An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. Dulles CBP Seizes Unlicensed Handguns, Mags, Ammo Destined to Ghana

Dulles CBP Seizes Unlicensed Handguns, Mags, Ammo Destined to Ghana

Release Date
Mon, 06/06/2022

CBP offers advice to guide travelers to lawfully exporting firearms.

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized two handguns, magazines and ammunition at Washington Dulles International Airport on Wednesday from a man who attempted to take them to Ghana in May without proper export licenses.

The man, a U.S. citizen whose name CBP is withholding because he was not criminally charged, attempted to board a flight to Accra, Ghana on May 24. CBP officers discovered two hard shell lock box cases in the man’s checked luggage while inspecting outbound travelers’ baggage.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized two handguns, four magazines and 150 rounds of ammunition on June 1, 2022, that a traveler attempted to export to Ghana without proper firearms export licenses on May 24, 2022.
Travelers need to acquire firearms export licenses to lawfully take handguns and other firearms out of the United States.

Inside the two cases, CBP officers discovered Smith & Wesson and Taurus nine-millimeter pistols, two 15-round and two 12-round magazines, and 150 rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition.

CBP officers then interviewed the traveler at the departure gate. The traveler admitted that he intended to take the handguns and ammo to Ghana to leave them there at a residence, and he also admitted that he did not possess a firearms export license.

CBP officers detained the handguns and ammo and requested a licensing determination from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). On Wednesday, BIS determined that the traveler required a firearms export license. CBP officers then seized the handguns, magazines and ammunition.

“Customs and Border Protection officers want to remind travelers of the importance of complying with federal laws regulating the temporary and permanent exportation of firearms from the United States,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “CBP’s border security mission helps to protect defenseless victims by intercepting illegally exported firearms that are oftentimes destined to the hands of transnational criminal organizations.”

In April, CBP officers at Dulles Airport seized another unlicensed handgun and ammo from a traveler who attempted to export it to Nigeria.

CBP reminds travelers who are intending to export firearms and ammo from the United States that they are required to visit a CBP Port of Entry prior to departing the country and complete a Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad [CBP form 4457], and to file an Electronic Export Information (EEI) for temporary export of personally owned firearms via the Automated Export System (AES).

Travelers may also be required to possess an export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), or a Form 9 - Application and Permit for Permanent Exportation of Firearms [ATF Form 5320.9] from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Our partners at Immigration and Customs Enforcement offers additional guidance on lawfully exporting firearms and firearms accessories, either temporarily or permanently, from the United States. That guidance includes frequently asked questions and a quick firearms export quiz.

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2021.

Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.


  • Last Modified: