Shipping handguns sticky


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NGIB
March 24, 2008, 08:10 AM
Not sure where to put this but it needs to be somewhere I think.

Whether it's good or bad a lot of new members first post is in the buy/sell/trade area. In more than a few I see a "senior" member chime in and say something like you can use USPS flat rate or take the gun apart and send the pieces through the mail.

Personally, I'd hate to see a new member end up in serious legal trouble by taking this advice.

The rules (interstate) are as follows. I won't quote the actual cites as they are in many threads here - just do a search:

- Only an FFL may use the US Postal Service to mail a handgun. This is federal law and not just USPS policy. Not sure if a C&R holder can.

- Taking the gun apart and mailing the pieces does not work either - the receiver IS the firearm and must be shipped accordingly.

- A regular person can send a handgun back to the manufacturer for repair and it can be sent directly back to them. Commercial carriers must be used and their policies followed.

- If you live in a state where guns are registered to a person, California comes to mind, the seller must follow the state as well as federal laws to sell it and ship it - probably requires involving an FFL.

- Commercial carriers, like UPS and FEDEX, will ship a handgun to an FFL from a private party but will require that it be sent overnight.

- Just as a side note, many FFLs will not accept a shipment from a non-FFL so check first before you send. Mine does but he's the only one I've found in the Atlanta area that will.

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Mal H
April 9, 2008, 01:20 PM
Not a bad idea (I did a little editing): http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=354661

Car Knocker
April 9, 2008, 01:38 PM
Only an FFL may use the US Postal Service to mail a handgun. This is federal law and not just USPS policy. Not sure if a C&R holder can.

Nope, no USPS for 03FFL.

A regular person (non-FFL holder) can send a handgun back to the manufacturer for repair and it can be sent directly back to them. Commercial carriers (e.g., FedEx and UPS) must be used and their policies followed.

Federal law does not require that the shipper be notified a handgun is being shipped as long as it is being shipped to an FFL (licensed dealers, manufacturers, collectors, etc.), despite shipper regulations requiring notification.

18USC922(e)
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

Mal H
April 9, 2008, 01:51 PM
First change made. Didn't add second one as it would be almost impossible to argue with the shipper and have the firearm shipped if they think they're right. IOW, no need to muddy the waters.

(Quote fixed.)

meef
April 21, 2008, 10:48 PM
When shipping a handgun via UPS or FedEx, you might want to make the package a small as possible. The cost is relatively huge in any event, but size really matters.

A few inches less in girth, length and width can mean a big savings at the counter.

I learned this by watching a sweet, customer-oriented lady at FedEx take my package apart, use a box knife prudently on it, fold it back together noticeably smaller and voila! I saved a bunch of money!

::mutter.... still cost too damn much...::

nalioth
April 21, 2008, 11:18 PM
Depending on your state ( Texas springs to mind ), it is legal for a private party to send a handgun (overnight, of course) to another private party Texas resident, so long as the sender is reasonably aware the buyer is not a prohibited person.

Unfortunately, only UPS' policies allow this, but sometimes you might have to show them their own policies and state and federal laws.

P.S. I have my own 'sticky'. It's called a "bookmark'. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=323555 covers all this and more.

Mal H
April 21, 2008, 11:31 PM
Thanks, more good info in that thread. I've added a link to it in the sticky.

I also added meef's money-saving tip.

GBExpat
July 23, 2008, 02:44 PM
- Only an FFL may use the US Postal Service to mail a handgun. This is federal law and not just USPS policy. C&R holders (03FFL) cannot use the USPS for this purpose.


I would mod the last sentence so that some folks don't get the mistaken idea that longguns cannot be shipped via USPS by 03FFLs.

Mal H
July 23, 2008, 04:33 PM
Thanks. Clarification made.

Condition Zero
August 30, 2008, 06:21 PM
Federal law does not require that the shipper be notified a handgun is being shipped as long as it is being shipped to an FFL (licensed dealers, manufacturers, collectors, etc.), despite shipper regulations requiring notification.

