Discussion in 'Legal' started by bikemutt, Aug 8, 2013.
Personally, I'd go complaining to my Congressman. 'Course, mine might actually take my side ...
I think you misread this as giving you the choice between the two. What it says, they, the Postal Service, may ask you for either. The paragraph is intentionally ambiguous, in order to give the Postal Service employee a broader discretion in the public interest.
Ask to spend a little time with the Postmaster of that Post Office.
Explain to him you're not interested in getting someone in trouble over this misunderstanding, but to make sure his/her clerks are aware of USPS policy.
Bring a positive attitude, and you'll get better results.
Remember, the goal is to make sure that the P/O accepts proper shipments and doesn't reject them, not to go express anger and get someone in trouble - which won't really happen anyway.
You go to the postmaster general for the USPS.
I am not an FFL, yet I have shipped a couple of firearms back to the manufacturer via USPS for work.
According to the one USPS Postal Inspector I've spoken to it's MY choice. In the last five years I've shipped over 400 handguns and dozens of rifles and shotguns via USPS (from four different post offices)......NONE have asked me to open the box or provide written certification. Why not? I appear to know what I'm doing.
Few USPS/UPS/FedEx employees know every rule, regulation or tariff........they couldn't, there are too many. Many will rely on intuition, rumor or myth when confronted with asituation they do not know how to handle. I HAVE been asked "Is it loaded?", "Is the firing pin removed?" and the classic "Will it go off?"..........all were satisfied with "No".
Want to increase your chances of being hassled at the post office? Ship it in a box with a big green "Remington Arms" on the side. Or volunteer to the clerk that "It's a Bushchester 700 assault rifle, do I need to ship it Express Mail?" Seriously, pay and print your label on line at usps.com and DROP IT OFF at the local post office. Minimize your interaction with people who do not know as much as you.
('it was in a Remington box'..)
"Why not just write STEAL ME on the box?..."
I had covered up the label that said 'Remington', but it's pretty hard to disguise a box made to fit a long arm.
I believe it is a Federal Crime for an airline, airport, or TSA to add any label to the exterior of luggage containing a gun. I don't think it applies to the mail and or even the passenger. That would be governed by common sense.
PS. There is a lot of ignorance out there. I had trouble shipping a sword once until I convinced the clerk at a MBE-type stores that it was being send back to "the maker" . . . "It has to be a maker", she said. I got a lot of grief about a scope going back for warranty service. On the other hand I've shipped pre-1898 antiques without the clerk so much as batting an eye. If you want a guarantee of no hassle, go to the UPS or FedEx distribution center.
Actually having a gun to mail it would fall into the 'official business' portion of the law.
I mailed a rifle last year, after checking the ATF and USPS web sites. When I informed the clerk the package contained a firearm, he ran back to get his supervisor. People started peeking from around corners, and then the postmistress showed up with a cellular phone at each ear, holding a three-way conversation. The then asked if the recipient was an FFL and if there was ammunition in the box; I said yes and no, and she told the clerk to accept the package. Time elapsed: less than 10 minutes, in and out.
They didn't know what to do, did what it took to find out what they needed to do, and did it. I was pretty happy with it, and just figured they didn't come across firearms much. I mentioned it to a local FFL later, and he said, "I can't imagine they wouldn't know, I ship one or two guns a week." <shrug> Came out OK in the end for me, anyway.
never had an issue selling and shipping a long arm via usps as an individual. just brought package to clerk, shipped priority insured for full value--told them nothing dangerous-flammable blah blah. had my return address marked on box and included a copy of the receiving ffl. licensee inside the package.
Kimbershot: "never had an issue selling and shipping a long arm via usps as an individual..."
Neither have I, except for may latest "iffy" situation that turned out OK - this time. This is why this issue has raised my ire, especially if it represents a new turn by the USPS. It so happens, that the USPS had the best rates, by far. And I hate to be pushed into using other shipping channels that cost far more. It just brings up the notion that government entities may be able to 'effectively' shut down a legal activity, not by 'shutting it down', but by making things so financially infeasible as to render it unusable for 'certain' activities. The same has happened in the new, so called 'shall issue' states. The hoops one must jump through, not to mention the costs to obtain a handgun, in D.C. for example, puts the whole thing out of reach for most folks, and this is clearly by design.
I use the same private mail service as my LGS . So far I have had no issues.
If its not too much extra hassle, ship it from a more rural post office. There is a rural USPS about 5 miles from my house, never gotten so much as a raised eyebrow at the thought of shipping a firearm. I imagine if it was downtown in the city, they are just as likely to hit the panic alarm an call down the SWAT team.
"In the last five years I've shipped over 400 handguns and dozens of rifles and shotguns via USPS (from four different post offices)......NONE have asked me to open the box or provide written certification"
That doesn't mean that they can't ask.
And if they ask, you will either do as they ask, or you will not be able to mail the package.
And you don't get to choose the method of proof that the firearm is not loaded. They do. You will open it, or give a written statement, *at the USPS's pleasure* when asked.
That's pretty simple, and is the rule. This as per written communication with the Postal IG a few years ago when it became an issue at my own post office. WE don't need to like the rule... it just is the rule. Really, they do NOT want you open it, especially as it then conflicts with many of the "no guns allowed" signs... but... they can ask.
The rule is so they can assess if Bubba is handing over a loaded rifle for shipment: Imagine a postal employee being shot after dropping a box......
