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Shipping handguns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Flynt, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Flynt

    Flynt Well-Known Member

    I apologize if this has been covered ad nasueum in the past, but are there any tips for economically shipping a handgun? (I'm not an FFL holder.) I'd like to post a couple of pistols on Gunbroker, but I don't know how I could sell them, considering what I'd have to charge for shipping. The Gunbroker site says that handguns can only be shipped via UPS Next Day Air. The UPS site has a calulator to estimate shipping costs, and when I enter data for a 4 lb package from Dallas to Albuquerque (just using Albuquerque as potential typical destination), I get estimates from $52 to over $80! Am I missing something?
  2. Jbabbler

    Jbabbler Well-Known Member

    Ship it UPS Ground with Adult Signature Required. The most expensive shipping in the lower 48 should be around $13.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  3. Flynt

    Flynt Well-Known Member

    JBabbler, I sure like your take on this, but Gunbroker is telling me I have to use UPS One Day Air, which is a lot more expensive than ground.
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Handguns have to go by UPS or FedEx, their rule specify Next Day Air or equivalent

    The cheapest way to ship a handgun is go by your local FFL and pay them to ship it for you. Even including their fee, you'll save a bunch on shipping...last I checked it was $12 from FL to CA
  5. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Well-Known Member

    Is it the law that handguns must go Next Day Air, or is that just UPS/FedEx policy? If the latter, couldn't someone (theoretically of course) just lie about what is in the package and ship it ground to avoid the ridiculous expense?
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Sure... if you want to lie. Then you have no recourse when they lose the package.
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The BATF regulation is that you must disclose the contents to the shipper.
    The fedups policy is that you must ship handguns next day air so as to 1. reduce theft by their employees and 2. increase their profits.

    Do business with your local dealer so he will provide customer service in the form of shipping yours stuff on his business fedups account or, even less expensive, mail.
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    As mentioned, IF the package goes awry, you are S.O.L.
  9. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Well-Known Member

    What about something like shipping just the frame thru UPS/FedEx to the FFL. That way, you could tell the person at UPS/FedEx that "it's just the frame of a handgun, not a complete handgun". I'm pretty sure that technically the frame is legally considered the firearm, not the other parts.

    You didn't lie about what's in the package, and since it's not a complete handgun, maybe they'll let you ship it ground. Then you can ship the slide, barrel etc. thru USPS straight to the buyer.

    This way, you didn't do anything illegal, you didn't lie about what was in the package, and you avoided the ridiculous shipping charges. Anyone ever tried this?
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    LEGALLY, the frame IS the gun
  11. rocky branch

    rocky branch Well-Known Member

    Folks have to get real on this.
    Tap dancing don't get it.
    A frame is considered a firearm and that's it.

    2 major issues.
    If lost or stolen, and you claim it, no cigar.
    As a bonus, you must reveal you broke a federal law.

    I have a C&R and a couple of guys who should know better have mailed me Lugers.
    Fortunately they got here-one had a ____'s gunshop return label.

    I don't like these laws either, but the consequences trump that.
  12. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    So, call around to your local FFL's and see what their prices are,
    add that to adult sig priority and you are still cheaper than common carrier.
  13. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. Some FFLs have stupid-high charges for this service for some reason. One of my local FFLs (one of the big ones) charges $75 + postal costs. I am fortunate to live in metro Houston and have many FFLs, but some may not be so lucky.

    It is shipper policy, due to theft during transit.
    If you're gonna play with words with the counter drones, you might as well disassemble the handgun, wrap each piece and ship all of them in the same box. By State law, it's not a firearm if it can't be made to fire in it's current condition, but for control purposes the Feds call the serialized receiver "a firearm".

    The cheapest overnight service is UPS Next Day Air Saver. This is overnight service that delivers in the afternoon. You save quite a bit over "first thing in the AM" delivery.

    Next time, include "$50 shipping" in your gunbroker ad.

    Links to the laws, shipper's policies and more: Shipping a gun - who, how, where, when and why
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  14. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    Flynt, if you are near Plano send me an email. I'm an FFL and can mail a handgun USPS for about half the cost of UPS/FedEx.

    Federal law only requires notification to the common carrier when you are shipping interstate to someone other than a licensed dealer, manufacturer or licensed collector. As shipping a firearm interstate to someone other than the above is a Federal crime, you would basically be telling the common carrier that you are a committing a felony.

    Failure to notify the common carrier that you are shipping a firearm is not a Federal crime, but is a violation of the common carrier's tariff (shipping policy). Meaning if your firearm is lost damaged or stolen you'll get diddly squat on your insurance claim. (And it doesn't matter what the pimply faced teenager at the UPS Store said)
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I am aware of the wording of the law.
    Bureaucratic regulation in excess of the letter of the law is common.
    Some may elect to fight city hall, I don't.
  16. Flynt

    Flynt Well-Known Member

    Tom, I live in Highland Village, not exactly next door but still in the neighborhood. Thanks for the offer; I may just take you up on it some time.
  17. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Someone should tell BATF, then, because that is not what they say:

  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Amazing, a government employee read the law.
    But if you just look up the BATF FAQ, it says:

    "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."

    With none of the qualifications present in the actual law.

    Plus you are running up against fedups policy and as said, if your gun goes astray they will probably deny you the insurance.
  19. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    As we went round and round over on TFL, the FAQ is misleading at best. If you actually read the law, what dogtown_tom and NavyLT state is correct. You are not actually required by law to notify the shipper of the contents. However, if you DO ship a handgun without notification and it does get lost or damaged, you are out of luck and will probably be barred from using that shipper in the future.
  20. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Like all these conversations and threads


    When asked for an official legal opinion (AFT letter) they tend to cite and interpret the law accurately, when questioned about a FAQ, they refer you to the law, but that doesn't mean a faq is correct...

    Going from FAQs tends to get you corrected here.

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