Confused about shipping handguns.


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kmullins
July 16, 2009, 05:16 PM
Hello, I am to the point now where I am going to begin selling some handguns. I will start on this forum and then go to gunbroker if necessary. I am running into a lot of different people saying a lot of different things about shipping handguns. I am located in California.

The scenario would be this, I sell the handgun either through here or gunbroker, either buyer is in state or out of state, and I want to ship the handgun to their FFL of choice. Is this compliant?

Can I ship through UPS and can it go ground?

Thanks.

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dreamer56
July 16, 2009, 06:37 PM
PM sent.

1987rx7guy
July 16, 2009, 06:43 PM
....

senior
July 16, 2009, 06:44 PM
Shipping through UPS it MUST go overnight if YOU are doing the shipping with a copy of your FFL in hand, If you go through a FFL dealer he can ship UPS priority main (2-3 days). By shipping overnight via UPS or Fedex you will pay a much higher shipping fee, but also save FFL fees. Either way they GOTCH YA

jhco
July 16, 2009, 06:54 PM
You must ship to a ffl. If you ship UPS or FEDEX then it must be shipped next day air.
If you take it to a ffl dealer then they can ship it via usps priority but most dealers will charge a fee + the shipping fee.
Make sure you check the FFL number they sent you before you ship.

cowart
July 16, 2009, 07:11 PM
You might want to read some more informed information:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Support/SupportFAQView.asp?FAQID=1118&NoCount=1

cowart
July 16, 2009, 07:12 PM
AFAIK guns must go FFL---->FFL
What is the source of your information?

DHJenkins
July 16, 2009, 07:17 PM
You have to ship overnight (company policy) through either DHL, UPS or Fedex if you're shipping a gun.

Or, you can find a local FFL who will charge you a fee to transfer through USPS. The last time I looked up shipping a handgun overnight, it was like $60. My local FFL charges $20 + actual shipping, which is obviously way cheaper.

1987rx7guy
July 16, 2009, 07:38 PM
Hmm, I guess the FFL that took in my AR lied to me. Please disregard my post!

Mags
July 16, 2009, 10:41 PM
You don't have to ship FFL to FFL if the recieving FFL doesn't mind recieving from a private party. This can bite you in the but however if the gun needs to be returned to you , because you are not a FFL and cannot recieve guns that are no longer yours.

raskolnikov_22
July 16, 2009, 10:42 PM
UPS and Fedex policy requires handguns to be shipped overnight.

In my experience buying on Gunbroker maybe 75% of sellers completely disregard these rules, arguing that because it's a company policy and not a law, they're don't have to comply. For insurance purposes though you want to follow the rules.

The cheapest way is to contract to have your FFL ship it through the PO. Since you're planning to sell a few, maybe you could even get a reduced rate on his fee.

glummer
July 17, 2009, 09:17 AM
I believe USPS won't ship handguns (which is why you're stuck with the private services and their high charges.) But what about parts? Does anyone know if one could disassemble a pistol, and send the parts in separate packages, via snail mail?

cane
July 17, 2009, 09:26 AM
No matter how many parts you disassemble the firearm into, the part with the serial number is a firearm.

hanno
July 17, 2009, 10:43 AM
Does anyone know if one could disassemble a pistol, and send the parts in separate packages, via snail mail?

Cannot do it, the serial numbered frame is the firearm per federal law.

18 USC 921
"Sec. 921. Definitions

(a) As used in this chapter--

(3) The term "firearm'' means (A) any weapon (including a starter
gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a
projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of
any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any
destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm."

glummer
July 17, 2009, 11:12 AM
Cannot do it, the serial numbered frame is the firearm per fereral law.

But only under that specific Federal law : As used in this chapter--.

The law you quote is not from USPS regulations. ATF regulations do not use the word "firearm" in exactly the usual sense - that's why there is the specific definition in the law.

