A while back, we received an email from subscriber/correspondent S.
Scott about an issue he faced at the Atlanta airport returning from
hunts in Zim and RSA:
"It was 5:30 a.m. and
there was only one customs guy to handle firearms. This seems to be a
perpetual issue and makes for a long wait if you are at the back of the
"The new procedure I encountered
involves departing the international baggage claim area. There's no one
there. The desks are still there, but they are empty. Because there is
no one to collect your customs declaration, it became the one guy doing
firearms responsibility. (I have Global Entry, so I do not know who
collects other passenger customs forms.) He checked the serial number
against the 4457, sprayed and bagged my boots, then
escorted me out of the baggage claim hall
while 10 or more others were waiting. I asked about the rationale for
this, and he had no explanation for why there was no one checking
travelers out of the hall (my guess is a budget cut). However, he did
explain the reason he was walking the 100 meters with me to the exit was
because of the shooting in baggage claim in Ft. Lauderdale in Jan.
Makes sense (though it is highly unlikely I would open my hard case,
open the soft case, open the other hard case, load and fire), but it
certainly is not an efficient use of their time....