Moving to Texas - how to get my guns there?


June 16, 2006, 01:52 AM
I will be relocating from California to Texas in July. I have several handguns (10), no rifles. What do you think is the best method to get them there. I have a safe that weights 350 pounds. I was thinking about wrapping the snot out of them in their cases and stuff the safe with bubble wrap. I dont want to drive for 2 or 3 days, but would rather fly on the companies dime.

My company is paying for a moving service to pack everything, but thoght that I might want to do the honors with my pieces.

Same question with reloading equipment? I have a dillon xl650, tumbler, media separator, tons of brass, bullets, powder, primers, and best of all, a ton of ammo. Should I sell off the components(primers and powder) and keep the brass, bullets?

Good ideas, bad ideas?

Looking for suggestions from you fine people.



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June 16, 2006, 02:17 AM
Now I'm curious about something, if you were to ship them to yourself, would you need to be an FFL? Even though they're yours?

I know it sounds like a ridiculous question, but for some reason, I think the answer might be more ridiculous.

June 16, 2006, 02:26 AM
You can ship them to yourself for you own personal use without an FFL, but it might be more trouble than its worth trying to convince the kid at the UPS counter that it is legal to do.

Sell off of the primers and powder as I don't think the company will ship them for you. Depending on the quantity of powder, I might just dump in in the garden and then water it down. It makes decent fertilizer. If you are talking pounds though...sell it.

June 16, 2006, 02:26 AM
I just moved to Washington from Texas all my guns were in my truck with me and as far as I know it was all completely legall but I drove and it did take 3 days, just curious will the company pay for your gas if so there is some really pretty things to along the way.

Good Luck.

June 16, 2006, 02:35 AM
Jerry, where in Texas are you moving to anyways?

Hop, What about if he shipped them via airfreight? Forget UPS or FedEx, use an actual shipping/trucking company. Oh, but then again, his compay is hiring a moving company. hmm... I'd take advantage of the moving company. What are your concerns? Just leave the replacable stuff behind, powder/primers etc... I'm sure someone on THR could benefit.

June 16, 2006, 02:54 AM
You will be welcome in Texas with your guns. If it was me, I'd travel with my hardware. You can ship them to yourself and not be in violation of any law. I don't think I'd trust my valuable hardware to a moving company. If your employer is paying for your move, simply send the guns UPS or FedEx and charge it to moving expenses.

Enjoy your stay in the Great Republic!

June 16, 2006, 10:13 AM
them to Texas..........That is what I did quite a long time ago when I moved back here......Carried my ammo along too....Just drive safe and legal......chris3

June 16, 2006, 10:56 AM
Put them in your car and drive to Texas. Don't let them out of your possession.

If you ship all of them and they get 'lost' you will never forgive yourself.

A 2-3 day drive is nothing.

June 16, 2006, 11:03 AM
I put all of mine in cases and transported them in the safe. Ammo went in a footlocker in the trunk of my car. Worked fine for me.

June 16, 2006, 11:06 AM
Throw em in the back seat and stick the safe in a U-haul trailer. Drive to your new home.

Welcome to the Lone Star Republic. :D

If you're really adverse to driving I really don't know. The myriad shipping companies have been getting bad reps lately. Someone on shipped a legally registered HK machinegun by UPS And they destroyed the thing and refused to make good on the insurance claim even though everything was done right.

June 16, 2006, 11:50 AM
The best thing to do is to ship them all to me. I promise to keep them safe and give them back when you get here.

Really. Bwahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa..... :evil:

June 16, 2006, 05:28 PM
Get all your valuables like guns & jewelry, stocks, software, etc out of the house a day before the movers arrive. You will be moving that stuff yourself in a car...see if your company will give you a mileage payment or something.

Bribe your moving crew--a bit of cash to the driver to divvy out to the packers, food and water/gatorade for all. Don't be cheap--they can make your move a breeze or a living hell.

Once you and your moved goods arrive, bribe the new crew in the same way the prior crew was treated.

You can sell your moving boxes if you unpack them, lots of folks will buy them from you. If the movers unpack IIRC, they take the boxes with them.

I suggest you unpack your own stuff--after all, many unpacking/unloading crews just got their company t-shirt that morning from the 'work needed' line on the corner...

BTW, our move on the company nickel in 2003 went smoothly. We hauled our own valuables, bribed our crews and had VERY minimal damage.

Be sure to file a damage report on anything that got damaged.

June 16, 2006, 05:49 PM
You're flying? Get some large luggage and fly with them in your checked luggage. Ten locked pistol cases might fit in the bottom of a large travel case. Just remember, at the airport you're going to have to open and tag each box for the "Nice TSA Agent."

Heck - I might have to do that sometime just to enjoy the looks I'd get. ;-)

powder and primers... on your own there.

two notes
-- unloaded, can have a factory box or two of ammo in the bag if you want something on hand at the other end.
-- weight limits per checked bag are not your friend when you do this. Be Careful.

