A North Dakota senator has forced the government’s top border security office to overturn a rule that was making it nearly impossible for hunters and sportsmen to take their guns on trips outside the United States.
According to The Hill newspaper, North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven was outraged after learning Customs began enforcing a 2012 rule that forced hunters to apply for an IRS employee identification number before they could take their arms out of the country and bring them back home.
In effect, Customs was treating a personal firearm transported out of the country as an “export” and demanding business credentials in order to allow it.
When Hoeven — who sits on the committee that funds the Department of Homeland Security — got wind of this, The Hill reports he cried foul, demanding Customs Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowski walk the policy back.
“Hunters should not have to register as a business with the IRS in order to bring their weapons and ammunition on international hunting trips,” Hoeven said in a statement. “This is an unnecessary and burdensome requirement on law-abiding citizens.”
After weeks of cajoling, Customs relented on April 23, telling Hoeven hunters transporting personal weapons would only have to fill out a form 4457 “Registration of Personal Effects Taken Abroad” and not register as a business exporting a firearm.
“We appreciate that CBP … will return to their original forms for international hunters, while they update their automated system to recognize the difference between a commercial exporter and a sportsman traveling on a hunting trip to Canada or another country,” Hoeven said.