18USC922(e)

Quote:
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

__________________
Don



This is just my interpretation of the languange so feel free to correct me as you see fit if you find cause for disagreement. I felt compelled to reply as I wouldn't want anyone to get in trouble.

I came to this conclusion by removing the extra information to reduce the sentence to its root.

in this example...

It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver to any contract carrier for shipment in interstate commerce any package in which there is any firearm without written notice to the carrier that such firearm is being shipped;


Everything that was removed is still true along with what remains. Therefore if you don't tell the carrier, then it is unlawful. Whether you will get caught or not is another story.

I found this thread while researching this exact issue as I am in need of shipping a handgun. I'm will do more research but will probably just pay fedex or ups the extra money to ship the handgun overnight as they request. This way when I'm insuring the package and they ask me what is inside I can tell them the truth. I would rather pay more, have a clear conscience, and not have to worry about "what if..." with regard to a federal crime. And on that note my question has been answered and my decision made.

Hey, at least i'll save a little money on an FFL transfer fee by shipping it myself :)

Regards

Sylvan-Forge
August 31, 2008, 06:24 AM
Condition Zero,

You missed "other than":

It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped;

I get boogered up in legalese if I don't take it real slow and read it a several times. :o

..

I've got a thread somewhere with a collection of legal stuff in it if you want to sift through it .. I'll see if I can find it ..

.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=345235&highlight=shipping

.

Anyname
January 25, 2009, 11:24 PM
Last I checked, Fed-Ex did not ship handguns. Also, for an individual to ship using UPS, generally you have to go to a UPS hub. Typical store front shippers won't take firearms or even firearm parts.

nalioth
January 26, 2009, 04:54 AM
Last I checked, Fed-Ex did not ship handguns. FedEx ships handguns each and every day of business. Sending your pistol back to the factory? FedEx will take care of it.

They just won't ship handguns between private parties, no matter what the law says.

Revolver Ocelot
March 23, 2009, 09:09 AM
what if you are selling a gun and have to ship it to an ffl, what method of shipping should be used then?

kanook
March 23, 2009, 10:29 AM
I use ups. put in a copy of your DL and a copy of the FFL to where it's going and make sure to insure it.

rbernie
March 23, 2009, 10:37 AM
The fifth and sixth bullets of the Sticky should answer that:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=354661

wrs840
March 23, 2009, 11:38 AM
I place online orders with a Wholesaler who ships handguns via UPS Blue (2nd Day) to my Friend's FFL address no problem. Are you sure about the "Next Day" requirement?

Les

rbernie
March 23, 2009, 11:46 AM
The Next Day requirement is a FedEx/UPS requirement - not a legal one. Anyone shipping a firearm via UPS or FedEx gets hit with this, whether they are an FFl or a private citizen.

Legally, the wholesaler could use USPS since they are doing an Type01 FFL-to-FFL transfer. You and I cannot, since we are not a Type01 FFL.

nalioth
March 28, 2009, 04:51 PM
if it is going to manufacturer you are ok and no overnight necessary. I returned my AK to manufacturer via UPS ground, no FFL stuff required.Both counts are inaccurate.

If you're shipping a handgun via UPS, it has to go overnight (by their policy), no matter where it's going.

Rifles are not subject to the 'overnight' shipping policy of UPS, so can be shipped ground.

Mal H
March 28, 2009, 06:37 PM
Folks - a reminder: this thread is to discuss/correct the content of the shipping handguns sticky. It is not supposed to be a catch all thread for firearm shipping stories. A new thread in the appropriate forum should be opened to cover those topics.

kmewing
July 25, 2009, 09:46 AM
Quote:
In addition, There could be nothing on the box indicating that it contained a firearm. (How would you know then, that the box contained a firearm, I wonder, If I had not just told you?)

They're referring to the address. If you send a package to Smith & Wesson or to Sturm, Ruger & Company, it's an easy bet that there's a gun in the box. When I've sent guns back to Ruger for repair, I addressed the box to "S R & Co." Abbreviate the name so that it's not obvious you're sending something to a gun company.

