Travelling with Guns - READ CAREFULLY!!

You risk losing your gun or having it delayed or confiscated if you do not follow the various and in sundry rules.  Always check with the airline you will be using for last minute details, but here is what you can expect.

In USA:

You must register your guns with the customs officials in the USA before you leave. Do not wait for the last moment. Customs registration is located at most international airports and the form you need is Form 4457.

Read your airline carrier’s gun handling policy, if you are flying on Air France call them AT LEAST 1 week ahead of time and register your guns with them. Follow all the rules. They seem to change constantly. At present they prefer you register the guns on outbound flights but they reversed the absolute necessity of this after much furore.  A printout of their policy is a good thing to bring with you to the airport, as individuals choose to interpret differently.  Your gun should be packed in a hard, lockable case and locked after it is inspected at the airport.  You must declare the gun at the airport, as well as any ammunition. Do this as soon as you reach the ticketing agent so they know you will have special needs.  Ammunition must be less than 5kg. in total weight, in its original container and packed separately from the gun. Some airlines are requiring a locked container for the shells.  I personally prefer to take the stock off of my gun and have it locked in a take down shotgun case. This way I can put the smaller shotgun case inside of a duffel bag and I can add clothes, etc until the weight limit. This also hides the fact it is a gun case. The shotgun case must still be locked inside the duffel bag.  At the airport, you will sign a declaration that the gun is unloaded and this declaration goes inside the locked case.  The duffel can be locked with approved airline TSA locks that the security people can open if needed. Some inspectors want non-TSA locks after inspection so I take both. Do not send your outer bags unlocked, even if they ask you to. Africa is very different from the USA.  With any change of planes it is prudent to have them run your bag tag through the machine to ensure your gun is coming along. Go to a desk of the airlines you are going to board next and tell them you need to make sure the gun is declared and on board.  If you are polite most airlines seem to do a nice job. In worst case if your guns or clothing do not make it we have both available for you.

For Cameroon: 

In Cameroon you need an importation permit, which is also your permit to carry a firearm.  You can not get a hunting permit without a gun import.  If you are going to borrow my rifle I sign a document certifying you are borrowing my rifle as part of your hunting permit.  You bring your own shells.  Pricing for the import permit varies by country.  In the USA it is about a $650 charge.  I have been turned down or “lost” my fee numerous times to the point I no longer use them, but send for a permit from Denark where a friend processes it for under $500.   Typically the following paperwork is needed to procure the visa and gun import permit:

 

Passport (six months valid and 4 empty pages) sent to me for getting visas along with 2 visa applications signed (available on line).

Use this address for your residence in Cameroun on your via application:  

Hilton Hotel
Boulevard du 20 Mai,
Yaoundé,
Cameroon 11852

  • 4 passport pictures

  • 2 copies of your doctor's note saying you are in good health

  • 2 copies of a financial statement indicating you are not a financial risk (bank statement with account numbers blanked out O.K.)

  • 2 current C.V. (resume) of yourself

  • Round trip ticket confirmation (Itinerary OK)

  • Serial numbers of your guns along with Make and Model on temporary import permit (download Hunting Permit Form)

  • Copy of yellow fever certificate (They do not always require this to be sent in, but it is an absolute entry requirement in Cameroon and Congo.)

  • Cameroon embassy website 

 

Once you have the gun import permit and visa you scan them, preferably in color and send me a copy.  It is your responsibility to get the gun import permit and visa at least 2 months before you leave to allow me time to get the Cameroon hunting license.  You need to start 3 months ahead of time, but not before 3 months, or your visa will expire before you enter the country.  Timing is everything.  I use your documents to procure a hunting licensee in Cameroon, which I pay for.  I will need a copy of your receipt of any fees paid for the import permit, as well as the gun import permit, passport front page and visa.  Keep the original of the gun import to bring with you and present to the police on entry.  My staff will actually do the paperwork when you arrive in Yaounde, you just need to bring the gun and paperwork.  Your number of shells needs to be EXACTLY what is on your paperwork or you will pay a fine.

 

For Congo:

 

Congo does not allow importation of guns at this point.  You will need to borrow one of mine.  I have a nice Winchester .416 with Swarski scope and a 12 gauge shotgun.  Rental is $300/trip with one box of shells for rifle and $100/trip for shotgun.

Always check with the airline you will be using for last minute details, but here is what you can expect.

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