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Exporting NFA To Another Country


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#1 Haenelistklasse

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 06:25 PM

This is strictly a hypothetical situation but am curious about it nonetheless. If a person were going to retire to another country say like a gun friendly country in the East Bloc like Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, etc. maybe even throw Malta in to the mix. How hard is it (or is it even possible) to get a special collector's license for one or two old MG's??? For the record, I am talking about World War Two guns. These guns would stay in that country and never come back to America again. Has anyone ever done this? Just curious...


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#2 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:36 PM

You want to get some sort of license to own them in another country if I understand your question. Export of MGs is horrendously difficult with extensive state department involvement along with equivalent official permission hurdles in the importing country. It can probably be done with the help of a licensed exporter, but the difficulties are huge and expense high. There are large quantities of WWII MGs in europe and eastern europe and it would be far, far easier and cheaper to acquire what you want wherever you go.

Since you raised the issue, many years ago it wasn't difficult to export MGs and one of two examples with which I am familiar, some 25 transferable MGs were legally exported to Belgium by a US attaché or a diplomat in the late sixties or possibly early seventies. The fellow married and when he died, a friend of mine from RI reimported seven of the guns with the F4's signed by the wife who was the executor or beneficiary. I acquired two of the guns not long after they were reimported. The remaining MGs could also have been reimported but the widow claimed that she could not find the paperwork. Too bad.
The other instance was a fellow with many MGs, who was very paranoid and had a very adversarial relationship with ATF. He exported many transferable MGs with him and went to Canada, but I don't recall when this was. This came to light when he died and one of his sons in the US started asking questions of MG dealers, collectors, etc about how to bring the guns back into the US. Canadian authorities had required that the MGs be stored with a movie studio for safe keeping, and apparently this agreement required that the guns be removed from Canada within a year or be destroyed or something like that. The son made the rounds of the NFA community, got into a tangle with his relatives over money, refused to believe anybody about how to deal with the import, wanted a lot more money than they were worth, and finally found out that his father had agreed and signed an affidavit with ATF that he would never be allowed to reimport the guns. Once that was known, the only option, other than import as post-May samples, that would actually generate any real money was to turn them into kits and import them. Then he found out that the movie studio wanted a large sum for storage fees, and other expenses. He refused to pay that or to agree to have them turned into kits, the year expired for removal from Canada, and the guns stayed with the movie studio. I was involved in the effort to try get them imported as kits but have no idea what happened to the guns or parts. Too bad.
FWIW
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#3 huggytree

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:45 PM

Think you could get the permission in any of these countries to own FA when your moving/ retiring there without becoming a citizen ?

Ive thought about this as well. Glad you brought it up

With possible bleak future in this country coming its got people thinking. Belize was a very nice country to visit. English speaking. I doubt they allow your collection there
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#4 TSMGguy

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:15 PM

Right, cash out in the States and buy whatever was allowed and available in the new country of residence.


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#5 BillyDixon

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:22 PM

i have visited a friend who lives in belize, owning a gun is a real pain, he has a registered 20 ga single shot, lots of papre work, belize was a british colony and a lot of british mentality concerning owning weapons. on flip side lots and lots of black market guns available no problem getting one but ammo is scarce and very expensive. a lot of people will carry a throw away gun for one time self defence..wink, wink ! just sayn.


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#6 maxfaxdude

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 12:35 AM

Dan Shea in Henderson, NV would probably the guy to ask.  It's my understanding that, at one time, he was the largest importer/exporter in the US.


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#7 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 08:31 AM

Really, don't bother wasting your time trying to export live MGs. It's not going to happen. I have exported a number of
vintage MG tripods through the help and use of a major importer/exporter and military surplus company, that we all know, which took nine months to accomplish, paperwork authorizations and affidavits required from both sides were heavy and oppressive and processing fees were high. This just for tripods!! Getting permission from US authorities is very unlikely and especially from the importing country for a non-resident individual to import a live MG just isn't going to happen unless you have plenty of money to burn and significant political pull from both ends.
In eastern europe there are businesses that cater to those wanting to shoot all sorts of military weapons, small and large. Pay and play and no hassles. What more could you ask for? FWIW

Edited by Black River Militaria CII, 25 September 2019 - 08:33 AM.

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#8 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 08:35 PM

Dan Shea in Henderson, NV would probably the guy to ask.  It's my understanding that, at one time, he was the largest importer/exporter in the US.

That is pure fiction! It may have been true for an hour or two on a Saturday when everyone else was closed?  Ah, I can hear the legal team on it's way......


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#9 Mike-Tornado Technologies

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 05:29 PM

We regularly export firearms internationally. Current US State Department Policy does not allow the permanent export of machineguns to those other than Government end users. Tanks and live artillery are OK though.

I'm sure there are exceptions made in some circumstances, but if I tried to put an application through for your situation, there's no way they'd approve it.

As others have mentioned, you'd be better to cash out here and buy what you need there.


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#10 The Lone Ranger

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 06:02 PM

Sell at the artificially inflated US prices and replace them for much less at your destination.  Maintain your collection and pay for some moving expenses.


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