With the start of the shooting season fast approaching, chances are you're going to be doing a bit of travelling around. So if you're off to foreign parts, here's what you need to know.
If you’re going to be shooting abroad with your shotgun or rifle then you need to plan ahead.
As usual, this is largely because you’re going to have to apply and receive the documents that will let you transport your guns legally.
European Firearms Pass
If you want to take your guns to another EU country then you need to get a European Firearms Pass (EFP) even if you are already a GB holder of a Shotgun or Firearm Certificate.
You apply for an EFP by making a request to your local Firearms Licensing Office – there is no charge for an EFP and you won’t have to fill in an application form either. You should allow about two weeks for everything to be processed.
The EFP supports your existing firearms or shotgun certificate and so it will expire on the same date. If the EFP is for both your shotgun certificate and your firearms licence, it will finish cover on the same day that whichever of these two certificates expires first.
If you’re planning on emigrating permanently with your guns then you need to get in touch with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) who deal with this side of things and issue export and import licenses for firearms. In this case, you will also need to let your Firearms Licensing Office know of your plans and provide proof of export.
Keeping up to date with the laws on travelling with guns
As well as the above, you should also check with the embassy or consulate of your destination country to see what are the latest documentary requirements for guns.
Other things to be aware of
- Check your airline’s policy for travelling with guns and ammunition
- Allow extra time at check-in (there will be special security staff dedicated to firearms)
- You will need to declare to Customs that you are travelling with firearms and shotguns
- A gun case is essential. We recommend a modern aluminium or plastic shell flight case which will stand up to hard wear (a cherished leather case may well be damaged in the hold).
- Camouflage is important and any long case with stickers will look inoffensive. Our gun expert Bill Harriman used to travel with a rifle in an old trombone case with a sticker saying “Musicians Union – Keep it Live”. Think discretion.