June 16, 2006, 05:49 PM
Welcome to Texas Jerry. Being a gun guy, your gonna love Texas. Say goodby to all the Calif crap associated with RKBA.

What part of this great state are you coming to?


June 16, 2006, 06:32 PM
When the military moved all my stuff from California to Maryland, the shippers arrived and packaged up all my stuff. The shipping company subcontracted with another shipping company to move my stuff. The second shipping company unpacked everything the first company had packed up and repacked it (on the government's dime of course) and then shipped it to Maryland. Nothing was missing or damaged but I was rather upset that had happened. I called the original shipping company to complain and apparently it's a common occurence when companies use subcontractors.

I wouldn't trust firearms or small valuables that are difficult to replace to the shipping company. There's no telling who will have access to your stuff.

Call the airline you'll be flying on and find out how many handguns you can check as baggage, and what the excess baggage fees for ten would cost (it should be in the neighborhood of $150).

Sam Adams
June 16, 2006, 06:35 PM
Welcome to Texas. You'll like the gun laws here, as well as the lack of an income tax and a lower incidence of mentally-challenged public servants (we have some, but Kali and NJ-where I'm originally from-have many more).

First of all, movers generally won't take firearms, and certainly won't take ammo or powder - their insurance won't cover them.

Second, you don't want the guns to be out of your possession. Even if you have full replacement value insurance on them, and no sentimentality tied to any of them, the idea of them being stolen and used by criminals to victimize innocents should make you recoil. I drove from NJ (story below) and have no regrets - well, except for Louisiana being the most boring state in the country to drive through, but that's in my past. DRIVE!

As to my story...I used to live in NJ, or the PRNJ as us gunnies call it. I had several items that NJ law didn't exactly like us peons to have, so when I passed the "Welcome to Delaware" sign while crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I casually turned to my wife of 1 1/2 years (she being utterly ignorant of firearms laws and my stock of possessions at that point) and said, "Now you won't have to bail me out of jail." I got the bug-eyes and she almost broke her jaw on the floor before asking me to explain. I told her about magazines above 15 rounds being illegal in the PRNJ, and the penalty (5 years in the pen, EACH). She asked how many I had, and I told her, "well, less than 18 inches behind our butts are about 200 years in Rahway [a PRNJ high-security prison] worth." More bug-eyes. Then she asked, "Do they have laws like that in Texas?" "No. Texas is in America." End of conversation.

BTW, I never mentioned to her about the many hundreds of hollowpoint rounds that I also had in the car, all of which the PRNJ grossly disapproves of in proletariat hands.

Oh, in addition to being able to buy whatever guns, magazines and ammo you want in Texas, you can also carry legally without any problem - just take a class, pay some bucks and you're carrying within a couple of months, all quite legally. And if you're going to the San Antonio area, you can go to the Bullet Hole and rent machine guns (or buy them, if you make the right offer). Just like California, right?

June 16, 2006, 06:51 PM
I have move a couple of times and have a good collection of long arms. This is what I did and it worked out well:

Build a few crates to take your firearms. The length is determined by the length of the firearm - most of mine are long arms. Be sure you don't put more than about five rifles or your risk damaging the guns and it'll be too heavy to move around.
Wrap each firearm in a few layers of bubble wrap. Lay them inside the crates so they spoon together as nicely as possible.
Fill in any void areas with approprate packing mateirals -- shreaded newspaper, bubble pack, packing peanuts, etc.
Put them in you vehicle and take them to the destination yourself -- DO NOT LET THE MOVERS TAKE THEM as you'll have no controll over their handling and movers are interested in getting the most in the trailer as quickly as possible.
Don't let anyone --- ANYONE --- know what's in the crates.

Texas is a good place for gun owners but it's best not to let the neighbors (especially the teenage kids), movers, busy-bodies know your business. We have a LOT of people who've moved into Texas since the mid-80's that feel their East-coast ways should be forced on everyone. (OK... I'm ranting now... breath....)

Glad your coming to God's favorite state. We need all the good ones we can get!

On checking firearms to fly... I don't think that's a good idea. One or two is fine and won't get anyone "concerned". A large number of them and you WILL pay very high air-shipping rates as it will magically change from luggage to cargo in the eyes of the airline. Plus -- the efforts of our wonderful TSA aside -- luggage handlers still steal stuff and firearms stick out with all the extra tagging. Now a'days, firearms get a nice bright sticker placed on the outside of the case their in. You can see the damb things from inside the aircraft as they load the baggage in the hull!

Also -- and I hesitate to add this part as it makes me sound like a Conspirikook -- a buddy of mine flew with two AR's to a rifle meet. He checked the luggage and everything went smoothly. Since then he ALWAYS gets a wand search when he flys. Before that one flight he was never singled out. I am not one for conspiracies, but there might be a "watch list" that people that travel(ed) with firearms end up on.

