Big Hassle trying to ship handgun - any advice?


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Dorrin79
September 28, 2004, 10:10 AM
Finally remembered yesterday to send my Security six back to Ruger to have some work done.

Imagine my irritation, then, when no one would ship the damn thing! Local FedEx/UPS place said no firearms, local "UPS Store" said same.

Apparently the UPS Hub, down by the airport (about 45 minutes from my house) will take it - are there any other choices? I'd rather not give UPS my business, to be honest, if they are going to have retarded policies like that.

I'm extremely annoyed by this - it's a dissasembled gun, for jeebus' sake.

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mtnbkr
September 28, 2004, 10:18 AM
Your local gunshop should be able to ship it for you. It might cost a bit more though.

Chris

rick_reno
September 28, 2004, 10:50 AM
FFL holders can ship them using the Post Office - it's pretty reasonable to ship them using the PO. Last time I did it here in town I let the fellow at the local pawn shop ship it for me.

moredes
September 28, 2004, 11:13 AM
If it's a disassembled gun, that's not a gun, that's "gun parts". Send it that way by USPS Insured.

mtnbkr
September 28, 2004, 11:15 AM
If he's sending the frame, it's still a gun according to the law. If it's the parts sans the frame, then, yes, send it regular insured mail.

Chris

DragonFire
September 28, 2004, 11:23 AM
Actually it's not against the UPS regulations even though many UPS empolyees will tell you that it is.

I had the same problem trying to ship back some ammo that was shipped to me by mistake. I forget the exact wording of the regulation, but it has to do with quantity and frequency fo shipments, and with firearms it has to be going to manufacturing/dealer, and not just a FFL.

The place I bought the ammo from even called UPS and explained their regulations to them, but it did no good. The empoyees wouldn't let facts stand in the way of doing their jobs. :banghead:

I shipped two of my guns back to S&W and they both went Federal Express. I followed S&W instructions and used their prepaid shipping label. No where on the package did it state there was a gun inside, nor did anyone ask. The second shipment I put in the self-serve Fedex box outside our local post office, so there was no direct interaction with anybody.

I guess I'm turning to a "don't ask - don't tell" philosophy. If it was good enough for slick-willy, it's good enough for me. I think you can go online for UPS or FedEx or DhL and arrange for a pickup at your house. I'm not sure but I don't think they ask what you are shipping.

Dorrin79
September 28, 2004, 12:03 PM
yeah - I solved it the Internet Nerd way - UPS Online!

They'll be picking it up Friday from my house, and they didn't ask, I didn't tell what it was they were picking up.

Pretty convenient actually - and only $10.

George S.
September 28, 2004, 12:20 PM
The "UPS Store" or the mailbox etc type places won't take a firearm. you do have to go to the UPS or FedEx main shipping/receiving places. Both FedEx and UPS will ship a handgun for you but at the overnight air freight rate and that can get expensive.

The box cannot be marked as containing a firearm so don't let them tell you it has to be labeled that way. Plain cardboard box with the shipping label and your return address. Make sure you insure it for the full retail value!!

Trebor
September 28, 2004, 03:16 PM
yeah - I solved it the Internet Nerd way - UPS Online!

They'll be picking it up Friday from my house, and they didn't ask, I didn't tell what it was they were picking up.

Just so you know, that may not have been the smartest choice.

By violating UPS regs, you've forfeited your right to any insurance claim if the gun turns up missing or is lost in transit. UPS requires overnight shipping of handguns because overnight packages are better accounted for during shipping and this reduces the chance of theft.

Also, I believe there is a Federal law that says you must declare a firearm to the shipper when shipping by a "common carrier." This has been quoted in other threads on this subject and a search should turn up the info.

Bob R
September 28, 2004, 04:41 PM
I was shipping a gun to Ted Yost and UPS would not take it because I missed the half hour window for overnight shipping. The UPS place opened at 4p and o'night had to be there by 4:30p. They had no where to lock it up overnight.

As I was leaving the place for my 40 mile drive back home, the FedEx truck went by. I followed him to his next stop and did everything with the driver at curbside. He was more than happy to take my gun for me. It was about half the price of UPS also, I was able to send it 2nd day saver, or some such rate.

Since moving to Montana, I have not had any problem sending longarms or pistols anywhere with FedEx. They seem to know most of their regulations, unlike UPS.

I have severed all ties with UPS, what a great feeling!!

bob

moredes
September 28, 2004, 07:12 PM
Mtnbkr,

Are you sure? I'm 99.999% sure this is the way it's interpreted-

USPS: a collection of parts not "readily assembled" into a dischargeable weapon constitutes 'gun parts' (I probably wouldn't interpret a disassembled 1911 as hard to assemble, but I'd say almost any revolver as 'not readily assembled'.)

the BATF considers a numbered frame a firearm, not the USPS.

