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Can A Citizen Ship A Handgun To An FFL Holder??

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by usnavymasterchief, Jan 14, 2004.

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  1. usnavymasterchief

    usnavymasterchief member

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    Assuming I want to sell a handgun to someone in a different state from mine and I have an ink signed copy of the receiving dealer's FFL. Can I simply take the piece to Fed Ex and send it to the FFL holder or must I have an FFL holder on my end ship the gun to the FFL holder on the other end? Neat way for FFL holders to get some quick easy cash, my guy here in town wants $40.00 to do a transfer plus I pay the shipping charges.
    I recently sent a revo back to S&W via Fed Ex. The agent didn't ask what was in the box and I didn't offer any information. There was no indication on the box that it contained a firearm, and the addressee was simply Warantee Dept, no mention of S&W or gun in the address. Does don't ask, don't tell work? Should the Fed Ex agent have asked if there was a firearm in the box and to see a copy of the receiving party's FFL?
    Suppose the receiving party's gun shop was simply called The Red Barn or whatever, how does Fed Ex or UPS know or do they even care that you are shipping a firearm to a dealer or FFL holder? Seems as tho there are lots of loop-holes here.
     
  2. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    Unless they changed the law yesterday, you don't have to be a FFL to ship a handgun, just to receive one. So it must be shipped to a FFL, but you can ship it to one.

    If my understanding is correct, you can also ship the gun to the factory for repair, and they can ship it directly back to your house, you being the owner and all.

    But don't listen to me ultimately, confirm it further. I've been known to be wrong before...:uhoh:
     
  3. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Edward is correct.

    You can ship a pistol to an FFL in any state, or another person within your state without going through an FFL (depending on local draconian laws, of course), but you cannot receive any firearm from a person in another state without them having first shipped it to your FFL. You can receive a pistol from somebody in your state in the mail (again, check local laws).

    If you are not an FFL, pistols cannot be shipped via the USPS, and UPS and FedEx require as policy that you ship them overnight ($$$). Any citizen can ship a long-gun, shotgun, or "firearm" through USPS as long as it is not a pistol (i.e. ship only the frame of the pistol and it is a "firearm" and not a pistol).

    If you are shipping via UPS or FedEx to an FFL in another state, make sure that you get a signed copy of their FFL's license prior to shipping.

    Finally, you can receive your pistol back from a manufacturer or gunsmith without having to go through an FFL because the pistol is already yours and no transfer is taking place.

    Best. :)
     
  4. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Edward429451 is correct, you can send it to any FFL holder in any state (unless local laws prohibit it). You are not legally required to have a copy of the dealer's FFL before shipping the gun. As a non-licensee, you are not required to keep records. As long as you believe the guy has a valid FFL, you are legal.
     
  5. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    I just read your post more clearly and I will answer your questions one by one.

    NO!!! You are required by Federal law to notify the carrier that the box contains a firearm -- regardless of whether or not they ask you what is in it. Sure, it may be more expensive, but it sure beats the 10 years in Federal prison and the $250,000 fine. If you made an honest mistake, move on, but make sure you don't do it again.

    No. The only thing that the FedEx agent needs to know is that the box contains a firearm and nothing more. Occasionally, they will ask to open the box to make sure that it is unloaded :)rolleyes: ), but most of the time they just ask you if it is unloaded.

    Also, by Federal law, the box must not contain any distinguishing features or marks on the outside that would give away the fact that there is a gun inside.

    Also, HKmp5sd is correct that you do not need to have the other guy's FFL on file prior to shipping, but it sure gives a lot of peace of mind. Besides, I keep records of FFLs in case I get a repeat purchaser. That way I do not need to have them send another FFL.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  6. larryw

    larryw Member

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    In my experience only:

    Shipping a gun you own to the manufacturer for repairs does not require a FFL. Manufacturer can send the repaired gun back to you directly unless they changed the receiver (serial number), in which case its treated like a new gun and must be transferred through a FFL. For example, my FedEx lady recently delivered to my home a gun I sent to Ruger in Conn for minor repairs, no FFL required. When I needed a new receiver on a different gun, the manufacturer shipped it to my FFL.

    Selling/transferring a gun requires a FFL on the receiving end. Get a copy of the FFL signed in ink (signed after the photocopy was made) and ship gun to that address only.

    I believe you are required to inform the shipping agent that the package contains a gun: adult signature required to receive. I make a habit of doing that
     
  7. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Many dealers will refuse to send a copy of their licence to a non-dealer.

    In that case, get their number (you only need the first 3 digits and the last 5 digits of their FFL#) and run it through the ATF EZ Check website to make sure it's legit. I always print a copy of that page (which will show the dealer's address to verify that's the address you are sending it to) and keep it with my shipping receipt in my records.

    http://199.196.145.75/FFLeZCheck
     
  8. Beav

    Beav Member

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    http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/FederalGunLaws.aspx?ID=60

    "Acquiring Firearms:From Individuals

    An individual may not sell a firearm to a resident of another state, or an ineligible person. Firearms received by bequest or intestate succession are exempt from those sections of the law which forbid the transfer, sale, delivery or transportation of firearms into a state other than the transferor`s state of residence.

    Mail-order sales, and other transfer between individuals residing in different states, are prohibited. Firearms may be transferred between dealers licensed in different states, for subsequent sale to an individual.

    Shipping Firearms

    Personally owned rifles and shotguns may be mailed or shipped only to dealers or manufacturers for any lawful purpose, including sale, repair, or customizing. Firearms may not be sent interstate from one non-dealer to another non-dealer. Handguns may not be mailed but may be shipped otherwise to dealers or manufacturers for any lawful purpose.

