Help! Shipping Firearm Manufacturer Fedex conflicting message

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May 9, 2008
Ok. Well I need to ship my HiPoint 4095 Carbine into HiPoint for repairs as the trigger does not reactivate after every round fired. (Basically sometimes after I shoot a round I can pull the trigger 10x without the other round being fired)

Well I called them today to ask what the protocol is in shipping a firearm to them for repair, well everything they said was standard put it in original box, wrap it with brown paper, include magazines and letter with problem and return shipping address. One thing the lady said to me concerned me though after I looked up the Fedex rules. (I dont fudge around with firearm laws) The lady on the phone told me NOT to tell Fedex there was a firearm in the box and that it was just "Manufactured Parts" because they get all nervous and it cost more. Well on the Fedex website it says

"The person tendering the shipment to FedEx Express is required to notify FedEx Express that the package contains a firearm. "

Well now im in a pickle, I dont want to pay more just because I'm shipping a firearm (insurance is another story, I plan on insuring it if its not outragous) and I deffinitly dont want to run into a problem if I do tell them Im shipping a firearm by inept counter workers telling me I cant ship that here. But I do not want to violate any laws concerning firearms. What do I do!?!?
Am I bound by law to tell them its a firearm or is that some stupid corporate policy. I live in NY if that helps and I already did my google-fu on shipping laws and regulations but cant find anything specific to me.
Please Help!!!
Am I bound by law to tell them its a firearm or is that some stupid corporate policy.
Federal law requires you to tell a common carrier (like FedEx) that there is a firearm in the package. The nice lady on the phone was trying to save you some money (and the chances are you would never get caught), but what she told you is contrary to the law.
This question comes up a lot. Essentially, because you're shipping the firearm to a licensed manufacturer, you are NOT required, by law, to disclose to the carrier that the package contains a firearm.

However, you are required by FedEx policy to inform them. Now, no one goes to jail for violating a private company policy. However, if something happens to the package, and you go to claim your insurance, FedEx can deny your claim because you failed to disclose the contents of the package.
Federal law requires you to tell a common carrier (like FedEx) that there is a firearm in the package
Not if it's going to a licensed manufacturer. USC section 922(e):

It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or
cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for
transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to
persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers,
licensed dealers, or licensed collectors,
any package or other
container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without
written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is
being transported or shipped
FedEx employee here.

There are no special fees for shipping firearms via FedEx. It's like any other package for the most part. Price is determined by dimensions, weight, origin point of the shipment, destination, commercial or residential address, grade of service chosen, fuel surcharge, and special handling options.

All firearms must be shipped Priority Overnight, but don't worry about selecting a signature option. Direct Signature is a residential extra only. All packages going to commercial addresses are signed for at no additional charge. I know the service guide says to select a signature option, but it's written in an unclear manner. As I said, that's only for residential shipments.

You should tell the person accepting the package that it is a firearm. This is because we're supposed to file away a copy of the recipient's FFL (we don't actually tell the drivers or package throwers the contents of any parcel; the bit on the website is pure BS). There's a very good chance that the person you'll be dealing with won't ask to see Hi-Point's FFL. They'll either know that FedEx ships pistols and rifles and process it as they would any other shipment or they'll assume that FedEx doesn't ship arms and you'll have an argument on your hands. I hate to admit it, but my fellow workers are woefully undertrained. Just in case, though, have a copy of Hi-Point's FFL handy.

Whatever you do, do not wrap the box in brown paper. Paper-wrapped packages frequently peel. Do you want every link in the chain of possession knowing that the box contains a carbine and experiencing the resultant temptation to steal? Pack the weapon in its original box like the woman at Hi-Point instructed you to, and then pack that in another box with enough crumpled newspaper/bubblewrap/styrofoam peanuts to keep the inner box safe and immobilized.

Another must-not-do is losing your tracking number. After your shipment is processed you will be given a receipt stapled to your copy of the airbill. Keep this. Both slips of paper have your tracking number on them and that number is the only way we or you can track the status of your shipment. If your package is stolen or lost and you call us three days later and don't have your tracking number there will be nothing we can do for you. Your name will not help, the destination will not help, the return address will not help. Nothing but the tracking number will be of any use. I am dead serious. Do not lose your tracking number.

I can't think of anything else you need to know about shipping firearms via FedEx. Good luck!
Good post, American By Blood. I've used FedEx to ship handguns to gunsmiths on many occasions with no trouble at all. I alway pack the gun in a plain box with plenty of bubble wrap and crushed newspaper, and well taped. I always tell the FedEx employee accepting the package that's it's a gun. I've never been asked for the recipient's FFL. And I've never had any problems.

I generally believe that it is easier and better in the long run to go by the book.
Like was stated above, but, me being me, have to say it again:

It is NOT federal law that you have to notify the shipper, because it is going to a licensed manufacturer.

Did you call Hi Point and see if they would send you a shipping label? If they do, then the driver can pick it up at your door.

If you choose not to tell Fedex what's in the box, the only thing you really lose is your ability to claim loss against Fedex if they lose it. You have not broken any laws and won't go to jail. BTW, if you don't tell Fedex, but you ship it by air with the insurance, you can still claim loss against Fedex, because when I did tell Fedex, they made no additional entries on any form or in the computer.

