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Questions on shipping firearms legally...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MarshallDodge, Apr 27, 2007.

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  1. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    I did some searching and did not come up with the answers I need.

    Years ago my friend and I lived in Illinois and we traded/sold a few guns to each other. He has a pistol that I sold him and I have a rifle that he originally owned. We would like to trade them back to each other.

    He is now in Arkansas and I am in Utah. Is it legal for me to send him the rifle and he can send me the pistol directly or do we need to go through an FFL?
     
  2. deadin

    deadin Member

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    FFL time!
     
  3. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    You do have to go through FFL's for both items. This is from the BATF's FAQ website:
    May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?

    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.

    May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?

    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.
     
  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    You can ship to an FFL in his state and he to one in yours. Common carriers can be used to ship pistols but you can ship a rifle through the Post Office. Most postal employees are not familiar with the fact that people can ship long guns (to yourself or an FFL) through the mail. Go to the USPS website and print out the regs and take them with you. The long gun must be unloaded, no ammo in the box, and not marked as containing a fireram. USPS suggest you ship firearms registered mail.

    YOU MUST TELL THE CLERK AT THE POST OFFICE THE PACKAGE CONTAINS A FIREARM. I know that's shouting but I've seen others say that mailed the long gun and not told them what was in the package or said it's "machine parts". This applies to common carriers as well as the Post Office.

    Best to go to the hub to ship firerams via Fedex, UPS, DHL, etc. Kinko's, the UPS store etc usually will not accept the firearms.
     
  5. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    Interesting. I shopped my Glock 26 back to Glock through my FFL but they are shipping it directly back to me.
     
  6. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    As far as federal law is concerned, Glock can ship it back directly to you because no transfer has taken place. In the same vein, you weren't legally required to ship to Glock through an FFL unless your state has a law requiring it.
     
  7. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    If the FFL or Glock picked up the shipping costs that would be the way to go. I had a problem with a new gun and the dealer shipped it back to the manufacturer for the warranty work. I think the manufacturer picked up the shipping charges.

    You can ship to an FFL including a licensed gunsmith or refinisher or the manufacturer for repairs and they can ship back to you directly.
     
  8. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    I guess he's the "post master", anyway the guy in charge of my little post office told me the same thing. I can use USPS to ship my rifle to a FFL dealer for modification and the FFL can send it back to my post office via USPS.
     
  9. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    A transfer did take place. As a matter of fact two transfers took place, one to Glock where it was entered into their book and a second when it was shipped back to the owner. The reason it could be sent directly back to the owner is that the Gun Control Act specifically allows it.

    As far as BATF is concerned, a transfer involves change of possession. Ownership doesn't have to change.
     
  10. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    Sorry if I am missing something but if I am the original owner of the pistol and my friend is the original owner of the rifle why can't we just send them back to each other?
     
  11. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    Because you would be transferring firearms between residents of different states. Ownership doesn't matter.
     
  12. outfieldjack

    outfieldjack Member

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    So if I wanted to sell a gun to someone in another state, all I would have to do is mail the gun MYSELF to whatever FFL address he/she gives me? And then the buyer and the FFL work out the details?
     
  13. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    A quick search of the ATF site...

    (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.

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b8
     
  14. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    outfieldjack - yes.

    All of the information given here is spot on. There is a sematical issue with the word "transfer" however - when a gun is directly shipped to a manufacturer for repair and then back to the original owner.

    Technically a transfer did occur. However Federal Law in this case makes that kind of a transfer ok and not required to go through an FFL in the owners state. Unless state law requires it. Though technically an FFL is still involved as all firearms manufactureres have to be FFLs.


    Regards,
    Rob


    FYI Definition of the word transfer:

    transfer
    –verb (used with object)
    1. to convey or remove from one place, person, etc., to another: He transferred the package from one hand to the other.
    2. to cause to pass from one person to another, as thought, qualities, or power; transmit.
    3. Law. to make over the possession or control of: to transfer a title to land.
    4. to imprint, impress, or otherwise convey (a drawing, design, pattern, etc.) from one surface to another.
    –verb (used without object) 5. to remove oneself from one place to another: to transfer from the New York office to London.

    Plus a bunch of other meanings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  15. deadin

    deadin Member

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    This is correct under Federal law. BUT (there's always a "but":D ) some FFL dealers will refuse to accept a shipment from anyone other than another FFL. Be sure the one you are sending to will accept it first.:D
     
  16. Powderman

    Powderman Member

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    You may ship a firearm directly to an FFL. However, for your protection, I would get a signed copy of the receiver's FFL, and ship ONLY to the address on the FFL (licensed premises).

    You may ship a firearm directly to a repair facility (factory or gunsmith), and they will ship it directly back to you.

    You may ship rifles and long guns directly through USPS. Handguns, however, must be shipped via commercial carrier (UPS or FedEx). I use FedEx. Also, the firearm MUST be declared as a firearm.

    You may ship a firearm directly to a resident of the same State as you.

    You may also ship a firearm to YOURSELF, in care of another person; however, the person receiving the package and holding it for you must NOT open the package.
     
