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Old March 21, 2012, 11:54 PM   #1
dogtown tom
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How to ship firearms

Federal law allows ANYONE to ship a firearm. (Your state law may differ)
What is below is what is allowed by Federal law.

What is a firearm?
Well, its both the complete firearm and the frame or receiver of a disassembled firearm. It's internet myth that a disassembled firearm magically loses its legal status when field stripped. Whoever promotes or repeats the myth that it is "just machine parts" is a complete and total idiot and should never be consulted about firearms again....because that is contrary to Federal law. (not to mention common sense)

Who can you ship to?
All interstate shipments of firearms must be addressed to a licensed firearms dealer (often called an FFL). The exceptions are:
1. when you ship to yourself at an address in another state and
2. the return of a firearm you sent to a manufacturer to be repaired.

Federal law allows you to ship a firearm to a resident of the same state (intrastate) as long as you have no reason to believe that the recepient is a prohibited person.

How do I know the recepient is a licensed dealer?There is no requirement for a nonlicensee (mere mortals) to have an actual copy of the receiving dealers FFL. You can verify that the recepient is a dealer through the ATF FFL EZcheck. (When FFL's ship we are required to have a copy of the receiving dealers license before we can ship)

Be aware that some dealers refuse to accept shipments from nonlicensees as their personal business policy. Usually this is because they are terrified that the package will arrive with an RPG inside and no information as to who shipped it. Although it is not required by law, it is common courtesy to include a copy of your drivers license (for nonlicensees) or a copy of your FFL (for dealers). Dealers are required to record the identity of the person from they received the firearm from.....and a DL or FFL makes this easy. If you refuse to comply with the request for a DL or FFL.....then don't ship the gun. As evidenced by recent threads, the dealer may refuse to accept the package or delay the transfer to the buyer until he has the documents he requested.

Newspaper is for dolts, pros use bubble wrap
When you prepare your firearm for shipment, avoid newspaper like the plague. It crushes easily, provides little protective value and if wadded tightly....weighs a ton and weight adds $$$$ to your shipping costs.

A good rule of thumb is to package the gun as if it were a prized family heirloom. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.....who deserves to get the gun as depicted in the auction/WTS forum, etc

I've received guns wrapped in newspaper, vinyl float tubes, foam mattresses, Saran Wrap, plastic WalMart bags, baby diapers, bath towels.....obviously the shipper does not know the physical nature of package delivery or they just flat dont care whether the gun arrives in one piece. If your shipment is damaged, both UPS and FedEx will deny claims if you do not use PROPER packing materials (and newspaper is not one of them).

Where do i get cheap packing materials?
Try a gun store. They will have loads of excellent USED packing materials: bubble wrap, packing peanuts, kraft paper, air pillows, etc.

As far as packaging, the only Federal law you need to be aware of is identifying the contents as a "firearm"...........DON'T! This means you cannot mark "Fragile...EXPENSIVE GUN INSIDE" on the outside of the box. It also means you don't ship that Remington 700 in the factory cardboard box that has a giant REMINGTON in big green letters on the outside. (this is secret code for STEAL ME NOW) Simply slide the factory box inside another cardboard box. UPS and FedEx will not accept boxes with paper wrappers, although the USPS will.......but don't do it. Your label can easily be torn off.

Where do I get a cardboard box big enough to ship a rifle/shotgun?
Again, try a gun store. I throw out (into my Al Gore recycle bin) cardboard boxes every day. I always have extras stored in my garage. If you are shipping a $1,000 rifle or shotgun don't go get all frugal and jam that gun in a box you handmade from fifteen free UPS boxes that you taped together with duct tape......consider spending $10-15 on a plastic Plano or Dosko hard case. Consider removing the barrel from shotguns, as a short box is more rigid than a long box and that is better.

So, where can I ship my firearm?
USPS- will accept rifles and shotguns from ANYONE. Handguns and other firearms like frames, receivers, AR lowers are not mailable unless you are a licensed dealer or manufacturer. Even holders of an 03FFL "Collector of Curios & Relics" cannot mail or recieve by mail, a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun.

There is no requirement to notify USPS that you are shippping a rifle or shotgun. There are no forms to give them, you do not need to show them the FFL of the receiving dealer.

The ONLY persons REQUIRED to notify USPS that they are shipping a firearms are licensed dealers and manufacturers....and then only when shipping a handgun. If you are not a dealer and are asked to sign a Form 1508......don't do it! You would be falsifying a Federal document and the USPS clerk who asked you to do so is an idiot.

