COWTOWN FOREIGN NATIONAL POLICY
(Revised August 1, 2023)
Cowtown Range (“Cowtown”) is committed to offering a safe and welcoming environment for firearms enthusiasts. This includes offering the opportunity for educational and recreational services for individuals who are classified as foreign nationals or nonimmigrant aliens (i.e., not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States).
When an individual is a foreign national for purposes of U.S. federal law and Arizona state law, there are certain requirements that must be met for such foreign national to possess a firearm or ammunition at Cowtown. More information regarding the requirements may be found below.
Background on Relevant Laws and Regulations
- Federal Law
- In accordance with United States federal law, nonimmigrant aliens are prohibited from possessing firearms while in the United States, unless they:
- Are a nonimmigrant who was admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”); or
- Meet one of the enumerated exceptions under 18 U.S. U.S.C § 922(y)(2) of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (“GCA“).
- The VWP currently permits citizens of forty (40) countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism stays up to 90 days without a visa. The 40 countries participating in this program as of the date of this policy memo include the following:
- Czech Republic
- Korea, Republic of
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- NOTE: For the most current list of VWP participating countries see https://travel.state.gov
- Please note that neither Canada nor Mexico are participants in the VWP. For residents of Canada or Mexico, the visa requirement has been waived by other federal regulations. See 22 C.F.R. § 41.2(a), (g) (2011). If you have lawfully entered the United States, under the visa waiver program, or as a Canadian or Mexican citizen without a visa, the rest of this notice still applies to your visit to Cowtown.
- If a foreign national is a citizen of one of the above listed VWP countries, or is a Mexican or Canadian national entering the U.S. without a visa, the foreign national is qualified to possess a firearm under U.S. federal law; however, they will still need to meet Arizona state law requirements (see Arizona state law requirements below).
- If a foreign national is not a citizen of one of the listed countries, or otherwise excepted from the visa requirements, then they will need to meet one of the enumerated exceptions under the GCA to possess a firearm in accordance with federal law. These exceptions are as follows:
- Individual is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued by the Federal Government, a State, or local government, or an Indian tribe federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is valid and unexpired;
- Individual was admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes;
- Individual has received a waiver from the prohibition from the Attorney General of the United States;
- Individual is an official representative of a foreign government who is accredited to the United States Government or the Government’s mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States;
- Individual is en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited;
- Individual is an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State; or
- Is a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.
- Under federal law, the easiest and most accessible exception is Number 1, possessing a valid hunting license. This hunting license can be acquired from any U.S. state, and there is no requirement that you actually engage in hunting. Please note, however, that most states will require and individual to complete a hunter’s education course prior to purchasing a license. The hunter’s education course will cover basic firearm safety and hunting protocol. Additionally, the foreign national will want to find a state which issues a “non-resident” style hunting licenses since the foreign national is likely not a resident of any state.
- Accordingly, to be in compliance with U.S. federal law either the foreign national should be present in the United States based on the VWP (or otherwise excepted from visa requirements), or if they are from a country which is not engaging in the VWP but is otherwise excepted from visa requirements, Cowtown requires the foreign national to possess a non-resident hunting license from any state.
- Arizona State Law and Requirements
- In addition to federal law, Arizona state law is also applicable to Cowtown since we are located within Arizona. In accordance with Arizona law, all foreign nationals are required to have a valid hunting license to possess a firearm on Cowtown’s premises, regardless of whether they entered the United States lawfully without a visa or qualify for one of the enumerated exceptions under federal law. See A.R.S § 13-3101A(7)(E). Please note, if the foreign national already must acquire a hunting license to be in complinace with federal law, they do not need to acquire an additional hunting license to be compliant with state law. One valid hunting license is enough.
- Accordingly, all foreign nationals possessing firearms or ammunition at Cowtown will need to possess a valid (unexpired) hunting license from any of the U.S. states.
Acquiring a Hunting License
- If a foreign national is going to possess a firearm while engaging in recreational or educational activities at Cowtown they will need to have a valid (i.e., not expired) hunting license. This license can be acquired from any state. Here are some states you may want to explore online when determining where to acquire a license:
- Please note, some states offer a short-term hunting license (e.g., 3 days), while some states offer a yearlong hunting license. The term of the license does not matter, as long as it is valid when the foreign national arrives at Cowtown. Additionally, it does not matter if the license is for a specific species of animal (small game, fur-bearing animals, predatory animals, birds, etc…) it only needs to be valid.
Documents to Present
- Visiting Cowtown for Training/Educational Courses or Recreation
- When a foreign national arrives at Cowtown to engage in a training/educational course or recreation, they will be asked to present or complete the following documentation:
- Valid passport or government issued identification (proving their citizenship); and
- Valid hunting license for the entire visit or training course
- Becoming a Member of Cowtown
- If a foreign national wants to become a member of Cowtown, they will need to present or complete the following documentation:
- Valid passports or government issued identification (proving their citizenship); and
- Hunting license which is valid for the term of the membership
Please be advised that Cowtown does not render legal advice. Compliance with all state and feral regulations is essential and violations of such could result in various legal consequences including denial of future entry into the Untied States. If you are unsure of your requirements, please consult with knowledgeable Arizona-based counsel or the Bureau of Alchol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”). ATF’s Phoenix Field Division can be reached at the following number (602) 776-5400. Additionally, the presentation of false documentation or misrepresentation of material facts to gain admission on our range could result in termination of privileges and may be reported to the appropriate authorities.