I took a handgun to Fedex to send back to the manufacturer. I told him it was a handgun, he asked to open the package. I let him, he looked at it, didn't touch it, sealed the package back up. Then he asked "Air or ground". Took me about 1/4 second to say ground, before he realized it was against company policy. Cost me less than $10 and all went well.
Not to hijack the thread. BUT, why not just send it USPS Priority. Long guns can go through USPS from a non licensee (person) to a manufacturer (FFL).
Well, I'll be danged. I went and looked it up. It is a rifle. And a pretty cool looking one at that. Heck, yeah, that changes EVERYTHING. Take that sucker to the post office and be done with it.
"They'll either know that FedEx ships pistols and rifles and process it as they would any other shipment or they'll assume that FedEx doesn't ship arms and you'll have an argument on your hands. "

I just found this out the hard way today! I should have read this post earlier... I tried to get a local mail boxes-type store to print me up a shipping label and they said they were not allowed to ship ANY firearm (for repairs or otherwise) or ammo and they were not even allowed to print a shipping label so I could send it from my FFL's shop... this, she said, was according to UPS & FedEx regulations. I am giving my brother (who lives out of state) an DPMS AR-15 as a graduation/birthday/new job gift, and I have never had such a hard time!:banghead::fire: I didn't want to argue with the lady so I simply asked her to tell me how much the FedEx regular ground shipping cost would be so I knew how much the FFL on my end was going to charge me.

What chaps me is that the FFL in my brother's home state refused to accept any firearm coming from a non FFL holder even after I told them I had contacted ATF to make sure it was okay (they... my brother's FFL... claimed it was illegal under Federal law for a non FFL to ship even to an FFL in another state). But, it's their shop... so I follow their rules. I found an FFL on my end that agreed to send it... but what a hassle all around!
I also work for FedEx, and everything American By Blood said was correct. Part of what I do is research "problem" packages. One of those "problems" is packages that arrive at our location missing all shipper/recipient info. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not. So from experience, I suggest ( no matter who you ship with-FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc ), put all info INSIDE the package. Also write it on the outside. The shipping labels often come off the package, or fall out of the plastic pouch. And that tracking number...Write it on the box as well.

ABB got it all right. Last time I shipped a pistol for repairs I had a very polite but lengthy disagreement with the counter folks (including the supervisor). They called the customer service line who backed them up so I asked for the phone. I explained the policy to the customer service rep and said I would hold while he looked it up, thank you very much. A couple minutes later he gets back on the line and says, "Sorry about that sir, you were right. Please give the phone back to the counter staff".

It was really funny. Annoying, but funny.
I've shipped about a dozen handguns with fedex and I always inform them. Also I believe they insist the firearm go overnight express, which costs a fortune. If you're shipping a long gun it's easier to go by USPS priority, where you do NOT tell the clerk you're shipping a firearm.
Yet another Fedex employee chiming in here - I say ship it USPS priority. Its cheaper and will likely be shipped by Fedex since we hold a massive contract to move USPS shipments. Most of the flights I load in Memphis are 90% postal freight.
I didn't read all the posts, so this may have been brought up before...

I had an experience with FedEx recently. I shipped a Mosin-Nagant an took it in to them. The lady at the counter told me that it had to ship priorty overnight. It would have cost $140. Naturally I said "screw that" and took it to USPS. It took about five minutes and cost $26 including insurance. Go figure...

I think FedEx is just jumpy or something about firearms in general. I know I won't bother shipping with them in the future.
Was it a Mosin-Nagant rifle or revolver? It's federal felony to ship a handgun USPS unless you're an FFL. But it is legal to ship a long gun USPS, and that's the preferred method because of cost.
FIDDLETOWN: A Mosin-Nagant is a rifle. The revolver you speak of is NOT a Mosin-Nagant, it is a NAGANT.
I've used UPS to ship both handguns and long guns with no problems,in fact long guns go standard shipping not overnite like FedEx. I shipped an 1874 Shiloh Sharps back to the factory for a repair and IIRC with 3 day and insurance it cost me $70.
written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is
being transported or shipped

many people state that you have to inform the carrier of it being a gun (say that you were Fedexing to yourself, or some other non manufacturer)

How many people do it in writing?

By strict letter of the law saying 'I need to ship this handgun' is not sufficient, you need to write that and give it.

But exactly where and when do you give written notice? Can you send a letter to the corporate office simply stating


I intend to use Fedex to ship a handgun. Per law USC section 922(e): I must give written notice to the carrier. Consider this letter my written notice.


Send it certified so you have paperwork to show you sent it.

Now you have legally met the critera, yes? And now you can legally fedex it without ever telling the counter person it is a firearm, yes?
The requirement that you speak of to inform the common carrier in writing only applies if you are shipping the firearm out of state to a private party. It does NOT apply if you are shipping the firearm in state, and it does NOT apply if you are shipping the firearm to a licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer. It also does NOT apply to long arms mailed by USPS because USPS is not a common carrier.
We recently shipped my husband's 1911 to the manufactur and UPS had to open the (already wrapped) pkg. I was told to bring it in unwrapped. It also cost a bundle.
For BammaYankee- The local mail-box stores and UPS stores or Kinko's FedEx shipping desks are not the same as the "real" UPS or FedEx shipping/distribution places. These types of places are franchises and are technically privately owned so they cannot ship firearms.

For handguns, you have to go to one of the UPS or FedEx shipping/distributing warehouses. Long guns can either go there or thru the Post Office.
American By Blood......

It disturbs me to know that your company has a job classification of "package thrower".

Perhaps that is why so many packages arrive broken/damaged.
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