And I agree, UPS will grind the insurance claim if the gun is not 'declared' at the time of shipment.

Standing Wolf
September 28, 2004, 07:58 PM
I avoid U.P.S. like the plague. I've had much better success with Federal Express.

Trebor
September 28, 2004, 07:59 PM
USPS: a collection of parts not "readily assembled" into a dischargeable weapon constitutes 'gun parts' (I probably wouldn't interpret a disassembled 1911 as hard to assemble, but I'd say almost any revolver as 'not readily assembled'.)

the BATF considers a numbered frame a firearm, not the USPS.



Please quote the exact USPS reg. That advice is contrary to everything I've read on the subject. When I checked with USPS and went through the reg book with my local Postmaster, they defered to the ATF as to what was and wasn't a firearm and what would be legal to ship.

Remember, the USPS does allow firearms to be shipped, even though they restrict the mailing of handguns to FFL holders. One possible, albiet strict, interperation of that rule is that any firearm shipped via USPS must be shipped in a non-functional configuration.

moredes
September 28, 2004, 08:31 PM
gimme a few minutes. the damn USPS website has been reorganized slightly, and I can't find the regs book now.

addendum:

At http://pe.usps.gov/

under

C024 Other Restricted or Nonmailable Matter

Summary: C024 describs other restricted or nonmailable items (e.g., firearms, sharp instruments, controlled substances, pesticides).

section 1.1.c. FIREARMS means any device, including a starter gun, designed to, or that may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with enough force to be used as a weapon.

The only 3 times I've mailed disassembled guns, I've always declared my assembly of gun parts as just that--"gun parts", and showed the clerks (and supervisors) this portion of the regs; no one has ever questioned it. Since my shipments have been disassembled, they fall specifically under 1.1.c, and not 1.1.a nor 1.1.b (which deal by inference of 1.1.c), with assembled weapons.

BATF does interpret things a little differently, but US mailing laws don't seem to overlap in the 'FFL definition' of a "receiver".

mtnbkr
September 28, 2004, 11:43 PM
I avoid U.P.S. like the plague. I've had much better success with Federal Express.

I had the exact opposite luck. The one time I tried to ship a gun via FedEx, the manager tried to tell me only FFLs could ship guns. I had him show me that reg in the book. It said an owner could ship a gun to an FFL and have it shipped back to him. The example used was if you were to ship a shotgun to a repair facility. Well, the manager took it literally, you could only ship shotguns as a private owner. I never went back.

Are you sure? I'm 99.999% sure this is the way it's interpreted-

I could be wrong. It's such a tangled mass of regulations isn't it...

Chris

Atticus
September 29, 2004, 12:15 AM
No offense Dorrin...but I'd lie to a UPS clerk before I'd post it on the internet. ;)

simmonsguns
September 29, 2004, 12:25 AM
i get to explane this to customers every day.first,fed-ex will ship any firearm,just insure the hell out of it,you will need it.ups is the same way,handguns must go next day air,they don't want them sitting around.never use a box that has any firearm marking what so ever.ruger learned this at our rail hub in downtown kcmo,frieght cars full of marked boxes,lost about 7,000 long arms in one night,that did not hit the news.the best way to ship a firearm to any body is is a plastic hard case,with a cardboard shipping sleave,tape the hell out of it,with us i tell people the use this address,SGR 700 south rogers and so on,the abrevated name is good enough,our shippers know what it is and the address is there.any thing that is the cost of a good truck,like a kollar shotgun needw to be shipped as high cost art,fed-ex is the best at this part,it is all hand carried.insurance claimes happen,ups is the worst at paying them off.right now we are in a legal action with fed-ex though,they have changed there policy about the value of firearms and what is considered high value and what is a 50 year old model 12 worth.

LiquidTension
September 29, 2004, 01:02 AM
My gunsmith took my Kimber to the UPS Store to ship it to the Custom Shop for some warranty work. He told them what it was, paid for it, and they took it. Before you ask about USPS, the UPS store is much closer to the shop. Anyway, I ask him if he's heard anything about two weeks later. He calls Kimber. Guy at Kimber says they never received the gun. Great. He goes back to the UPS Store to inquire. By this time it has been 3 weeks since he dropped it off. He asks about the package, and they GO GET IT FROM THE BACK WHERE IT HAD BEEN SITTING FOR THREE WEEKS. Not until this time did they bother to inform him that they didn't ship handguns, and they never called him during the three weeks to ask him to pick it up. So there my beloved Kimber Pro Carry sat for three weeks, ripe for the taking by any employee that worked during that time period.

I guess I'm lucky it was still there, but that is HORRID business. I usually avoid UPS, but this just cemented my already awful opinion of them.