  17. dmarbell

    dmarbell Member

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    Declaring firearm for USPS mailing of shotguns

    I find the declaration requirement in the common carrier section of the ATF FAQs under B8. I don't find that requirement under B7 relating to USPS shipments of long guns.

    Is there a citation for this shouted opinion? Is it the law, or only an opinion. I don't think the USPS qualifies as a common carrier, but I'm not sure.

    Danny
     
  18. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    dmarbell,

    To answer your question. Here is the quote from the ATFE web site which has been previously posted.

    ATF 'Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide' (ATF P 5300.4) says:

    (B9) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by carrier?

    .........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) and 922( e), 27 CFR 178.31]

    In all cases under Federal Law the carrier is required to be notified when a firearm is being shipped.

    I can see where some confusion may come in with the words "common or contract carriers". However, I am sure BATFE considers the USPS one or the other.

    Then there is also the USPS DMM (Dommestic Mail Manual) which reads in part:

    Dommestic Mail Manual, DMM, Section 601,
    Sub section 11.3 Rifles and Shotguns
    Although unloaded rifles and shotguns not precluded by 11.1.1e and 11.1.2 are mailable, mailers must comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618, 18 USC 921, et seq., and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, 27 CFR 178, as well as state and local laws.

    Part of the GCA of 1968 address' the mailability of firearms (to repair facilities). Under this clause alone it would be required to notify the USPS since the DMM specifically says "must comply with the GCA of 1968".

    Worst case I guess would be with the DMM. Is not following the rules/policy in it a Felony, or crime even ? I do not know the answer for sure, but knowing Uncle Sugar I believe it would be.

    Regards,
    Rob
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
  19. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    Here is a great little guide on shipping Firearms with references:
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Firearms Shipping Guide

    Shipping Legalities

    Federal Law requires that all modern firearms be shipped only to a holder of a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). Exception noted below. The recipient must be have an FFL; however the sender is not required to have one. Any person who is legally allowed to own a firearm is legally allowed to ship it to an FFL holder for any legal purpose (including sale or resale).
    Here is exactly what the ATF 'Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide' (ATF P 5300.4) says:
    (B9) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by carrier?
    A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by 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) and 922( e), 27 CFR 178.31]
    B8) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U. S. Postal Service (USPS)?
    A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own state or to a licensee in any state. Handguns can not be mailed via USPS. A common or contract carrier such as United Parcel Service (UPS), Or Federal Express (FedEx), must be used to ship a handgun. A nonlicensee may not transfer any firearm to a nonlicensed resident of another 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.
    'Antique' firearms need not be shipped to a licensed dealer. These can be shipped directly to the buyer. An antique firearm is a firearm built in or before 1898, or a replica thereof. The exact ATF definition of an antique firearm is:
    Antique firearm. (a) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and (b) any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this definition if such replica (1) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (2) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
    Knives, air guns, accessories, and most gun parts need not be shipped to an FFL holder. We say most gun parts because each firearm contains at least one part that the ATF considers a firearm. This part is typically the part that contains the serial number. This part must be treated as a complete firearm when shipping the item.
    Ammunition must be clearly identified as 'Small Arms Ammunition' on the outside of the box. Some shippers treat ammunition as dangerous or hazardous materials.
    The section of the US Code that governs modern firearms is called Commerce in Firearms and
    Ammunition (CFA). This code is available online at: www.atf.treas.gov/regulations/27cfr178.html
    When in doubt, we suggest arranging for transfer through a licensed dealer. Violation of the CFA is a felony and penalties for violation of it are severe.

    Federal and State Law Resources

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has a very comprehensive site containing information about the various Federal and state laws regulating firearms. Please refer to the ATF information for legal questions regarding firearms.
    ATF Home page: http://www.atf.treas.gov
    ATF Compilation of the various state laws: http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/statelaws/22edition.htm
    ATF Firearms Division Main Page: http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/index.htm

    Shipment by Unlicensed Persons

    Any shipper who does not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is considered to be an 'unlicensed person'. This section contains information on how unlicensed persons can ship firearms. If you have an FFL, please skip to the next section for shipping suggestions.
    The most important thing to know is that you must only ship guns to a licensed dealer. If the buyer is not a licensed dealer, he will have to make arrangements with a dealer in his state to ship the item to.

    Before you ship a gun, the buyer must mail you a copy of the dealer's FFL license, signed in blue or red ink. You can only ship the gun to the address on the license. You must inform the carrier that the package contains a firearm. Of course, the firearm cannot be shipped loaded; ammunition may not be shipped in the same box. You should take the copy of the signed FFL with you when you take the item to be shipped in case the shipper wishes to see it.
    Notes on specific shippers:
    US Mail: An unlicensed person can ship a rifle or shotgun by US Mail. Unlicensed persons cannot ship a handgun by US Mail. Postal regulations allow the Post Office to open your package for inspection. Ammunition cannot be shipped by US Mail. You can search the US Post Offer Postal Explorer site for specific USPS regulations regarding firearms and ammunition.
    FedEx: FedEx will only ship firearms via their Priority Overnight service. Ammunition must be shipped as dangerous goods.
    UPS: UPS will accept handgun shipments by Next Day Air only. Rifles and shotguns can be shipped by UPS ground service. UPS will accept shipments of ammunition. UPS does not allow shipment of firearms FROM an unlicensed person (even to an FFL), unless the stated reason for the firearm shipment is for repair or modifications.
    Most other shippers will no longer accept firearm shipments. Airborne and Roadway have
    specifically prohibited firearm shipments.

