Buying guns has become a very difficult process in Argentina. The cost of a basic Beretta or semi-auto is from $3,000 to $5,000 per gun plus a year to eighteen months of paperwork. Shooting operators do their very best to keep guns updated and in good shape but this is not always possible and they do have issues from time to time with ejectors, trigger pulls etc. There are usually replacement guns available on site. Bottom line, if you believe this will prove irritating or you do not want to shoot a semi-auto or over and under, it would be best to bring your own guns. Most operators charge $70 a day for gun hire and most do not charge for two guns if you want to shoot double guns.
The convenience of taking guns to Argentina has ebbed and flowed over the past twenty years. Today apart from potential long waits in customs it is a relatively simple process but not totally without complexity.
There exists a law which says that those wishing to bring guns to Argentina have to go to their local Argentine Consulate to be checked and given a certificate which they need to have with them to enter Argentina with guns. This requirement remains on line here.
There is a practicality that counters this requirement by observing that today, the issuing of passports carries out the very same checks as the certificate checks and there is small print that states that the certificate is only required for automatic and semi-automatic weapons and does not apply to over and under or side-by-side shotguns which are considered for civil use. The present day situation is therefore as follows:
Frontiers believes that it has a duty of care to inform you of the online requirement to attend the Consulate to gain your certificate however the reality on the ground and at the airport is that it is not required. We would inform you if this changed.
You can arrive into Buenos Aires without it and the process is as follows:
At least two weeks before arrival our Buenos Aires team needs to know the following:
Full name as shown in your passport
Date of Birth
County / State / Province
Post or Zip code
Name of Outfitter / Lodge in Argentina (They contact the lodge for the
necessary paperwork and authorizations).
Type (O/U, side by side, Auto or semi auto)
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Once you have your bags and guns look for the sign for RENAR (Registro Nacional de Armas – National Gun Registry) and go to their office. Our team will meet you there and assist you with the RENAR staff who simply check that the paperwork matches your guns – this takes a matter of minutes. You will need to go to the Bank and pay 1000 pesos for each gun and return to RENAR with the stamp stating that it has been paid at the National Bank. (Our team can do the payment on your behalf to speed up the process).
Then the more complex process commences which is passing through customs. Walking out from RENAR you go to Customs where Customs Personnel will request the forms provided by RENAR and the file for all the details that will be presented by our staff. In order to stop the illegal import of firearms and thus ensure the guns being imported leave the county, customs feel the need to value the guns (there is no point in bringing evidence of the real value of the guns, they make their own minds up using their own rather lengthy methods) and then they place the sponsor of the guns (our gun handling service) as responsible for paying 100% tax on the guns if they do not leave the country when they should. The gun handling service also needs to show them licences from the operators you are shooting with which they attain directly. This process takes an average of 40 minutes but can take four hours or more if you happen to be unlucky and find yourself behind many other people bringing in guns.
Customs and RENAR obviously have to be visited on departure as well but this is a less lengthy process. Note: guns need to leave from the same airport they arrived, so if you plan to go elsewhere from Argentina, you need to check that country accepts guns and that you are leaving from the same airport. You cannot leave Argentina without the guns.
When you land at a domestic airport, you simply meet up with the RENAR staff who check your paperwork and go on your way.
Check-in at your airline will have to be completed 1 hour prior to the flight and the airline personnel will call Security to escort you to the RENAR Offices. Guns will be checked to confirm that the Gun Papers correspond to the guns that are being loaded on the aircraft.
Returning to Buenos Aires from the Provinces, the airline will deliver the guns to the Police Authorities (PSA) and guests will pick up their luggage and walk with the people meeting you for the transfer to the RENAR Offices where the guns will be released. It is advisable to remain at the Baggage Claim area until all your luggage has gone through. There is a very small possibility that the guns are delivered together with the rest of the luggage.
So, it is now a relatively easy process if you are happy to take the time at the airport and pay the gun services people for looking after you and doing the legwork before your arrival.