The Postal Service will happily mail some firearms - just not handguns. So what I'm asking is, is there any restriction regarding parts of a handgun (not the whole thing). That is, could one mail the serial-numbered frame of a pistol to an FFL for transfer (since it is not a handgun, just a part), and mail the other parts to the buyer directly?

cowart
July 17, 2009, 11:16 AM
I believe USPS won't ship handguns
You "believe" wrong - FFL holders can and do ship handguns via USPS every day.

glummer
July 17, 2009, 11:21 AM
the part with the serial number is a firearm
But is it a "handgun" under USPS definitions?

FFL holders can and do ship handguns via USPS every day.
I am not an FFL holder, not did the OP state that he was, so I assume we are talking about ordinary citizens, who CANNOT mail handguns (unless the regs have changed since the last time I tried.).

hags
July 17, 2009, 11:31 AM
USPS is the only way I ship handguns. It is the least expensive and most secure way to ship them period!
You must be a licensed dealer with your FFL on file at the PO to ship them. There are also other regulations and of course paperwork.

With regard to UPS, you don't have to ship handguns overnight anymore. You can ship them Second Day Air Saver.

They all require a signature at the receiving end per federal law.

Trebor
July 17, 2009, 12:57 PM
The Postal Service will happily mail some firearms - just not handguns. So what I'm asking is, is there any restriction regarding parts of a handgun (not the whole thing). That is, could one mail the serial-numbered frame of a pistol to an FFL for transfer (since it is not a handgun, just a part), and mail the other parts to the buyer directly?


No, legally the frame *is* the handgun, and a handgun can not be mailed via USPS, unless the person sending it has a dealer FFL.

The USPS defers to the ATF ruling as to what is, and isn't, a "firearm." A handgun frame *is* a firearm, even if no other parts are present.

I don't know where you think you are seeing a rules contradiction, but this has been a settled subject for years.

barricade
July 17, 2009, 01:32 PM
According to federal law you must ship a handgun using a common or contract carrier. You may not ship USPS. Ship your handgun to the FFL dealer using ups express air saver or fed ex express saver. Both of these methods are the cheapest and are gaureteed delivery within 3 days. You do not have to ship overnight, which can get very expensive. Both carriers require only that you ship express. When shipping to a FFL dealer include a legible copy of your drivers licence or state issued id. FFL's are required to have such info on file.

barricade
July 17, 2009, 01:35 PM
by the way. Trebor is correct. The handgun frame is still considered a firearm and cannot be mailed through the usps. must still ship fed ex or ups.,

glummer
July 17, 2009, 01:57 PM
I keep getting answers to questions I didn't ask. :banghead:

The USPS policy in question regards HANDGUNS specifically, not FIREARMS generally.

If the handgun frame is a firearm, legally, it does not necessarily follow that it is still a handgun, legally.

deadin
July 17, 2009, 02:09 PM
glummer,
Your question pertaining to mailing a handgun via USPS has been answered several times. We can't help it if it isn't the answer you want.
To reiterate: Mailing a handgun via the US Postal Service requires that both the shipper AND the recipient be FFL01s*(dealers). YOU can mail all of the "parts" of a handgun to whoever you want other than the receiver, which, by definition, is the "handgun".

* There are several exceptions to this statement, none of which pertain to you or any other regular citizen. (i.e. Gunsmiths, manufacturers, laws enforcement, etc.)

kmullins
July 17, 2009, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to be giving my FFL a call as soon as I get ready to sell. Seems like the little bit extra to go through my FFL might not be a bad idea and could be worth it.

glummer
July 17, 2009, 04:38 PM
...other than the receiver, which, by definition, is the "handgun".
Which definition is that? I have seen a legal definition that the receiver is the "firearm", but none saying that it is also the "handgun". I'm not saying it isn't - either could be possible, depending on the way the law is written. No one has cited a law saying the that the part is also the whole, legally.

Trebor
July 17, 2009, 06:02 PM
I keep getting answers to questions I didn't ask.

Well, that could be that the question you ask doesn't make a lot of sense, so we're trying to give you what we think you need to know.