In addition, the FedEx rules state that the gun must be partially disassembled or in some way rendered inoperable during shipment. When I shipped a single-action revolved back, I removed the cylinder when I packed it.

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2009, 06:59 PM
In addition, the FedEx rules state that the gun must be partially disassembled or in some way rendered inoperable during shipment. When I shipped a single-action revolved back, I removed the cylinder when I packed it.

There are no such Fedex rules.

JohnKSa
July 27, 2009, 02:58 AM
Click on Firearms in the page linked below for Fedex' rules on shipping firearms.

http://fedex.com/us/services/terms/

There is no mention of disassembly being required.

gmerkt
December 17, 2009, 12:17 AM
I can only speak to my own experiences in my own area. I've read FedEx and UPS policies, but when you get out into the field, it can be another arena entirely. The word I have gotten from UPS in this area more than once is, "We do not take firearm shipments from unlicensed persons under any conditions." In recent years, I've only made shipments whereby the arm was returned to the factory for repair or modification. I've explained to UPS counter clerks that this kind of shipment is allowed under federal and state law, but they stand on their policy as previously stated.

In this region, according to an FFL dealer/gun shop where I have dealt for some years, UPS requires overnight shipment of handguns. Their stated reason for this are problems with theft within their own system.

FedEx in my area will take shipment of handguns from unlicensed individuals when being returned for repair or similar. They did invoke the requirement for sending it by overnight service, which I didn't challenge.

It is inadvisable in my opinion to try to deal with one of the common carriers through their franchise stores, i.e., "UPS Store" (the former Mailboxes etc.), or Kinko's for FedEx. You're going to be talking to people how are paid $10 an hour, don't know, don't care, don't want to ask questions of supervision, respond with an answer not based on fact, etc. The franchise holders can make up whatever rules they want, and if they don't wanna take firearms because they are afraid to do so or don't know the law, or just don't like guns, that's their call. Even when you go to a hub center where "real" UPS people are manning the counter, arguments there about their written policies can be futile. It isn't worth the argument; just find a different outlet or carrier.

Basically, you have to tell them what's in the package. From your own standpoint, this is necessary in case of loss/claim actions. Handguns are a serially-numbered, sensitive item and if a loss were to occur, you'd have to report it. UPS has been known to deny claims based on beefs involving declared contents. I can picture them denying a claim if you tell them ex post facto the contents of a package was a handgun.

Internal theft in UPS has made headlines in the not-too-distant past. Some of their big distribution centers made the news, like the Wall Street Journal if I remember correctly. One such was their Denver distribution center. High theft items were firearms and computers. We know the deal about not putting identifying information on the exterior of the package, and firearms makers addresses now are usually abbreviated (e.g., SRC for Sturm, Ruger Co) but it doesn't take thieves long top figure out such shallow ruses.

As time goes by and these carriers tighten up, going to an FFL to ship a firearm may be worthwhile, taking things all around. In this area, if you do not have a friend with an FFL, dealers charge $40 to $60 to do a transfer but I don't know what they charge just to mail something (their end, not including actual shipping charges).

nalioth
December 17, 2009, 01:13 AM
The above post is why you talk to a manager at UPS, if the counterperson is ignorant or wants to show their politics . .

It is spelled out in black and white in their polices "any legal shipment".



P.S. I do wish folks would read these threads. . .

UPS and FedEx will not allow their franchisees to accept firearms for shipment (UPS Store / FedEX Kinkos). Firearms must be shipped at their hub only.

JohnKSa
December 17, 2009, 01:18 AM
The word I have gotten from UPS in this area more than once is...Are you speaking to actual UPS employees at actual UPS locations or are you talking about the retail shipping "stores" scattered about?