Trebor
September 29, 2004, 04:23 AM
the only 3 times I've mailed disassembled guns, I've always declared my assembly of gun parts as just that--"gun parts", and showed the clerks (and supervisors) this portion of the regs; no one has ever questioned it. Since my shipments have been disassembled, they fall specifically under 1.1.c, and not 1.1.a nor 1.1.b (which deal by inference of 1.1.c), with assembled weapons.

BATF does interpret things a little differently, but US mailing laws don't seem to overlap in the 'FFL definition' of a "receiver".


Thanks for posting that particular reg. I disagree with your conclusion that a dissassembled firearm is NOT a firearm per the USPS because it is NOT able to be "readily converted....to fire a projectile." I think you are in error there and that your belief that per the USPS that a "dissassembled gun is NOT a gun" is an awfully thin thread to hang a defense on.

Look at Section 1.6 "Certificate of Manufacturers and Dealers." I can't get cut and paste to work so you'll have to read the whole section yourself, but I especially want to point out the phrases "...that the parcels containing handguns (or major component parts thereof) are customary shipments...and that to the best of his or her knowledge or belief, the adresses are licensed manufacturers or dealers in firearms"

The "Or major component parts" language jumps out at me. If a frame is not a "major component part," then what is? A real strict interpertation would mean that only FFL holders can receive ANY major component part, such as a slide or maybe even a barrel, but I think the intent was to signify that even if the firearm is not complete, as long as the "major component part" (i.e. frame) is included, mailing is restricted to FFL holders.

I'd also like to point out section 4.0 "Legal Opinions on Mailing Firearms." That explicitly states that "Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of rifles or shotguns. Contact the nearest office of the Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for further advice."

This establishes that the USPS does defer to the ATF for firearms related legal matters. This also makes sense from a common-sense point of view as well. If the ATF considers the receiver the firearm, why would the USPS NOT consider the receiver a firearm? Postal Regulations do NOT supersede Federal Law and the legal defination of a receiver as a firearm is Federal Law.

I'm honestly not trying to bust your chops. I just don't want anyone to get in trouble through what I consider to be inaccurate advice.

The best advice, as always, is to consult with an attorney familiar with Federal Law regarding firearms and have them review the law and regs and give you a real legal opinion. All this net wrangling is ultimately just amateur speculation.

moredes
September 29, 2004, 08:39 AM
Trebor,

No blood, no foul.:D I don't disagree with you; in fact your interpretation probably is more valid than mine. But.... the problem posed was what do I need to do to convince the PO that my disassembled guns can be sent insured with the local supervisor's blessing (and by default are "acceptable"). The regs, interpreted 'my way', allowed me to pass that obstacle. On two occasions I had to show them the contents, and in my opinion, without a jeweler's screwdriver, the gun parts *aren't* "readily convertible". In the 3rd case, I kept the firing pin and spring (1911), and proved that even assembled, the parts didn't constitute a 'converted' weapon. The 'smith at the other end furnished his own pin and spring, and removed them for the return shipping.

Your logical progression that the USPS defers to BATF (inferred by 4.0) holds water, but then I would argue (as a customer wanting 'my way') that the USPS is an entity unto itself, and should interpret its' own regulations as written--BATF doesn't have the last word--if that were so, a loaded magazine in one's car wouldn't constitute a weapon in California.

your belief that per the USPS that a "dissassembled gun is NOT a gun" is an awfully thin thread to hang a defense on

Just to clarify--I wouldn't use this as a defense in qualifying a gun in court; I interpreted the regs to say that a disassembled gun that can't be reassembled without at least a small screwdriver doesn't constitute a "readily convertible" weapon, and therefore is mailable with insurance to its' destination.

I agree with you--that a lawyer's advice is as close to the judicial interpretation as I'm gonna get without standing before a judge.

Zundfolge
September 29, 2004, 10:38 AM
I guess I'm turning to a "don't ask - don't tell" philosophy.
Which works fine until they lose your gun and you try to make an insurance claim on it.

Guntalk
September 29, 2004, 11:53 AM
Just to make sure this is understood. you may NOT ship a handgun with USPS. That is, the Post Office. You can mail a long gun, but not a handgun.

simmonsguns
September 29, 2004, 09:44 PM
we got another shotgun returned for insurance repair,ups totaly distroyed a shipping crate,it was solid,made out of 2x4's with 1/2 inch plywood top and bottom,padded very well.they ran over it with the fork lift,crushed it and broke the stock,so it goes off to wenig to have one built as the first one was,with adjustable comb,about $2,000 worth of work that ups said and provided a work order letter signed by some supervisor with a check for the claim.the only shipper that deals with handguns without fussing and covers the claims so far is ups,we have a meeting with DHL next week,i will keep you posted on what they say.

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