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How are sellers in classifeds shipping guns when not through a FFL?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Rule3, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Rule3

    Rule3 Well-Known Member

    I understand the shipping laws FFL to FFL and the fact that a non FFL (individual) can ship to a FFL if the receiving FFL is OK with that.

    The advantage of shipping from a FFL is they can use USPS flat rate.(cheap) The disadvantage is paying a transfer fee. A non licensed can not, so that leaves UPS or Fed Ex. But, see next paragraph.

    If they follow the UPS regs they need to declare its a firearm and then pay the crazy next day or over night which is very expensive and ship from a Hub not a store.

    So, are they really doing that or just not declaring it? If not declared how would it be insured??

    To further muddle the question, what happens if the deal goes through, gun is shipped and the seller does not provide a copy of their ID. What then does the reciving FFL do??
  2. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    Name and address is sufficient for logging into a C&R logbook. I LIKE to get DL# but its not required. I'd assume its the same for regular FFL.

    As to the other bits - I'll try to stay concise, and you basically have three options:

    1. Ship the gun ground via UPS uninsured. If the gun is lost you're stuck eating the cost. It's a violation of the shipping policies, so insurance wouldn't be valid anyways. Things USUALLY don't get lost. That's how insurance works - take payments from everyone and the cost to replace the rare screw-up is much less.

    2. Bite the bullet and go next day insured. If it's a really expensive gun like a custom 1911 then that cost isn't that high anyways. If it's a cheapo-gun, then its less reasonable.

    3. Many FFL's will ship a gun out for you via USPS. The local guy I use for my transfers will do this insured for $35. I take the gun to him, he logs it in from me, and then ships it to the next FFL for transfer to the buyer.

    #3 is the least burdensome for me.
  3. Twmaster

    Twmaster Well-Known Member

    To further muddy the water.....

    Long guns can be shipped via mail by anybody.

    Also, if your state does not restrict it you can ship guns directly to anybody in your state (providing they are not restricted from owning guns) Basically it's the same as a FTF sale with no FFL involvement.

    To answer part of your question... Many folks ship guns in violation of Postal, FedEx and UPS rules.
  4. brboyer

    brboyer Well-Known Member

    Not declaring that a shipment contains a firearm to an interstate common carrier is a violation of federal law.

    Depends on the FFL, those that do not have the mistaken belief that having a copy of a senders ID will somehow protect them from extra-legal requests/suggestions/requirements from an BATFE compliance inspector, do not require an ID.
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    NOT if it is being shipped to an FFL. And please, don't post the ERRONEOUS statement in the FAQs from the ATF.GOV website.

    Here we go again... :scrutiny:

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  6. Rule3

    Rule3 Well-Known Member

    OK, back on track.:uhoh:

    The main question is, for those non licensed sellers, they obviously must be shipping by common carrier. If they are using the US mail then that's just dumb.

    So if they are using a common carrier I would have to believe they are not declaring it (which is UPS, FedEX rule not a Federal law) to save on the shipping. Otherwise it makes no sense to me to bypass using a FFL.

    I myself will not buy from such a person as there is no way to insure it. If I take the leap of faith and send someone a Money Order for lets say $500, I have no way to be sure I will even get my item, let alone if it is lost or damaged.

    I guess the only way to know is ask one of the sellers how they plan on shipping a item.

    I see more and more ads (not necessarily here) that state must accept from non FFL.
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    No it isn't - it is legal and cheap - have done it many times

    Sure there is
  8. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    I have seen it happen both ways: one handgun was shipped USPS by a non-licensee to my FFL :uhoh:, another was shipped UPS ground :eek:

    I suppose if I were going to contemplate a cost saving shipment of a handgun I'd opt for UPS/FedEx ground; ignorance of the law is never an excuse, ignorance of a rule probably won't land me in jail.

    But really, if you look at the cost difference between common carrier ground and FFL/USPS it's about $30 for a small handgun. I'll happily pay the $30 to stay on the right side of the river.
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Why? there is no reason not to comply with their requirement for a contents description. My Fedex counter sees a LOT of guns go through there, she even tries to guess what type is inside. What they prefer on the package label is no indication the recipient - FFL or otherwise - is a gun store. I ship to the buyer's name, c/o the FFL business less any "gun" or "firearms" in the name, or just the receiving FFL's name.

    No issues - EVER with a package getting where it needs to go. WAY too many folks think everyone at UPS, Fedex, and USPS spends all of their work days looking for guns to steal - those guys are so overloaded and the volume is so large, all they want to do is get it from point A to point B
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    FedEx and UPS tariffs (conditions of cartage) require that the shipper, that's you, verbally declare to the counter person that the package contains a firearm (but in the case of UPS, only if it's a handgun). The tariffs also require that nothing on the package or label indicate that the package might contain a gun.

    These tariffs are part of the contract between the shipper and carrier. If a shipper does not comply with the tariff, it's either a breach of contract or a failure of a condition. That could let the carrier off the hook if the package is lost or damaged and there's an insurance claim.
  11. Rule3

    Rule3 Well-Known Member

    Please explain?

    I am talking handguns, A non licensee may not ship via the USPS.

    If by UPS or Fed Ex how do you insure it, do you claim it is a firearm and pay the $60 or whatever for 2 day air?
  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    I prefer FedEx because there's a main corporate service center near me. I (1) tell the counter person it's an unloaded gun being sent to an FFL; (2) insure it for full value; (3) ship it next day air saver (for afternoon delivery); and (4) pay whatever it costs.
  13. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    And if you ship a gun within a state the federal rules do not apply for FFLs and such as long as the sale is otherwise legal between the state's residents.

    Terms of carriage still apply, but not all the federal rules about sales across state lines.
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    I was talking long guns through USPS so in that regard, you were correct regarding handguns

    With Fedex/UPS you declare it and do exactly like Frank mentions above

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