I really don't have all the answers. I have heard a lot of speculation about various shipping methods, and I only have a little experience myself with inter-state shipping. Judging by the few times I've tried to ship a gun for an interstate transaction, UPS, USPS, and Fedex all whine incessantly about that you can only ship to a FFL or manufacturer.Sec. 46.06. UNLAWFUL TRANSFER OF CERTAIN WEAPONS. (a) A
person commits an offense if the person:
(1) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to
any person knowing that the person to whom the handgun is to be
delivered intends to use it unlawfully or in the commission of an
(2) intentionally or knowingly sells, rents, leases,
or gives or offers to sell, rent, lease, or give to any child
younger than 18 years any firearm, club, or illegal knife;
(3) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sells a
firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who is
(4) knowingly sells a firearm or ammunition for a
firearm to any person who has been convicted of a felony before the
fifth anniversary of the later of the following dates:
(A) the person ’s release from confinement
following conviction of the felony; or
(B) the person ’s release from supervision under
community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision following
conviction of the felony;
(5) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to
any person knowing that an active protective order is directed to
the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered; or
(6) knowingly purchases, rents, leases, or receives as
a loan or gift from another a handgun while an active protective
order is directed to the actor.
(b) In this section:
(1) "Intoxicated" means substantial impairment of
mental or physical capacity resulting from introduction of any
substance into the body.
(2) "Active protective order" means a protective order
issued under Title 4, Family Code, that is in effect. The term does
not include a temporary protective order issued before the court
holds a hearing on the matter.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
Subsection (a)(2) that the transfer was to a minor whose parent or
the person having legal custody of the minor had given written
permission for the sale or, if the transfer was other than a sale,
the parent or person having legal custody had given effective
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor,
except that an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a state jail
felony if the weapon that is the subject of the offense is a
In short, technically you can't ship handguns by USPS if you are a civilian. Shotguns and rifles are fine. Judging by the text of their regs, it appears that they will not accept shipping of any NFA weapons (short barrel shotguns, short barrel rifles, machineguns, etc).11.1.1 Definitions
The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:
a. Handgun means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm or device the mailing of which is regulated by this standard.
b. Pistol or revolver means a handgun styled to be fired by the use of a single hand and to fire or otherwise expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with enough force to be used as a weapon.
c. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, designed to, or that may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with enough force to be used as a weapon.
d. Other firearms capable of being concealed on the person include, but are not limited to, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.
e. Short-barreled shotgun means a shotgun that has one or more barrels less than 18 inches long. The term short-barreled rifle means a rifle that has one or more barrels less than 16 inches long. These definitions include any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. A short-barreled shotgun or rifle of greater dimension may be regarded as nonmailable when it has characteristics to allow concealment on the person.
f. Licensed manufacturer and licensed dealer mean, respectively, a manufacturer of firearms or a bona fide dealer of firearms, duly licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the Department of the Treasury, under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-618), 18 USC 921, et seq.
g. Antique firearm means any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:
1. Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
2. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (referred to as handguns) are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in 11.1.3 and 11.1.5 after the filing of an affidavit or statement required by 11.1.4 and 11.1.6.
11.1.3 Authorized Persons
Subject to 11.1.4, handguns may be mailed by a licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government or the government of a state, territory, or district, only when addressed to a person in one of the following categories for use in the person's official duties:
a. Officers of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps.
b. Officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, or district.
c. Officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district, whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.
d. USPS employees authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector.
e. Officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States.
f. Watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, or district.
g. Purchasing agent or other designated member of agencies employing officers and employees included in 11.1.3c. through 11.1.3e.
11.1.4 Affidavit of Addressee
Any person proposing to mail a handgun under 11.1.3 must file with the postmaster, at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the addressee setting forth that the addressee is qualified to receive the firearm under a particular category of 11.1.3a. through 11.1.3g, and that the firearm is intended for the addressee's official use. The affidavit must also bear a certificate stating that the firearm is for the official duty use of the addressee, signed by one of the following, as appropriate:
a. For officers of Armed Forces, by the commanding officer.
b. For officers and employees of enforcement agencies, by the head of the agency employing the addressee to perform the official duty with which the firearm is to be used.
c. For watchmen, by the chief clerk of the department, bureau, or independent branch of the government of the United States, the state, the territory, or the district by which the watchman is employed.
d. For the purchasing agent or other designated member of enforcement agencies, by the head of such agency, that the firearm is to be used by an officer or employee included in 11.1.3c. through 11.1.3e, Authorized Persons.
11.1.5 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.
11.1.6 Certificate of Manufacturers and Dealers
A licensed manufacturer or dealer need not file the affidavit under 11.1.4, 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 component parts 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.
