Friday, July 26, 2013

Part III: Crossing The USA Border By Car

Okay, so the day has arrived, you're all packed and ready to go. Make sure you not only have the paperwork to get into the USA, but that you also have the correct paperwork to get back into Canada, or wherever you're from. Also, make sure you have made the necessary prior arrangements.
You definitely need to get a Match Invitation from the Match Director. This can be in the form of an email, and it will be asked for at the border. It is also good practice to attach a copy of the match, if it is available, and to have the Match Director's contact details handy. Also, it's a good idea to research the firearm laws in the States you will be travelling through, so as to familiarise yourself with the various do's and don'ts.  

The checklist for entering the USA is as follows:
1. Passport
2. Approved Form 6NIA
3. Match Invitation
4. Match Copy
5. Accommodation Details
6. Match Director contact details
7. Ammunition not exceeding the amount specified on the Form 6
We probably all have ways in which we engage with the Border authorities. In my experience it is easier if you declare that you are travelling with firearms upfront. I do this by handing my passport to the Officer, together with the Match Invitation, Match Copy and Approved Form 6NIA. Make sure the Form 6 is on top. Usually this results in the conversation immediately centering on the firearms and the purpose of the trip. It is usually a painless process, but be prepared to have to park and go inside for further questions, and to have the firearms inspected.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should be courteous and don't travel with any forbidden products, like fruit, meat or Cuban cigars.
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