I'm traveling to Eastern Europe in a few days to visit my ill grandfather, who worked as a police officer in the area for many years. When he retired, the government allowed him to keep his service revolver as a memento of his years of service. Grandpa and I haven't kept up as much as we should have, so he just recently found out that I'm interested in shooting...
With that in mind, I've been doing some research on the steps involved in importing a firearm into the United States. US Firearm Importation Rules gave me a decent overview of the paperwork involved in doing this, but I still have a few questions that the site doesn't address.
According to ATF, there is no need for an FFL to do what I want to do, which should hopefully make the process pretty straightforward:
What I'm confused about is how to actually get the firearm into the United States:ATF Information:
A nonlicensee may obtain a permit to import sporting ammunition for
personal use (excluding armor piercing handgun ammunition, tracer, incendiary,
or large capacity ammunition feeding devices), and firearm parts (other than
frames, receivers, or actions) without engaging the services of a Federal
firearms licensee. Silencer parts and certain machine gun parts are subject
to the NFA and may not be imported. If the nonlicensee chooses to have a
licensee handle the importation, the licensee should complete and send to ATF
an ATF Form 6, Part I, in accordance with the instructions on the form. The
nonlicensee's name, address, and telephone number should appear in Item 9,
"Specific purpose of importation."
1. Will a firearm be accepted as part of my luggage abroad? My destination is not accessible via a direct flight, and requires that I have layovers in "gun loving" European countries including Germany and Austria. Lufthansa seems to allow firearms in checked luggage, but I'm very concerned about being interrogated or otherwise harassed in a foreign country.
2. How about shipping the pistol to my house here in Texas? I understand that the ATF permit takes a month or two to be approved, so I'll be back at home again well before the permit is issued. If at all possible, I think I'd much rather have the pistol shipped here instead of flying out there again. I've found plenty of resources on shipping a firearm domestically, but nothing for sending them via UPS/FedEx/DHL from Europe. Can this be done?
Any tips from someone who's done this before would be greatly appreciated. :)