March 5, 2009 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

March 5, 2009

Recently, SCI’s London Chapter worked to clarify reports from other hunting publications of changes for hunters travelling through the United Kingdom with their sporting firearms. Below is a statement prepared for SCI by the UK Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), who handles the import and export of firearms in the UK.

SCI Lion
Traveling Through the UK to Your Hunting Destination

"There have been reports in the hunting press recently that the UK has banned passengers with sporting firearms flying through the UK to many more destinations, including many in Africa and Central Asia.

Legislation on transshipment is being changed from 6 April 2009. An extra 49 countries are being added to a list of sensitive destinations, which will mean that a license will be required to transit or transship small arms or other "Category B" weapons to those destinations via the UK. However, there has for some time been a special license - the Open General Transshipment License (Sporting Guns) - which allows hunters or others who are passing through the UK accompanying their sporting weapons as personal effects, to do so without applying for a license for the individual trip, provided they meet the terms set out in the body of the license. Those terms state a number of things, but most importantly, that the trip should be no longer than 30 days and the firearms return with the individual; and the license also sets out the types of weapons covered and the destination countries for which it can be used.

The Open General Transshipment License (Sporting Guns) is not affected by the forthcoming changes in legislation. It will remain in force; the list of excluded countries will not be expanded; and as before, it will not be necessary for hunters to register to use it. You will need to look at the actual license for details of all the exclusions, but the prominent hunting countries for which this license cannot be used are Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Iran, FYR Macedonia, Nepal, China, Serbia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.

Therefore, the message for hunters is clear; in terms of transiting the UK, nothing has changed and there is no reason to alter your plans as a result of what BERR is doing.”