The USPS policy in question regards HANDGUNS specifically, not FIREARMS generally.

Ok, I'll take your word for it that thats what the USPS policy states. I used to have a copy, but don't know where it is.

But, the USPS defers to the ATF as to definitions of "firearms," "handguns" and "rifles."

If the handgun frame is a firearm, legally, it does not necessarily follow that it is still a handgun, legally.

Why not? The frame *is* a firearm. It needs to be a *type* of firearm. If it is a "handgun frame," then the *type* of firearm it is classified as is a "handgun." Why would it be anything *other* then a handgun.

No one has cited a law saying the that the part is also the whole, legally.

I believe that's in the ATF FAQ, or if not the FAQ, at least in the ATF regs, and probably available on-line. But, you know, I'm not going to make the effort to dig it up for you. We're telling you the way things are: If you don't want to believe it, do your own research. Just because you can't find it, doesn't mean we have to do your work for you.

Or, do what you want, ignore the fact that everyone else agrees that the frame *is* the gun, and take your chances legally. All the same to me.

hags
July 17, 2009, 06:34 PM
If the handgun frame is a firearm, legally, it does not necessarily follow that it is still a handgun, legally.

This is absurd. This helps no one. If you want to have semantic arguments this isn't the thread for it.

Which definition is that? I have seen a legal definition that the receiver is the "firearm", but none saying that it is also the "handgun". I'm not saying it isn't - either could be possible, depending on the way the law is written. No one has cited a law saying the that the part is also the whole, legally.

Again, you're getting in the way of people that have real answers to the OP's question.

hanno
July 17, 2009, 08:19 PM
We will make it real simple. Handguns are nonmailable (with the exceptions of FFL to FFL and some other extremely limited circumstances). Handguns are firearms. Federal law defines a firearm to include the frame.


Federal law regarding mailing:

Section 1715. Firearms as nonmailable; regulations
Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mail or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such articles may be conveyed in the mail, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe, for use in connection with their official duty, to officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps; to officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district; to officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitments; to employees of the Postal Service; to officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States; and to watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district. Such articles also may be conveyed in the mail to manufacturers of firearms or bona fide dealers therein in customary trade shipments, including such articles for repairs or replacement of parts, from one to the other, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe. Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any pistol, revolver, or firearm declared nonmailable by this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
18 U.S.C. 1715

18 USC 921
"Sec. 921. Definitions

(a) As used in this chapter--

(3) The term "firearm'' means (A) any weapon (including a starter
gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a
projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of
any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any
destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm."

(29) The term “handgun” means—
(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and
(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.

Domestic Mail Manual
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/dmm300_landing.htm
601 Mailability
11.0 Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter
11.1 Pistols, Revolvers, and Other Concealable Firearms
11.1.1 Definitions

The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:

a. Handgun means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm or device the mailing of which is regulated by this standard.

b. Pistol or revolver means a handgun styled to be fired by the use of a single hand and to fire or otherwise 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.

c. Firearm 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.

dogtown tom
July 17, 2009, 11:39 PM
hags: ...You must be a licensed dealer with your FFL on file at the PO to ship them...

No such requirement.

All that is required by USPS regulations is a Form 1508 be submitted by the firearms dealer for each shipment. If you post office made you give them a copy of your FFL they overstepped their authority.

My local post office tried pulling the "we need a copy of your license" with me this spring. I had been mailing firearms with a 1508 for over six months with no problems. It took an additional twenty minutes with me and a postal inspector on speakerphone to convince the branch mgr that I was correct.

hags
July 18, 2009, 01:19 AM
Yeah, I pointed out the regulations about the Form 1508 (which you have to use everytime you ship a handgun) but got tired of dicking around. Nobody at my local PO knew anything about mailing guns let alone handguns.

They do send quite a few people my way, and have generally relaxed after I have educated them over the last 5 years.

Shipping a handgun via USPS is great and has allowed me to keep my cost of shipping to a flat $25.

