How to Import Guns into the US (Legally!)

I have had a bunch of people ask me what the process is for legally importing firearms into the US. I have gone through this process now a couple times over the past few years, and I think I have a good enough understanding to give you an overview. If you are interested in importing a firearm, the two things to know are that (1) it is possible to legally do this, and (2) it will be pretty expensive to do.

The customs broker I use is Polaris Worldwide Logistics. They were one of the supporters of Desert Brutality, and my import experience with them has been the best of any of the several companies I have used. I would highly recommend them if you are looking to get into this process. You can reach them via the head of their firearms department, Les Winner, at

Some resources that will be useful in this process:

ATF Import Guide

Form 6

Form 4590 (handgun requirements)



  1. I did this many years ago. Like Ian says you really need a knowledgeable person in the exporting country. They will help a lot to get the export paperwork and the proper shipping method. I would recommend using a commercial shipper that has a large international business like DHL or Fedex. This will reduce the shipping cost and they do the brokering work as part of the cost and then forward it on to your dealer. Don’t use the mail system.

    I also sold and shipped a Smith carbine (USA civil war) to someone in Sweden. I put in several documents to show it’s age and a copy of an email from a contact in Sweden with their requirements. It got there no problem.

    Ian is right, it is an interesting experience but it is only worth it for things that you won’t find in your home country.

  2. I just stopped listening after some 10 minutes where Ian speaks of specifics which is real labyrinth. It does not have a particular importance for me as I am not U.S. citizen.

    My pervasive objection/ question: import privately guns (firearms) into United States, really? Does this make a logical sense? On my level of awareness, they are the destination, the source and the utmost market worldwide. There is no country/ nation to come even close. What else would you like to import and from where?

    I mean there must be few dozens of import organizations across the U.S. working on this day-in, day-out. I wish we had half of it in Canada.

    • I can offhand think of a lot of firearms that are MUCH cheaper in Canada than in the U. S.. Sometimes hundreds of dollars.

      And if your Parliament does what it says it’s going to, lots more will get that way.

  3. My limited firearm imports to the USA took place during the Dark Age: 1984 and 1989.

    I did run afoul of import regulation changes between getting approved and actual importation and had to resubmit my entire application

  4. I went into Canada with my handgun, forgot i had it and never declared it. it is still in Canada and i want to get it back to me. what can I do?

  5. what are the restrictions on wat is considered a “sporting gun”. I know there’s a magazine limit. 10 for rifles, 5 for shotgun. unless it’s like a tube feed.22 or lever action. I don’t think thire is one for hand guns. but if thire is. it’s probably 10 or 15 I think.

  6. Excellent video!!!!
    I have a question, I would like to import a Sig-57 from Switzerland, I am going to buy it from a cousin, can I legally import it or do I need an ATF permit, since this rifle is for military use. (Swiss military)They modify these rifles to deliver them to the recruits and they no longer work full auto only in semi mode, which you recommend, thanks in advance

  7. The explanation on C&R was confusing. If I have a C&R license, I can act as my own FFL to import C&R firearms–is that correct? So once I have the import permit from ATF, the firearm can be shipped directly to me? Or does it still need to go through customs? And C&R surplus military firearms can be imported–is that correct?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.