Rather than re-visit the PO today and fluff my dander again, I went to the FFL I use for transfers to pick up a 1911 I'd bought online. Ironically, he had another customer there who happened to have retired after 24 years at USPS. He listened to my story and said that in his opinion the clerk did and said just about everything wrong which really comes as no surprise to me.
I believe this person just wants to play queen for a day, or two, or three. I feel quite certain there's a promotion in her future, because that's the way things seem to work these days.
Office of the Inspector General, United States P.O.
I've done some searches here and elsewhere, but...
Can this office just make rules governing shipping willy-nilly? Do they not come under federal jurisdiction in the end? Isn't there supposed to be some form of congressional oversight?
It sure sounds like it to me, I spent an entire day trying to find out a few years ago. Finally I decided my time was worth more than talking to a bunch of idiots who didn't know their own policy's.
My Pak-Mail store was owned by 2 pro gun guys, who knew how to take care of this stuff, so I just paid the bill and they took care of it.
But they told me at the time, you will just get the run a round, from the post office, either they don't know, or are anti gun, and won't take it. I had better things to do than stand there and argue with some clerk or their supervisor, you sometimes have to ask yourself is it worth getting aggravated over a stupid, biased, person.
It's not going to change anything for the next guy. They still will default back to, sorry we don't ship guns for private party's, you have to be an FFL or a manufacturer.
The post office is so broke right now they are considering stopping Saturday door to door deliveries. Also heard the postmaster general is pushing alcohol delivery through the USPS. Sure the local postmaster would be happy to replace this person for refusing business if it is OK with their policies and procedures. I know this was only 1 shipping request but if this happened all the time all over the place, the lost revenue add up quick.
Heard about the idea to allow alcohol shipping too... Of course their financial situation has been in the red for years too. At this point, it seems, alcohol is a lot more politically correct than firearms though.
You had it figured out right here:
Do not allow an employee to dictate her own version of the rules. She is an employee.
Be polite, be firm, ask to speak to her supervisor, and then the Postmaster. The Postmaster reports to someone as well.
You are following the law and their rules. Make sure that they follow both as well.
IF you are shipping a long gun, 1-800-horsepoop
You need to be polite ... but you also need to teach these people their place. You do that by climbing up the food chain until you hit a manager that is having a bad day and will slap them silly just for the fun of it. Do it in writing ... phone calls never happened.
They work for YOU, not the other way around, and have rules THEY must follow.
IF you are shipping a HANDGUN, then they are correct. Only an FFL can ship a handgun USPS. If that is the case it will likely be cheaper for you to take your handgun to an FFL and pay him a small fee to ship it for you than to send it overnight FedEx.
You know I got a Xmas gift when I was 17 that I for the life of me could not figure out what it was. The box was about two feet long and about a foot wide and weighed about 8 lbs or so.. When I opened it found out it was a 30-30 Model 94 Winchester that they removed the buttstock on and placed beside the rest of the rifle making the box shorter. Might be a way to disguise what is actually in the box for mailing as well.
Kuyong - What an awesome gift! That occurred to me, but I was concerned about the trigger assembly hanging off the action during shipping, and since I was sending to Ruger for repair I didn't think they would want the whole thing tore down. Anyway, tracking # says it all got there safely. Now just have to wait for the turnaround... I'm going to have to take something else out shootin' now.
It seems to me that the O.P. just is creating his own problems. I can not find a requirement that the mailer must declare that he is mailing a long gun as defined by postal regulations.
14 Restricted Matter
Restricted matter includes articles on which mailing restrictions have been imposed for reasons other than risk of harm to persons or property involved in moving the mail. Motor vehicle master keys and intoxicating liquors are examples of restricted items.
412 Mailer Responsibility
The mailer is responsible for ensuring that all Postal Service requirements, as well as all federal and state laws and local ordinances that apply to the shipment of an article of restricted matter, have been met.
433 Mailer Responsibility
Even though certain types of firearms are permitted to be mailed within the provisions of the postal law in 18 U.S.C. 1715, it is the mailer’s responsibility to comply with all federal and state regulations and local ordinances affecting the movement of firearms.
The following conditions apply:
a.Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (referred to as “handguns”) are nonmailable in the domestic mail, except as permitted in Exhibit 432.1 and DMM 601.11.1
b.The disassembled parts of a handgun or other type of nonmailable firearm that can be readily reassembled as a weapon are nonmailable, except as permitted in Exhibit 432.1 and DMM 601.11.1 or 601.11.2.
c.Unloaded antique firearms sent as curios or museum pieces are generally permitted, as specified in Exhibit 432.1 and DMM 601.11.2.
d.Unloaded rifles and shotguns may be mailed if the mailer fully complies with the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90—618) and 18 U.S.C. 921. The mailer may be required to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not excluded from mailing because of the restrictions in 432.1b and c.
432.2 PS Form 1508
PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms, must be completed by each firearm manufacturer or dealer who deposits firearms for mailing. The form must be filed with the postmaster of the post office of mailing.
432.3 Packaging and Marking
No markings of any kind that indicate the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside wrapper or container of any mailpiece containing firearms. Mailable matter must be properly and securely packaged within the general packaging requirements in DMM 601.1–8.
As a aside to the O.P. I always double box any firearm that I ship in a oversize box with plenty of Styrofoam, peanuts and bubble wrap.
Fair enough but what if they ask?
Separate names with a comma.