UPS- Will accept firearms from ANYONE as long as you follow their firearm shipping policies: http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/res...ch_phr=handgun
In short, You cannot ship firearms from a UPS Store, or third party retailer....you have to ship from a UPS Service Center. UPS policy says you must notify them that you are shipping a firearm. Federal law only requires notification if you are shipping interstate to a nonlicensee. Generally thats a Federal crime (You can ship a firearm to yourself in another state...but only you can ship it and only you can open it)

UPS allows rifles and shotguns to go "Ground". Handguns must go "Next Day". if you choose to ignore UPS policies expect to get nada on any insurance claim for loss, damage or theft.

FedEx-Will accept firearms from ANYONE as long as you follow their firearm shipping policies:http://www.fedex.com/us/service-guid...xpress-ground/
FedEx has changed their firearms policies three times in the last year. It appears that you can still ship from ANY FedEx Office location.

FedEx allows rifles and shotguns to go "Ground". Handguns must go "Priority Overnight". If you choose to ignore FedEx policies expect to get nada on any insurance claim for loss, damage or theft.
FedEx requires you notify them when you are shipping a firearm.

It's in a box, what do I do now?
Go to USPS.com, UPS.com and Fedex.com and compare rates!
You'll need to know the weight, box dimensions and destination zip code to get a price.

You can then:
Take it to the carrier or post office and pay at the counter OR..............better yet, pay for and print a shipping label from home. This is CHEAPER than doing it at the post office.

My recommendations:
USPS- ALWAYS go Priority Mail with Insurance for FULL VALUE and Signature Confirmation. "Parcel Post" is cheaper but takes MUCH longer to get to the destination........the longer its in transit, the more opportunity to get lost, damaged or stolen. To me it isn't worth the small difference in price.
As no notification is EVER required at USPS.....they are the option with the smallest hassle factor.

UPS/FedEx- For rifles and shotguns I use UPS or FedEx Ground.....its usually cheaper than USPS Priority Mail and they offer true "tracking". Again, get insurance for the full value and signature confirmation. NOTE:USC 478.31 (d) "No common or contract carrier shall knowingly deliver in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm without obtaining written acknowledgement of receipt from the recipient of the package or other container in which there is a firearm" What does this mean? You pay for Signature Confirmation.

Hey! UPS & FedEx want to charge me $60 to ship a handgun!
Then don't do it.
Find a local dealer who will ship it for you.......via USPS Priority Mail. Handguns that will fit in a USPS medium Flat Rate Box with $1000 worth of insurance and Signature Confirmation ships for less than $27. If the dealer tacks on a reasonable fee (I charge $10) then you pay almost half of what you would pay if you did it yourself......and the receiving dealer won't pitch a hissy fit because you forgot to enclose your drivers license.
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:17 AM   #2
nicktulloh
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notification that shipment contains firearm

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]
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
nicktulloh 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]
Nick, read the actual citations to the US Code and you'll discover the statement in red is not true. Notification to the common carrier is only required when shipping interstate to a nonlicensee.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:05 PM   #4
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what about moving with a rifle? would i just ship it to my new address or take it in the car? or dealer to dealer?
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Old January 10, 2013, 06:22 AM   #5
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What about UPS/FedEx pick up?
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Old January 31, 2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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If I understand this, I can sell and ship a rifle in Texas to another resident in Texas and neither of us has to have an FFL?
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Old January 31, 2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
koxx.dta what about moving with a rifle? would i just ship it to my new address or take it in the car? or dealer to dealer?
Federal law allows you to ship the firearm yourself, addressed to yourself.
Same with taking it in your car.

Why would you ship dealer to dealer when you can do so yourself?


Quote:
random_gun What about UPS/FedEx pick up?
I believe both UPS/FedEx allow firearm shipments from daily picup accounts, but not from "on call" pickups.


Quote:
macadore If I understand this, I can sell and ship a rifle in Texas to another resident in Texas and neither of us has to have an FFL?
Yep.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
UPS policy says you must notify them that you are shipping a firearm.
I have a UPS account and ship from home - the online forms do not contain any area where such information could be entered.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vit View Post
I have a UPS account and ship from home - the online forms do not contain any area where such information could be entered.
That does not change the UPS terms of service which requires you to notify them that a shipment contains a firearm.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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But how? I don't even see the driver who picks it up.
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Old February 1, 2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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DMM CHANGED

You can now MAIL (USPS) handguns through the post office with a Class III FFL (C&R)
If you don't have a FFL (and if you are asking, you don't)
nothing new here.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow 7D View Post
DMM CHANGED

You can now MAIL (USPS) handguns through the post office with a Class III FFL (C&R)
If you don't have a FFL (and if you are asking, you don't)
nothing new here.
Do you have a citation for that change?

http://pe.usps.com/search/jsp/search...9&dtype=2#hit0

Quote:
12.1.5 Manufacturers, Dealers, and Importers

Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms, licensed dealers of firearms, and licensed importers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts.
I don't see licensed collectors listed as authorized to mail handguns.
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:00 AM   #13
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601.12.1.1(b)
Damn, and that was off the top of my head

a good explanation, basically it extends the FFL1,2,4-7 to 3

Quote:
1USPS DMM revision 2.1.2 Handguns a. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 12.1.1b, and the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 may be mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm under 12.1.1g.

