personal firearms and ammunition to another country on a temporary visit, the individual would have to register the firearm in the Automated Export System (AES), after completing a 30-question test with 34 pages of user instructions, and provide their transaction number to CBP.
As the AES is designed for commercial exporters, it requires all users to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in order to access the system. According to the IRS, however, EINs are issued for business purposes, and applicants have to specify a business reason for obtaining one.
This left American hunters and sport shooters with no recourse. In the recent announcement, CBP affirmed that it will allow international hunters to use the same paper system they have used for years, while it works with the Department of State on automating that system in the future.
This is the second high-profile defeat of a proposed Obama administration anti-gun regulation in recent months. Earlier this year, the NRA led the effort to defeat an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ban M855 ammo commonly used in AR-type rifles.
“It is clear that in the final years of his presidency, President Obama will stop at nothing to push his gun-control agenda,” Cox said. “This merely underscores the importance of electing a pro-Second Amendment president in 2016.”