June 16, 2006, 07:32 PM
Thanks for the many great many replies. I will talk to the wife and drive out there.

I will be moving to the San Antonio area near Sea World. The wife has a nice Ryland home picked out already as we made 2 trips there to find housing. Our home will be ready in July, ahead of our move.

I will be an engineer for the new Toyota plant going in on the south side of bexar county. I look forward to spending a good anount of hard earned cash obtaining guns that I have always wanted, but couldnot get here in Cali.

All the best


June 16, 2006, 07:49 PM
You're in trouble, the phrase kid in a candy store comes to mind.


June 16, 2006, 07:52 PM
Now a'days, firearms get a nice bright sticker placed on the outside of the case their in. You can see the damb things from inside the aircraft as they load the baggage in the hull!

When did they start doing this? I fly a lot and haven't had that happen to me.

June 16, 2006, 08:20 PM
First of all, movers generally won't take firearms
I got estimates from two different nationally known movers; neither one had a problem with the guns or the safe. They just wouldn't take the ammo. My guns and the safe were clearly on the manifest as well as the itemized inventory I made for myself. I put all my pistols in hard plastic cases on the floor of the safe after putting all the shelves on the bottom first, then put all the rifles in softsided cases on the other side, and then wedged everything in with a large amount of bubblewrap. I locked the safe, they loaded it on the truck, and there it stayed until the truck arrived in Austin. They unloaded the safe, put it in the garage, and there it sits.

June 16, 2006, 08:28 PM
I think you should be fine packing them inside your safe and locking the safe. The moving crew will not steal or loose such a large object.

My experience with moving companies (when the company is paying, which includes packing/unpacking, car transport) is that I'd much rather pack my own things (ask them for boxes) and leave the big items, dishes, and clothing for them to pack. Also, if you can pick your moving company, get one where they'll transport your car inside the trailer w/ your stuff. This way you get everything at once.

The last time I moved to Texas from CA, I took the cash out option and just sold everything in CA and drove to TX. :)

June 16, 2006, 08:33 PM
Is it true that when you move to Texas with more than 10 guns that the new neighbors throw you a party?

June 16, 2006, 09:52 PM
Is it true that when you move to Texas with more than 10 guns that the new neighbors throw you a party?
Well, I got a welcome package with a couple of chilis, a bottle of pre-mixed margaritas and two glasses, and a few other things. Next time I'm asking for mojitos instead. :evil:

June 16, 2006, 10:30 PM
When I moved from the northeast to Oregon, about 2/3's of the guns were sent with the movers -- in their orginal boxes inside a 450lb. safe - probably weighing over 550lbs since it was packed with stuff. The rest were with me in the car. I had to do it that way because my full-sized safe would not fit in my car, and the safe that I could fit would only hold about 1/3 of my guns. Deciding which ones to take took me about two days!

The movers said that to insure the contents of the safe, I would have to list them on a special document with serial numbers. I refused, since my home owners umbrella policy already covered them (I confirmed that they would be covered during the move) and I had no interest in them knowing the exact contents of the safe.

As a side story, when the movers arrived to unload they did so from the side door of the trailer, without a liftgate. It was painful to watch those two guys lower my safe down to the ground... but it had to be more painful for them doing it!

June 16, 2006, 11:15 PM
Current purchase law in California requires residents to verify to the State where you actually live. That's established by presenting a utility bill to the countergeek at the gunshop/store.

This requirement reeks of a future confinscation...which has happened before. Upon arrival in Texas, I'd contact the California State Dept of Justice and notify them in writting you no longer reside in the State. Bench warrants are easiliy obtained...

June 16, 2006, 11:36 PM

That's a good point.
My family and I will be in San Antonio by the end of August. A few of my EBRs are CA registered, so I imagine I'll want to let CA know I'm no longer there and that despite their best efforts, my daughter will be inheriting my firearms.


Congrats on getting out!
We'll be out there soon after!


Mr Kablammo
June 17, 2006, 11:29 PM
Yep, put 'em in the trunk and drive on. I moved to the great state of Texas from the impotent state of New York on 09/09/2001. On 09/11/2001 I left Arkedelphia, AR for San Antone just after the WTC buildings collapsed. About a dozen rifles and shotguns behind the seat and the bed piled high with boxes, bags and a sinister black duffel bag full of underwear,and NY state plates. Dudes, I was manufacturing bricks on a world-class scale. The only thing more frightening than being stopped by the TX DPS was NOT being stopped by the TX DPS.

The problem for us citizens is moving from states like Texas to those like NY or CA.

Sam Adams
June 19, 2006, 01:19 PM
I will be moving to the San Antonio area near Sea World.

Welcome to San Antone! You will be right near The Bullet Hole that I talked of earlier - less than 5 miles away. They sell and rent guns there, and you'll enjoy the range and the people. I hope to see you there myself (and you can certainly PM me any time).

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