Flat rate box, $10, Registered w/insurance $13-$14, meets all federal requirements and I've never had anything lost or damaged.

I have a commercial UPS account and even with my quantity discount rates shipping a handgun via Second Day Air Saver is on average double the USPS rate.

glummer
July 18, 2009, 09:59 AM
Thanks for the detail hanno - but - it does not say what you claim it does:

Federal law regarding mailing:

Section 1715. Firearms as nonmailable; regulations
Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable and ...
18 U.S.C. 1715
This section says nothing about a handgun frame being a "handgun";

18 USC 921
"Sec. 921. Definitions

(a) As used in this chapter--

(3) The term "firearm'' means (A) any weapon (including a starter
gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a
projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of
any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any
destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm."
This does not define handgun at all (and it is also a different chapter from the previous quote, so it may not apply at all)

(29) The term “handgun” means—
(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and
(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.
Again, this is only for this chapter, and in any case a handgun frame, by itself, does NOT meet the definition, since it cannot be fired at all, by any number of hands, nor is it designed to be fired, without additional parts. (A) clearly refers to a functional firearm, not a part.

Domestic Mail Manual
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/dmm300_landing.htm
601 Mailability
11.0 Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter
11.1 Pistols, Revolvers, and Other Concealable Firearms
11.1.1 Definitions

The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:

a. Handgun means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm or device the mailing of which is regulated by this standard.

b. Pistol or revolver means a handgun styled to be fired by the use of a single hand and to fire or otherwise 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.

c. Firearm 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.

This is an entirely different rule, apparently not even a law, issued by the USPS, not Congress, so whatever definitions are in 18 USC are totally irrelevant, absent some explicit connection.
And:
"a" is circular, so it tells us nothing useful (basically, "anything regulated by this standard is regulated by this standard and will be called a handgun" - they could call the NY Times a handgun, if they mentioned it in these regs);
a handgun frame does not fit either "b"or "c".

Again, I am not saying a frame is mailable - it very well may not be. However, nothing that anyone has quoted clearly says so. (Many posters have asserted that frames are restricted as unmailable, by regulation or law, but no one has proven it.)

Thanks for your efforts, though; I appreciate the attempt to produce evidence, rather than unsupported claims.

glummer
July 18, 2009, 11:07 AM
Or, do what you want, ignore the fact that everyone else agrees that the frame *is* the gun,
Your logic leads to absurd conclusions. If the frame *is* the gun, then a rifle or shotgun receiver *is* a rifle or shotgun; and, since all ordinary receivers are less than 26" or 28" long, it follows, by your reasoning, that all such receivers, if not assembled into a full-length gun, are in violation of NFA rules. So every time I break down my little Rossi single-shot, the ATF could come knocking at my door? And everyone one who buys an AR lower is buying an NFA weapon? Sure hope they are not monitoring this thread.:eek:

glummer
July 18, 2009, 11:31 AM
The USPS defers to the ATF ruling as to what is, and isn't, a "firearm."
Not true. ATF is OK with muzzleloaders, longgun or handgun, without an FFL involved, but USPS definitions would make an 1860 Army a handgun, same as a cartridge gun, and would need an FFL to mail. The definitions are NOT the same.

hanno
July 18, 2009, 11:48 AM
glummer

Thanks for the detail hanno - but - it does not say what you claim it does:

Oh it does indeed. Title 18 of the U.S. Code is a portion of the Code dealing with "Crimes and Criminal Procedure"

You apparently wish that the federal definition of "firearm" and the specifics regarding the crime of mailing a handgun were not contained within the same federal law. They are.

Both "Section 1715. Firearms as nonmailable; regulations"
and "Sec. 921. Definitions" fall within Title18.

Title 18 uses the definition of firearm and handgun contained within the title as it applies to the crimes specified within the title.

You also conveniently ignore this statement in the federal law.

