USPSA Foreign Visitor Info
News for our Foreign Visitors
Recent changes in BATF regulations require nonimmigrant aliens
to have an approved import license to bring firearms or ammunition
into the United States. Although the text of the regulations states
that persons engaged in hunting and competition shooting have an
exemption from the licensing requirement, recent information from
the BATF indicates that they are using their regulatory authority
to override this exemption and require an approved import permit
of all visitors.
BATF seems to view the import form as a way of verifying that visitors
to the country really do fall within the exemptions outlined in
the law. Without this form, most foreign nationals may not possess,
nor receive a firearm while in the United States for any reason
(this and more information appears in the Form
6 FAQ and Form
6 NIA FAQ).We strongly suggest reading the entire FAQs, as some
of the regulatory hoops contained therein are complex, pertaining
to seemingly unrelated issues like hunting licenses and W.W.II era
United States military support for other countries - i.e."lend-lease").
Thankfully, BATF's latest form, the Form
6 NIA (for Non Immigrant Alien) is much simpler than the military-equipment-oriented
Form 6 that competitors were required to use in 2002. This changes
periodically, so be sure to check the ATF
site directly.For example, we point out these recent corrections.
In early 2002, competitors were required to get new Form 6's (the
long form) each time they came into the United States. Not long
thereafter, visitors were allowed to roll all their Form 6's into
one (still on the long form). Today we're on to the short form (Form
6 NIA), but shooters must still submit invitations from every event
where they intend to compete.
What about a hunting license
One way of sidestepping most of the match-related paperwork is
to purchase a state-issued hunting license. Using the hunting exemption,
a person can enter the United States with a firearm at their discretion,
and stay for as long as they like. Details from the ATF website
(as seen on 6/03/03) appear below:
- Q. I am a nonimmigrant alien and come to the United States for
multiple competitive target shooting events each year. Do I need
to file a new Form 6 application for each event?
- A. No. When you apply for your import permit, you should attach
your invitations/registrations to all the events you will be attending
during the next 12 months. These will be attached to your approved
permit. The import permit you receive will authorize you to bring
in the firearms and ammunition listed on the permit repeatedly
for 12 months after the date the permit is approved, as long as
the invitations/registrations attached to the permit are for future
events. If you do not expect to have invitations/registrations
for future competitions until shortly before the competitions,
you may want to rely on the hunting license exception to the nonimmigrant
alien prohibition. If you attach a hunting license to your application,
you will be able to bring in the firearms and ammunition listed
on the permit repeatedly for 12 months after the date the permit
is approved, as long as you have a valid State hunting license
to present to the Customs Inspector at the time of entry. You
may rely on this exception even though you are coming to the United
States for competitive shooting events, and not to hunt.
Match Invitation Letters and USPSA 'Eligibility' letters
When you send in your Form 6 paperwork, you will need to attach
invitations to compete, and may supply 'supporting documentation'
such as a copy of your USPSA membership card. USPSA offers an eligibility
letter to members in good standing applying for their Form 6 NIA.
This is 'supporting documentation' only - not an invitation. To
attend any particular event, you need an invitation FROM THAT EVENT.
If you're coming to the U.S. for one of our national events, we'd
be happy to send you an invitation. If you're coming to an Area
match, or any other function not run directly by USPSA, you need
to get an invitation from the local club president or match director.
Non-USPSA members will need to submit their request through their
local regional director who must submit and endorse the request.
Letters to such individuals will be forwarded to them via the submitting
Club Letter Template
We have prepared a template to assist clubs who wish to provide
confirmation of registration letters to visitors to their match.
(Remember, with the exception of the Nationals, USPSA Headquarters
cannot provide foreign visitors with written confirmation they are
registered for a particular match).
About State Laws
Each state in the USA has different laws regarding posession, transport
and use of firearms and ammunition. The posession of an approved
ATF Form 6 indicated that the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives has granted you permission to import your firearm(s)
under federal law. This does not exempt you from state level
laws which may apply in those states which you will be visiting
while in the US.
One excellent web site which provides information on state laws,
including links to offical sources such as the web sites for variuos
state attorney general's offices and state police agencies is www.packing.org.
Please note, however, that this web site is not in any manner affiliated
with USPSA and USPSA is not responsible for any content on that
If you plan on attending a match within the US, please check this
and the ATF Form 6 update page frequently in the weeks prior to
your arrival. Also contact ATF imports branch directly at (202)
927-8320 to make certain you are in compliance, and there have been
no changes to the process. We will try to update this page as we
discover additional information, but we cannot predict what changes
ATF will make, much less when.