How do you ship a gun?


June 9, 2009, 11:49 PM
My sister in TX has inherited my mother's S&W Model 31 . She has no interest in it so she is going to give it to me. I live in CA. What's the procedure involved in getting that gun to me? US Mail? UPS?
Also, must it go to a licensed gun dealer to be registered? Does it have to be registered? Can I take it to a gun dealer once I get it?
Thanks for any help

btw, it looks brand new, never fired afaik. It has the original box and instructions. I don't plan to shoot it. Maybe keep it and see what the value on it might be.

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June 10, 2009, 12:47 AM
About shipping, you can study that here:

CA laws are encapsulated and explained here:

Since you are in CA, this may get complicated. I am not a CA resident, but they have an "approved list" of handguns they want to restrict your ownership to. Because this is an inheritance, and thus yours, or perhaps because it's potentially older and possibly a C&R gun, you may not have to deal with that. You will want to hear from a CA resident about this, or ask at, which is made up of CA residents more knowledgeable about these subtleties. They may also be able to help find an FFL transfer agent near you.

June 10, 2009, 11:48 AM
It was an inheritance to the sister in TX, NOT to Five-O in California. It is an interstate transfer between the sister in TX and Five-O in California, therefore it has to go through an FFL in California.

June 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
Its C&R status is only meaningful if Five-O has a C&R license otherwise it's just another non-antique firearm. Also, if Five-O has a C&R license, California has some unique ideas about just what this allows. He needs to get with somebody with CA gun regulation savvy.

June 10, 2009, 04:35 PM
NavyLt, actually, it's not really an inheritance. My mom is still alive! lol
Or can it still be an inheritance if someone *is* alive? If this is so, then I can claim that *I* inherited it.
But I'll take the advice of the other replies and check CA rules.
Thank you all

Jim K
June 10, 2009, 06:56 PM
It needs to go to a licensed dealer.

First, Five-O needs to check with his dealer in CA to see if 1) the gun is OK to ship to CA and 2) obtain a copy of the dealer's license to send to the shipper.

Once the shipper has the recipient's FFL copy, he or she can ship the gun through UPS or Fed Ex (NOT US Postal Service). He/should make copies of the license, keep one, one for the carrier, and one to put in with the gun in the box.

If there is a friendly dealer in the shipping state, he can mail the gun at less cost but might also charge a fee. Expect the receiving dealer to charge a fee also; that should be worked out in advance.

(I can't imagine that a little .32 would be illegal in CA, but the lawmakers out there are so insane they make the ones in MD look almost rational.)


June 10, 2009, 09:24 PM
Unless you managed to fit a rifle or shotgun into a Flat Rate Box, you broke a number of Federal laws and I wouldn't be bragging about it on the internet.:barf:

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