Silencer Laws
Traveling Internationally With a Suppressor

Traveling Internationally With a Suppressor

Traveling Internationally With a Suppressor

In previous blog posts, we’ve covered what it’s like to travel domestically with a suppressor and internationally with guns and ammo, but we haven’t covered international travel with a suppressor. That changes now. It’s time to go global!

Like any kind of travel you do with guns, ammo, or suppressors, it’s a good idea to start researching and planning well in advance. This will allow you the time you may need to insure that you’re in compliance with local in-country laws as well as any travel-specific considerations.

Can You Travel Internationally with a Suppressor?

Global politics are an ever-changing thing, and that means that there often isn’t a black-and-white answer that can provide you with a definitive list of what countries you can and cannot travel to with a suppressor. In some cases, the list would be out of date almost immediately. In others, the caveats to approval prohibit making a definitive statement.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and if you violate international suppressor regulations, you can expect to face things like steep fines, prison time, or a lifetime travel ban from that country.

Despite this seemingly foreboding attitude, generally speaking, yes, you can travel internationally with a suppressor. However, just like flying with a firearm or ammunition, you’ve got to do your due diligence and pre-planning to make sure everything goes smoothly.


What are the Rules on International Travel with a Suppressor?


While the United States has relatively lax gun laws compared to the rest of the world, our suppressor laws are much more strict than in some other places.

For example, you can buy a suppressor off of the shelf at a gun shop in New Zealand as if it were a new scope – no extra tax, no paperwork, no wait. Of course, the flip side to that is the heavy regulation of firearms themselves.

In some European countries, suppressors are viewed as a public health benefit that protects the hearing of the shooter and those around you. Again, though, those same countries are likely to have much stricter gun laws.

Even though you may be traveling to a suppressor-friendly country, that doesn’t mean that you can throw caution to the wind because you’re still a US citizen with US-owned suppressors, and at the end of the day, you’ve still got to take that seriously no matter where in the world you’re physically shooting them.

International Travel Tips For Suppressors

Despite the topsy-turvy world of global politics, we stand firm that it is indeed possible to travel internationally with a suppressor. If you follow the tips outlined below, you’ll be well on your way to planning your next trip.

Verify with US Diplomatic Office in Foreign Country

An easy first step is to contact the US diplomatic office in the country where you plan to travel. They can often provide you with some initial information and point you in the right direction for any further questions about suppressor travel in their country.

Of course, they’ll also be able to tell you straight away if international travel to a specific country with a suppressor is outright forbidden, which is definitely the case in some parts of the world.

Be Aware of Where You Fly Out

For some people, it might be cheaper or easier to drive to a major airport in another city or state than to fly out of one that’s closer to home but requires a lot of layovers and extra travel time. This could be a problem depending on the airport you choose.

For example, it is 100% legal for your suppressor to be at the Chicago-O’Hare airport in your checked bag as it is being transferred from one plane to another on a connecting flight that originated elsewhere in the US, but it is 100% illegal for you to bring a suppressor with you from another state and try to check it directly at Chicago-O’Hare. This is because of the city’s regulations and laws in Illinois.


You May Not Sell or Trade Your Suppressor in Another Country While Traveling

This might seem like a no-brainer, but there’s always that one person. So just remember: it is absolutely 100% illegal for you to sell or trade a suppressor that you took with you on international travel. (That is unless you like the country you’re visiting so much that you want to extend your stay indefinitely in one of their prisons.)

Pack It Like a Firearm

Even though suppressors aren’t technically firearms, that doesn’t mean that you can put one in your carry-on luggage. Instead, pack your suppressor and copies of your paperwork in a TSA-approved, lockable flight case. If you pack your suppressors the same way you pack your firearms and ammunition, then you’ll be good to go.

Remember Where You Live

If your destination country has lax suppressor laws, it’s important to remember that you still have to abide by all US suppressor laws in order to get back into the country. This means that even if you bought an over-the-counter suppressor in New Zealand, it doesn’t mean that you can bring it back with you.

You need to have all of your proper documentation – Form 4s, tax stamps, trust papers – so that you can come back home with the suppressors that you took overseas with you with as little hassle as possible.

Dealing with Customs and Border Protection

In the same vein as the point above, you’ll be dealing with CBP to get your suppressors out of the country in the first place, which is an important part of getting them back in when your trip is over. US Customs Form 4457 is where you’ll declare your suppressors before traveling internationally so that you can come back home with them duty-free.


Get Your Suppressor Across the Pond

Is travel more complicated when it involves transporting a suppressor? Absolutely. Does that mean you should miss out on fun international opportunities and experiences simply because you don’t know how to do it? Absolutely not!

Remember: plenty of people travel internationally with suppressors all the time. You can easily be one of those people, too, with just a little bit of extra planning and paperwork before you travel.

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to start planning your next trip!