UPS policy on shipping firearms is posted on their website:

http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/guidelines/firearms.html

Special Procedures for Shipping Firearms

Use These UPS Services for Your Firearm Shipment
UPS accepts packages containing firearms, as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code, for transportation from and between licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors, as defined in Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code, law enforcement agencies of the United States (or of any department or agency of the United States) and law enforcement agencies of any state or department agency (or political subdivision of any state), and from and between persons not otherwise prohibited from shipping firearms by federal, state or local law and when such shipment complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws applicable to the shipper, recipient and package.

zxcvbob
December 17, 2009, 01:42 AM
The Next Day requirement is a FedEx/UPS requirement - not a legal one. Anyone shipping a firearm via UPS or FedEx gets hit with this, whether they are an FFl or a private citizen. Unless you don't tell them. If you are shipping to an FFL, or are shipping intrastate, or shipping to yourself, you have no legal obligation to tell them you are shipping a gun -- in spite of what their policies say or the ATF's FAQ web page says. (see the applicable law quoted in post #3 of this thread)

Take the package to the nearest UPS Customer Service Center and ship it there, don't take it to a Mailbox Express or other UPS franchise location. (I'm not sure about FedEx Kinko's.) If you feel obligated to tell them what's in the package, just write it on the shipping form that nobody reads anyway, don't tell the clerk.

nalioth
December 17, 2009, 02:11 AM
zxcybob, it's all well and good to know the law, but when your gun gets stolen or damaged in transport, and you try to claim insurance on your ".30 caliber nine-iron", they're gonna tell you where to step off . . .

zxcvbob
December 17, 2009, 09:43 AM
Their gonna do that anyway. Have you ever known anyone to actually collect from UPS for a lost or damaged package? If they don't know it's a gun, maybe they'll be less likely to steal it. (I wrote "S&W", the model number, and the serial number on the form)

RX-79G
January 2, 2014, 04:27 PM
UPS does not consider a pistol frame to a be a "handgun". If you ship a pistol receiver with UPS as a "Firearms receiver", it does not have to be shipped Overnight and can go Ground.

By dividing a pistol into two boxes, both can be shipped UPS ground for less than the cost of Overnight.


There is no flim-flam in this. While the law does see a difference between handgun receivers and rifle receivers for Postal Service standards, this distinction does not apply to private carriers. UPS does not choose to designate a different standard between pistol and rifle receivers in their internal shipping policies, and are happy to ship "receivers" of whatever type without discriminating. Complete handguns are the subject of their Overnight only policy.

Mal H
January 2, 2014, 07:40 PM
RX-79G, that doesn't sound correct. Do you have an official statement from UPS that a handgun receiver (without the frame) is not required to be shipped by air? Any thing else would be considered hearsay, and should not be the basis for breaking their rules.

In the UPS instructions you will find this:
Receivers or frames of a firearm are considered "firearms" and are accepted for transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS's requirements for shipping firearms. What do you have that refutes that statement?

Frank Ettin
January 2, 2014, 09:31 PM
Note also that both the UPS tariffs (http://www.ups.com/media/en/terms_service_us.pdf) and FedEx tariffs (http://www.fedex.com/us/service-guide/terms/express-ground/index.html) define "firearm" by reference to applicable federal law.

zxcvbob
January 3, 2014, 09:22 AM
RX-79G, that doesn't sound correct. Do you have an official statement from UPS that a handgun receiver (without the frame) is not required to be shipped by air? Any thing else would be considered hearsay, and should not be the basis for breaking their rules.
Note also that both the UPS tariffs and FedEx tariffs define "firearm" by reference to applicable federal law.

If you are shipping to a licensee, does it matter as long as you follow all the federal laws? (box is properly unmarked, shipped from the actual carrier's depot, etc) You're even going the extra mile and informing the carrier that it's a receiver. Please don't reference the BATF's FAQ because we've already established that is wrong -- more restrictive than what the actual statute says.

I have had a FFL ship a C&R handgun to me by UPS Ground! If I recall correctly, it didn't even require a signature.

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 11:25 AM
If you are shipping to a licensee, does it matter as long as you follow all the federal laws? (box is properly unmarked, shipped from the actual carrier's depot, etc) You're even going the extra mile and informing the carrier that it's a receiver....If you don't follow UPS/FedEx policies you have failed to abide by your contract with the company (since the tariffs are deemed incorporated into the contract of carriage). That means they can deny any insurance claim if the shipment is lost or damaged.

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