BUT they've put in the wrong paragraph, g. which refers to C&Rs, NOT antiques:

USPS DMM revision: 12.1.1 Definitions g. Curio and relic collector means an individual licensed by ATF to transfer or receive only those firearms de*fined as curios or relics by ATF under Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 478.11.

h. Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shot*gun/pistol that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute and that cannot use fixed am*munition (except those that incorporate a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by re*placing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combina*tion thereof); or any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, ........


And the USPS revision seems to refer to C&Rs and Museum certified curios and relics as two seperate categories of handguns


USPS DMM revision: 12.1.2 Handguns b. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 12.1.1b that are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be cu*rios or relics of museum interest may be accepted for mailing without regard to 12.1.3 through 12.1.6.


Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 478.11. Definitions

Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

(a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;

(b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulleti...l/updt_001.htm
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Old February 3, 2013, 12:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Shadow 7D View Post
601.12.1.1(b)
Damn, and that was off the top of my head

a good explanation, basically it extends the FFL1,2,4-7 to 3

http://about.usps.com/postal-bulleti...l/updt_001.htm
I stand corrected, thank you!
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Old February 6, 2013, 12:37 PM   #15
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OK after all the subsections and periods and the rest of the BS can I as an 03 holder ship a modern pistol to a 07 FFL with the USPS?
Dave
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:19 PM   #16
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TTT, Can someone answer dnotarianni's question. I to am curious on this answer.
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Old February 14, 2013, 04:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dnotarianni View Post
OK after all the subsections and periods and the rest of the BS can I as an 03 holder ship a modern pistol to a 07 FFL with the USPS?
Dave
Not legally.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:17 AM   #18
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Per the ATF and talking to a human there as an 03 I can ship 03 firearms with USPS but not modern firearms to an 07. You can only ship firearms with the USPS that you are licensed to deal in. Makes sense but at the same time it doesn't. Then again what did you expect from the Fed dealing with 2 fed agencies ATF+USPS
Dave
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Old February 16, 2013, 03:04 AM   #19
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Bookmarked Thanks
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:50 AM   #20
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Now THERE is some detail and clear explanations/sources.

Many thanks!
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow 7D View Post

a good explanation, basically it extends the FFL1,2,4-7 to 3



http://about.usps.com/postal-bulleti...l/updt_001.htm
So where in the link you posted do you see that it is OK for an 03 C&R to ship or receive C&R eligible handguns?

It specifically says that the C&R handgun must ALSO meet the criteria of being an antique made prior to 1899.

I very recently spoke with a BATFE agent and he was confused as I was with USPS contradictory wording of the USPS regs. He stated that you would face no federal charges as you are perfectly within your rights as an 03 holder, but he couldn't speak as to what some inspector at the post office would do if the package was flagged. And we all know that if we contacted 3 people at the post office, we would get 3 different answers.
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:43 AM   #22
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I have a question regarding shipment that I have not found an answer to yet:

I am a private seller here in IL. I sold a rifle from my collection to a gentleman on Gunbroker who happens to hold an FFL license in TN. He provided me with his FFL, but he would like me to ship the rifle to his home address which is not listed on his FFL paperwork. Is this legal, and where can I find more information on this?
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:43 PM   #23
btg3
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Quote:
...to ship the rifle to his home address which is not listed on his FFL paperwork
FWIW, found this:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/lice...e-verification
Q: Must a multi-licensed business submit a certified copy of each of its licenses when acquiring firearms?

No. It need only provide the seller a list, certified to be true, correct and complete, containing the name, address, and license number and expiration date for each location.

[27 CFR 478.94]
----------
This causes me to question whether the person or location or both must be licensed, and when multiple licenses are required. Personally, I would not ship to any address which cannot be found on the FFL license, when shipping to an FFL is required.
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:55 PM   #24
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for the purpose of returning a firearm, is there any difference before and after the transfer has been made?
Say if I ordered a firearm online, shipped to a local FFL, finished the transfer and then noticed something is wrong. Does it make any difference if the issue was spotted before the transfer?
I heard it's easier for everyone if the issue was identified before the transfer (aka always inspect the firearm before proceeding to transfer), but why exactly?
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Old February 24, 2013, 08:07 PM   #25
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Btg3,

Thanks for providing that. I read through it a few times myself, and the language there is not making me feel any better about shipping a rifle to location not listed on the FFL.

Thanks.
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