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Thread: Rifle scope in suitcase... ok ?!?!

  1. #1

    Rifle scope in suitcase... ok ?!?!


    May friend is going over to the US soon and said he would get me the scope I've been look ing at whilst he's over there.

    Is it okay to bring one back in your suitcase, or is it a restricted item and is there a high chance he will be stopped?


  2. #2
    As I understand it it depends on the scope, what type/model/spec is it?

  3. #3
    I brought a couple of scopes back from the States a couple of years ago. I put them into my hand luggage on the basis that if there were any ‘issues’ I wanted to be on the spot & not unceremoniously hauled off a plane

    There is no problem at the US end & in the UK, a scope isn’t a controlled item so your friend shouldn’t have any difficulties

  4. #4
    A mate of mine brought three scopes home from New york couple of years ago. Very cheep over there...
    He had no probs with them in his suitcase..
    still would check with your athorities , or the security on the way out. you wouldnt want to spend a few hundred dollars and have it taken ....

  5. #5
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    What it the issue here? A scope is not part of a firearm, so what type of 'restrictions' are the concern?

    I have brought several Leupold scopes, lots of reloading equipment (including a turret press), a portable high seat , a shooting bench , a synthetic stock, several knives and more camo than you can shake a stick at back from the US over the years.

    Is the question whether (a) it will be damaged, (b) you will be charged duty, (c) you will exceed your luggage weight restrictions or (d) you might be treated like a terrorist?

    My experience suggests the answer is "No" to all of the above (although it was touch and go on (c) with the turret press). You stand more chance of being stopped with a new set of golfclubs


  6. #6

    Since 9/11, the US have been very chary about allowing the exports of 'weapons of war'. End user certificates being needed for such items.

    Amazingly, this also includes scopes with mil-dot or stadia reticles - which is why many US companies no longer sell scopes by post abroad.

    Be aware of the potential consequences if your friend is stopped at the border on the way out. UK customs will just hit him for vat and import duty.



  7. #7
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the replies.

    To clarify, I've heard that scopes are now considered firearm parts and can't be carried in hand-luggage, so I was wondering how this would be viewed if taken in your suitcase!

    My friend is good enough to make the offer to bring one over for me, I just don't want him to have any problems with check-in/security as we know how OTT the US is when it comes to airport security at the moment!

    From the above it looks as though bringing one back in a suitcase should be no problem

    Thank again!

  8. #8
    if your friend is a muslim he might find himself in hot water if its a tactical scope - or guantanamo bay

  9. #9
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Restrictions on scopes sounds like an urban myth to me, although if anyone has a link to any factual information I'd be grateful to see it.

    I'd suggest you call the airline first and check with them. They will probably tell you it's down to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), who handle all the the security at airports in the US. You should be able to reach them on or 001-866-289-9673. You will be more likely to get a response by calling them than emailing them.

    If you check their website you will find this advice:

    and this interesting story....

    I have travelled to the US multiple times since 9/11 and never had any problems. As I mentioned before, I (and a number of my colleagues) have brought back all manner of kit, including scopes, stocks and other parts. The only questioning I've ever faced was being asked what sort of hunting I did

    How long is your friend in the US for? Also, is he staying in hotels or friends? The reason I ask is that it is often worth ordering via mail order in the US as then (providing your mailing address is in a different state) you can avoid state sales tax, although sometimes the postage charges can be more. Otherwise, check out Cabela's website and see if there is a store near where your friend is going to be. You can normally pre-order and have it ready for pickup.

    Have fun!


  10. #10
    Having just flown back from the states on Sunday, I can say that as long as it is in your checked luggage it is ok.

    This is not because I got away with it this is because I spoke to both the TSA and ATF whist out there before I brought anything back.

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