    Firearms or ammunition delivered to a common carrier for shipment must be accompanied by a written notice to the carrier of the contents of the shipment."
     
  9. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Member

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    I think Beav is right. You can ship your gun to a repair station for repair and return to you.

    If you are selling it to someone in another state, it has to be transferred between ffl's.
     
  10. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Nope. In individual may ship a firearm to an FFL in any state. A few states do require a non-licensee to use an FFL on both ends, but it is not a federal law.

    When sending a firearm to a dealer, manufacturer or gunsmith for repairs, you are in fact sending them to an FFL. The clause in this is that following the repairs, they may return the gun to you across state lines without having to use an FFL in your state.

    BTW, if you have a question regarding firearm laws, don't base your actions on what we tell you here on THR or what you read on sites such as NRA.org or packing.org. Ask ATF directly. We are not lawyers and we are not the ones going to Club-Fed if we are wrong.
     
  11. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    tetchaje1 said,
    This is incorrect. You are required by Federal Law to notify the common carrier only when shipping to a non-licensee (anyone but an FFL).

    18 USC 922 (e)
    FedEx or UPS policy may be different.. but all they can really do is deny your insurance claim later.

    Also: As others have said, it's also perfectly fine for a non-licensee to ship to an FFL in any state.

    -z
     
  12. mpthole

    mpthole Member

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    Does this mean that an FFL to FFL transfer can be done via the USPS and not be done overnight...? By priority mail even?
     
  13. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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  14. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Some FFL holders will not accept shipments from non-FFL holders no matter what the law says.

    Smoke
     
  15. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    I just shipped my 1911 to a FFL dealer through FedEx... depends on the dealer obviously.
     
  16. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Member

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    It is my experience that it depends on the dealer. None of my local dealers will accept shipment from a non FFL. I recently sold my Hi Power, and the FFL on the other end would not accept shipment from me, despite me faxing him a letter I received from the DC ATF office stating that is was legal to do so. To be honest, I think it is a scam.
     
  17. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Zak Smith,
    That is interesting. The BATF has a different interpretation that you do (from their FAQ). When I read the actualy code that you have posted, I tend to agree with you, but it seems as though the BATF has other ideas.

    Interesting. I wonder which is the correct one to go on... :confused:
     
  18. ajacobs

    ajacobs Member

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    Okay, I think think the atf interpration in their FAQ is the wrong one and only becuase they are being all inclusive to include another individual within the same state. I have look up the sections of law sited by the atf in their faq and they are consistent with not having to inform the carrier if it is going to a liscenced individual. Opps, I closed the windows before I posted the links. A simple google search will give you the text.
     
  19. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    ajacobs,
    Yeah, I agree with you too, but I'm not the one who'd be doing the prosecuting either. ;)

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to call up the BATF just to clarify. :uhoh:
     
  20. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    The federal law they cite clearly is not as inclusive as what their FAQ says.

    -z
     
  21. 9x19

    9x19 member

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    FWIW,

    I asked some of the local lawyers about the "signed in ink" thing, and they found it quite amusing.

    Just what does the signature do for an individual? Not one single thing. If the signature is genuine, fine, but if it's bogus, HOW WILL AN INDIVIDUAL EVER KNOW?

    If the firearm you shipped is traced back to you, will the FFL with fraudulent signature be of any more help than an FFL without a signature?

    Nope! The suggestion to check the number on the FFL on the ATF web-site for validity is a good one, (do verify both, the license is current and the "Business Premises" address is the same) and do print out a copy for your records.

    Legal-eagles here seem to think that verificatin from the US Gov't regualting body offers more defense to prosecution than simply having a signed (by who knows who) photo copy.

    YMMV
     
  22. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    9x19,
    Getting a signed FFL is just one more step to show the Feds that you were doing everthing as well as you could if something should go wrong with the transaction. It shows that you were following accepted (though not legally required) protocols and that you sent the gun to "an FFL" in good faith and to the best of your knowledge that he was legit.

    Zak Smith,
    Yes, it does seems that their FAQ is more inclusive than what the code says.
     
  23. Tech1

    Tech1 Member

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    I've been going through some hassle on this. I spoke to the Dallas Area ATF office and was told by an agent that I as an unlicensed individual could ship a pistol to an out of state FFL (No mention of me having to have a copy of their FFL). The FFL I'm dealing with in AZ says it's law that it has to be shipped by an FFL before they will receive it. So I called the AZ state police and the local police, in case there was a local statute, both said go by what the ATF says. The Dealers in Dallas told me what the ATF said, I could ship it myself.
    Trying to avoid the hassle, I'll eat the cost to transfer my pistol to a local FFL here and have them ship it for me to AZ. I tell them by the way you'll be expecting a package in return. (I'm trading pistols with somebody). They are like "Wait a minute, do they have a copy of our FFL?" They told me it's against Federal law to ship a Gun to another state if I dont have a copy of the Receiving FFL and vice versa. Two different shops told me that.
    So I get a hold of the guy I'm trading with in AZ and tell him the scoop, right before he was ready to mail it here. I guess it's not too big a deal but I could be playing with a new toy tomorrow instead of trading FFL's then mailing them out.

    Thanks for letting me rant and rave
     
  24. mpthole

    mpthole Member

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    tech1: I've had the same problems with my local FFL's. I've heard some other 'doozies' from the same guys. I'm starting to believe that asking an FFL about gun laws is like asking for legal opinions from LEOs. :banghead:
     
  25. Majic

    Majic Member

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    The first part of that statement is wrong in that context. You can sell to a resident of another state, but you can't deliver the handgun directly to the purchaser. Ownership is transfered thru a FFL holder, but the FFL holder is not participating in the actual exchange of money which constitute the sale.
     
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