Transporting Ammunition from Canada to US

I know for a fact the ammunition sites and this one is no exception are being monitored by ATF. I have been victim of it in the past with transborder shipments from Canada to the USA.

[quote=“RayMeketa”]I find it hard to believe that we, or any other Internet Forum, are being monitored by anyone, for any reason. But, just to be safe, I will probably be wearing my tin-foil hat more often than I have in the past.


Those tinfoil hats come in handy in prison. The thugs leave you alone because they think you are crazy.

This is very much cartridge related and could affect many of us who like to trade between the USA and Canada. Can you elaborate on what happened?


Yes. This was a couple of years back (4 or 5 years ago) when I used to trade cartridges with my American fiends. I used to drive down to Montana to mail them UPS. At that time as long as one had a valid hunting licence and did not have more than 500 rounds, US customs didn’t really seem to care, as long as one hd nothing restricted etc. Sporting and Antique ammunition was OK. One day I posted on this forum that I would be travelling South to send out my trades. When I went through Customs, my name was flagged and they had someone from ATF already there from Great Falls who said “we have been expecting you”. They seized everything and stated a NON US citizen can not bring in any ammunition in to the USA unless they had a special importation permit. This was the same permit needed to import an F-18 fighter at this time and costs $2500 to apply. I know as I researched this thoroughly after this experience. I know since they have laxed the rules a bit, but it shows how ATF really can decide to use what ever law they see fit and apply it at the time. I have therefore not done so again as twice I think they would ban me from entering the country. Other US customs agents I have talked to recently even said they think the situation was wrong, but they do not argue with ATF on their rulings. Just my own personal experience and I know I posted the information no where else so ATF either reads the forum or has their own crystal ball.

The non-U.S. citizen issue bringing ammo into the U.S. has come up many times before. It is most often a misunderstood and mis-regulated issue by the BATFE when it happens and it goes to the point of what “importation” is. According to the U.S. law, importation in the case of loaded ammunition is defined as a commercial quantity meant as a commercial for-profit venture where the intended transaction is meant as a primary means of livelihood. This limits ammo in that case to huge quantities which are meant strictly as a profit venture. Beyond that, to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, there is a basic BATFE form (form 6 NIA) which is considered proper for any non-U.S. citizen to apply for and fill out when coming into the country with any quantity of ammo, which is what collectors going to SLICS do from out of country. The form is relatively cheap and easy to get, and is processed relatively quickly. Some states also require a hunting permit to be had by the person in question, and those are cheap & easy to acquire.

Whenever one of these importation / manufacturing busts comes up I always wonder what the ultimate outcome is, and I have only heard vaguely that the cases usually end up in a seizure of ammunition, and a small fine with no major criminal action taken. I think if enough pressure were applied in court with the right legal lingo, most of these importation issues would be dismissed. Usually the effort and cost involved prevent people from bothering when the penalty is a small seizure and small fine I guess.

I assume the reason for the enforcement actions taken in these cases is that they want to make sure it isn’t drug-trafficking or otherwise felony-related - which, when the cartridges involved are a bunch of transitional / commercial hunting / or other obsolete collectibles, that they would not bother?

[quote]RayMeketa wrote:
I find it hard to believe that we, or any other Internet Forum, are being monitored by anyone, for any reason. Ray

Frankly I would be amazed if this site was not monitered. It is a known fact that in various countries authorities moniter sites related to guns and ammunition, just talk to various sites owners, some of whom can tell you stories of being contacted by authorities.

Years ago when we were called the ICCA I know that the F B I was listed as a member of the ICCA. I was contacted by a person who wrote that he was a resident of South Africa and wanted to know if I or the others he was writing to wanted any South African cartridges that he would swap with us when he came to the USA on a visit. Knowing the negative goverment feelings about South Africa at the time I felt that this was the makings of a trap and although I offered to meet with him I would not request any foreign cartridges nor offer any trades. My response was not answered. I always thought that that correspondence was Law Enforcement written letter to test us.

Jimg11–I think I know exactly which person from South Africa you are referring to. If it is the same person, his offer was legitimate. He was a member of the South Africa Police and worked in the division that developed and tested new types of ammunition, especially 37mm and 40mm Grenade rounds. He had access to some fantastic rounds. In spite of the embargo against South Africa at the time, he had the contacts, though his Police standing, to bring just about anything he wanted to the U.S.

Coming back to the Canada / USA issue. Surely there is a fairly large numbers of hunters who travel between the two countries in the hunting seasons. how do they get on? I’m sure most are not even aware. Do the Canadians have similar policies?

I have made numerous trips to various provinces in Canada for hunting and as long as the PAL forms are correctly filled out I have never encountered any major problems. Some border crossings are used to hunters traveling and are more familiar with their own laws and are very understanding. I did encounter difficulty on one trip when the headstamp and box label did not match the rifle caliber designation. This was a wildcat. Fortunately one of the customs agents was fairly knowledgeable and allowed the rifle to pass and made appropriate note on the PAL form. Many countries require that the ammo being transported match the firearms. I have never brought any ammuniton to be traded or sold so I am not familiar with any import trade regulations.
You have to have a copy of a reciept for the hunt booked with the outfitter. Most licenses are filled out with the outfitter on arrival.

Technically a BATF form 6 needs to be in place to import ammo, even when hunting. Getting into Canada is much easier. Us residents can even get one of out licenses.