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Is it legal to send a firearm by US mail?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by His, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. His

    His Well-Known Member

    I sent my Colt to the factory by the US mail. I'd never heard anything bad about using the mail to send a firearm. Now people are telling me this is a no-no.

    I insured the pistol for big bucks and the clerk didn't ask what was in the package. If this is illegal, I'm wondering how I've gotten through so many years without hearing about it.

    Do any of you have experience concerning this issue?
  2. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    It is indeed illegal for a mere citizen to send a handgun to a manufacturer or anyone else through the US Post Office.

    Only an FFL can send a handgun and they fill out a form at the Post Office window.

    You can legally send a rifle to a manufacturer or to an FFL or to yourself but not to another individual in another state. You are required to tell the post office person when you do this and there are to be no markings on the box indicating a weapon is inside.

    You may ship your handgun via UPS or FEDEX to an FFL or manufacturer for an exorbitant sum. You must always ship to an FFL if you are doing a state to state transfer. I have my local FFL ship my handguns and he charges $20. The postage on a handgun has never been over $20 including insurance. That beats the $50 plus from UPS or FEDEX.
  3. His

    His Well-Known Member

    Thanks Coltdriver. Now I'll have to unravel this mess. We live and learn.
  4. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Well-Known Member

    I walked into the USPS and asked that question. I was told that I could not ship a complete handgun to a person(no fll) The nice lady told me that I could take it apart and mail the pieces in separate boxes. The catch was that if the one box was open that it could not function. So maybe next time you should go that route or take it to an FFL and have them ship it for you.
  5. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Well-Known Member

    That's incorrect, you have to be an FFL to mail a handgun receiver, whether it's assembled in a complete firearm or by itself.
  6. stolivar

    stolivar Well-Known Member


    You can't ship a handgun through USPS period unless you have an FFL not C&R FFL.

    whether assembled or not

    steve the mailman
  7. tlen

    tlen Well-Known Member

  8. kilo729

    kilo729 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is totally LEGAL to send a firearm back to the manufacturer for repairs, and it is LEGAL for the manufacturer to send it back DIRECTLY to you.

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  9. Javelin

    Javelin Well-Known Member

    As long as the firearm is going to an FFL or licensed manufacturer.
  10. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    . . . but it is NOT legal for a non-ffl-holding individual to ship a handgun anywhere via the US mail.

    Some of you guys need to stop making s*!t up.

    There is a sticky here (and in other sections) that covers the actual law: Shipping a gun - THR

    You can also visit atfonline.gov where this exact question is asked and answered.
  11. kilo729

    kilo729 Well-Known Member

    Then use UPS/DHL/etc.

    I didn't make anything up, and I don't appreciate being told that.

    That two-year old thread is full of dead links.
  12. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Well-Known Member

    I have to say that I'm not lying about my story. And the lady behind the counter didn't even give me a hard time. Of course it helps when you have a nice smile, a cute 1 year old(a not so cute 2 year old now lol), explain how your honorably discharged from the military, and going to college for a degree in CJST and do NOT want to take any chances of breaking the law.
  13. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    1) I don't recall naming any names.

    2) only the links to the private shippers have gone down, and as I said, that is just ONE of the many threads just on this site alone on this subject. I continue to post it because it's a sticky. Violating the shippers policies isn't gonna land you in a federal facility for 10 years - the links to the actual laws are still valid in that thread.

    Here are the current shipper links:

    FedEx firearm shipping policies

    UPS Firearm shipping policies
  14. bondmid003

    bondmid003 Well-Known Member

    You are aloud to ship a firearm to yourself via FedEx and UPS. The person above who said different was incorrect.
  15. stolivar

    stolivar Well-Known Member

    Learn to read guys

    The guy asked about shipping through the Post Office. Not through anybody else.:D

  16. colorado_handgunner

    colorado_handgunner Well-Known Member

  17. distra

    distra Well-Known Member

    Handguns=yes, long guns=no. Here is the FAQ response from the BAFT website.

  18. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    This is backwards if it's in response to the original question "Is it legal to send a firearm by US mail?".

    It is legal, or rather it is within postal regulations for an unlicensed person to ship a rifle or shotgun, i.e. "long gun" via the U.S. Postal Service, but it is not legal or within postal regulations for that unlecensed person to ship a handgun.

    The clerk who it is claimed gave an instruction above was in error.

    No one should rely on the opinions or misinformation of a postal clerk for guidance in staying out of jail if they value their continuing freedom.
  19. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    What "mess"? Did the package not arrive?
  20. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Well-Known Member

    (B7) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?[Back]

    A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

    [18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]

    (B8) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier? [Back]

    A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.

    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]

    (B9) May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity? [Back]

    Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

    This is the law according to BATF. Licensee refers to Federal Firearms License holders.

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