    Shipment by Licensed Persons

    Any shipper who has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is considered to be a 'licensed person'. This section contains information on how licensed persons can ship firearms. If you do not have an FFL, please see the previous section of this page for for shipping instructions.
    Since licensed persons are responsible for knowing the law, we are going to assume that you already understand the CGA and know the applicable Federal, state, and local laws.
    Notes on specific shippers:
    US Mail: Licensed persons can ship a rifle, shotguns, or handguns by US Mail. In fact, we suggest that you use the USPS as it is now the most cost-effective way to ship a handgun. To ship a rifle or shotgun, you need only inform the Post Office that the package contains a firearm. A licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer can ship a handgun</> via the US Post Office if the licensed dealer fills out a US Post Office Form PS 1508 and files it with the local Post Office branch where the handgun is to be shipped. You can search the US Post Offer Postal Explorer site for specific USPS regulations regarding firearms and ammunition.
    FedEx: FedEx will only ship firearms via their Priority Overnight service. Ammunition must be shipped as dangerous goods. NSSF members can sign up for a discount of up to 26% on FedEx shipments.
    UPS: UPS will accept handgun shipments by Next Day Air only. Rifles and shotguns can be shipped by UPS ground service. UPS will accept shipments of ammunition (Boxes must be marked ORM-D Small Arms Ammunition) .
    Most other shippers will no longer accept firearm shipments. Airborne and Roadway have
    specifically prohibited firearm shipments.

    Notes on USPS Firearm Regulations

    We recommend that you read the Post Office regulations on Other Restricted or Nonmailable Matter before shipping a firearm through the US Mail.
    The following info comes from the USPS Regulation DMM Issue 54, January 10, 1999, section C-024
    Page C-39, section 3.0, Rifles and Shotguns: "Although unloaded rifles and shotguns not precluded by 1.1e and 1.2 are mailable, mailers must comply with the Gun Control Act or 1968, Public Law 90-618, 18 USC 921, et seq., and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, 27 CFR 178, as well as state and local laws. The mailer may be required by the USPS to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not precluded by 1.1e."

    Page C-39, section 6.0, PROHIBITED PARCEL MARKING: "For any parcel containing a firearm or a ballistic or switchblade knife, any marking that indicates the contents is not permitted on the outside wrapper or container."
    The following pertains only to licensed dealers shipping handguns:
    Page C-37, section 1.3, Authorized Persons: "Subject to 1.4, handguns may be mailed by a

    licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government......."

    Page C-38, section 1.5, Manufacturers and Dealers: "Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms and licensed dealers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts."

    Page C-38, section 1.6, Certificate of Manufacturers and Dealers: "A licensed manufacturer or dealer need not file the affidavit under 1.4, but must file with the postmaster a statement on Form 1508 signed by the mailer that he or she is a licensed manufacturer or dealer of firearms, that the parcels containing handguns (or major components thereof) are customary trade shipments or contain such articles for repairing or replacing parts, and that to the best of his or her knowledge or belief the addressees are licensed manufacturers or dealers of firearms."
     
  20. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    The USPS is not considered a common or contract carrier by either the Department of Transportation or the BATF.

    Also, Notification is only required when shipping to a nonlicensee. Notification is not required when shipping to an FFL. The FAQ answer is not completely correct. Both the law and the regulation state that notification is required when shipping to "other than" a licensee.
     
  21. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

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    Marshall, your misunderstanding is that you think you still own what your freind has. You USED to be the owner, not you're not. He IS.
    Say you sold me a rifle, are you the owner now? NO, I own it.
     
  22. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    EOD Guy, - We can agree to disagree. :D

    I absolutely believe carrier notification is required when shipping a firearm either to or from an FFL. I cite the lengthy references I posted above.

    Regards,
    Rob
     
  23. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    The reference you posted from the BATF FAQ is not complete and I have a letter from BATF headquarters in Washington admitting to that and confirming that notification is not required when shipping to a licensee.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with notifying a carrier that a package contains a firearm and would prevent any problems with insurance claims due to not following their policies.

    By the way, here is the actual regulation:

     
  24. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    This post deleted - I stand by my last post.

    Rob
     
  25. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    That's fine. Like you said before, we can agree to disagree, even if you're wrong.:evil:

    By the way, the letter was signed for the Chief of the Firearms Program Division at BATF Hq. They're the ones who write the regulation.

    Here is their answer:

    . "Based on the above provision, if a firearm or ammunition is being shipped to one of the indicated licensees, it is not required that the
    . shipper be notified of the package contents."

    The key phrase in the section I posted is other than which refers to licensees. So, if you ship to other than a licensee, notification is required, other wise, it is not.

    Be careful about what they said about ammunition. BATF might not care about the notification if shipping to a licensee but the Department of Transportation cares very much.
     
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