Section 1715. Firearms as nonmailable; regulations
Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mail or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such articles may be conveyed in the mail, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe, for use in connection with their official duty, to officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps; to officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district; to officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitments; to employees of the Postal Service; to officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States; and to watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district. Such articles also may be conveyed in the mail to manufacturers of firearms or bona fide dealers therein in customary trade shipments, including such articles for repairs or replacement of parts, from one to the other, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe. Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any pistol, revolver, or firearm declared nonmailable by this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
18 U.S.C. 1715

That is exactly what the USPS did with the Domestic Mail Manual. You can try to spin and minimize that as much as you like, you can't change the fact that it is the law. Those postal definitions are binding because Congress made them so.

You seem to be more interested in arguing than comprehending so I will simply say this - believe what you want. While I may not have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night, I have been an attorney for 25 years.

During that time, I have been an assistant prosecuting attorney, a military JAG, and had my own practice doing criminal defense work. I have prosecuted people for firearms law violations and put them in prison. Likewise, I have defended firearms cases. I make every attempt to stay current with the relevant federal (and my own state) laws, regulations, court decisions, Attorney General opinions, etc.

I have discussed this very issue with postal inspectors and ATF legal staff. I know for a fact that mailing a handgun frame is a federal violation. You do as you like.

glummer
July 18, 2009, 12:04 PM
I have been an attorney for 25 years.
...
I have discussed this very issue with postal inspectors and ATF legal staff. I know for a fact that mailing a handgun frame is a federal violation.

Thanks hanno - that one statement could have saved a lot of time and effort if posted earlier. .

hanno
July 18, 2009, 12:12 PM
I prefer to post the relevant laws and regs. That is what I did above. They really are simple enough to understand if you read them thoroughly, comprehend them, and keep an open mind regarding what they actually say instead of approaching them with a bias.

Trebor
July 19, 2009, 12:28 AM
Your logic leads to absurd conclusions. If the frame *is* the gun, then a rifle or shotgun receiver *is* a rifle or shotgun; and, since all ordinary receivers are less than 26" or 28" long, it follows, by your reasoning, that all such receivers, if not assembled into a full-length gun, are in violation of NFA rules. So every time I break down my little Rossi single-shot, the ATF could come knocking at my door? And everyone one who buys an AR lower is buying an NFA weapon? Sure hope they are not monitoring this thread.

It's not "my logic." It's how the ATF views firearms. Legally, if you take all the pieces off a firearm frame; the barrel, the stock, the screws, everyting, that bare frame is STILL legally a firearm, according to the ATF.

Removing all the parts does NOT make it "not a gun." It is a still considered a firearm for purposes of how it is tracked, sold or shipped.

Obviously, the ATF does make some distinction between completely assembed firearms, that have to have a minimum length for rifles, and a frame that has no barrel attached, or they would be going after people for violating minimum length. I can't reconcile that contradiction either. But, to be honest, I don't have to: Whether it sounds "absurd" or not, the central fact is still true: The ATF considers the frame/receiver (the serial numbered part) to be *the* gun, whether assembled or disassembled.

ke6guj
July 19, 2009, 01:00 AM
OK, since you are probably a CA-resident, any non-Rostered ( http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/ ) handguns you own are worth a premium here in CA. Reason being, CA-residents can't buy non-rostered handguns and have them shipped to their local dealer. It must be a PPT (Person-to-Person) Transfer done at a CA FFL. As an example, a Colt Python in CA may have a $200 premium over national prices due to the difficulty of purchasing a Python. Other non-rostered handguns have CA premium pricing as well.

So, before you list them on gunbroker or a nationwide forum, I'd suggest you list them on www.calguns.net . If you don't get any bites on them there, then list them on gunbroker, etc. But rare stuff that us CA guys can't easily get normally gets bought up fast.

Oh, and if you do sell it out of state through an out-of-state FFL, I'd suggest you fill out a No Longer In Possession form to tell CADOJ that you no longer own that handgun. http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/BOF4546NLIP0209.pdf

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