11.1.7 FBI Crime Detection Bureaus
Handguns may be mailed without regard to 11.1.3 through 11.1.6 if:
a. Addressed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or its director, or to the scientific laboratory or crime detection bureau of any agency whose members are federal law enforcement officers or officers of a state, territory, or district authorized to serve warrants of arrest or commitment; or
b. Offered by an authorized agent of the federal government as an official shipment to any qualified addressee in categories 11.1.3a. through 11.1.3g, or to a licensed manufacturer or dealer of firearms or to a federal agency.
11.2 Antique Firearms
Antique firearms sent as curios or museum pieces may be accepted for mailing without regard to 11.1.3 through 11.1.6.
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. 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 11.1.1e.
11.4 Legal Opinions on Mailing Firearms
Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of rifles or shotguns. Contact the nearest office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for further advice.
Basically the jist, you can ship handguns, shotguns, and rifles, but only to an FFL. They don't accept shipping of NFA firearms.Special Procedures for Shipping Firearms
Use These UPS Services for Your Firearm Shipment UPS accepts packages containing firearms, as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code, for transportation from and between licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors, as defined in Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code, law enforcement agencies of the United States (or of any department or agency of the United States) and law enforcement agencies of any state or department agency (or political subdivision of any state), and from and between persons not otherwise prohibited from shipping firearms by federal, state or local law and when such shipment complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws applicable to the shipper, recipient and package.
- Handguns, as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921,will be accepted for transportation only via UPS Next Day Air® Early A.M.®, UPS Next Day Air®, or UPS Next Day Air Saver® services. (Note: UPS Express CriticalSM Service is not available for firearms).
- UPS accepts firearm parts for shipment, provided the part is not a "firearm" as defined under federal law; the contents of the package cannot be assembled to form a firearm; and the package otherwise complies with federal, state, and local law. (Note: Receivers or frames of a firearm, firearm mufflers and silencers are considered "firearms" and are accepted for transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS's requirements for shipping firearms.)
- UPS does not accept automatic weapons, including machine guns, for shipment.
- Firearms, including handguns, and firearm parts are not accepted for shipment internationally
- Ammunition may be accepted for shipment internationally provided it is shipped in accordance with the UPS Guide for Shipping International Goods.
- UPS ReturnsSM Services are not available for packages containing firearms.
Follow These Packing Requirements
- Packages containing handguns must be separated from other packages being delivered to UPS.
- Ammunition cannot be included in packages that contain firearms (including handguns). Ammunition must be shipped in accordance with the UPS Guide for Shipping Ground and Air Hazardous Materials, or the UPS Guide for Shipping International Dangerous Goods.
- Small arms ammunition, as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 173.59, will be transported only when packaged and labeled in compliance with 49 C.F.R. § 172 regarding hazardous materials shipments.
About Documentation and Labeling
- The shipper must use Delivery Confirmation Adult Signature Required service for each package containing a firearm, including a handgun, and affix a UPS label requesting an adult signature upon delivery.
Getting Your Firearm Shipment to UPS
- You can only ship your package that contains a handgun from UPS daily pickup accounts or through UPS Customer Centers (counters at UPS operational facilities). Note: Handguns are not accepted for shipment through UPS Internet Shipping, UPS Drop Boxes, or UPS On-Call PickupSM, or at The UPS Store® or any third party retailer.
- When you are shipping a package that contains a handgun, you must verbally notify the UPS driver or UPS Customer Center clerk.
- You can ship a firearm (excluding handguns), from a UPS daily pickup account, UPS On-Call Pickup, One-Time Pickup, or a UPS Customer Center. Note: Firearms are not accepted for shipment through UPS Internet Shipping, UPS Drop Boxes, or at The UPS Store or any third party retailer.
- See the terms and conditions in the UPS Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service for information regarding firearm shipments.
The jist of those is basically the same as UPS, for most of it they defer to federal law. So handguns, shotguns, and rifles are in. As far as NFA stuff goes, I have no idea about any of that and I certainly wouldn't be the person to ask. In the state of Texas, there is no law prohibiting an individual from shipping a firearm to an FFL or manufacturer. It looks like individual to individual is not allowed anywhere in state or federal regulations. Maybe someone can give a definite answer and cite the actual regulations (I browsed but it's late, I'm tired, and probably missed some stuff). Until then, I'd say it looks like you'll have to deal with an FFL. If it's convenient and the distance in travel isn't beyond reason, then a face to face transfer is always an option.Firearms
- FedEx Express will transport and deliver firearms as defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, between areas served in the U.S., but only between:
- Licensed importers; licensed manufacturers; licensed dealers; licensed collectors; law enforcement agencies of the U.S. or any department or agency thereof; and law enforcement agencies of any state or any department, agency or political subdivisions thereof; or
- Where not prohibited by local, state and federal law, from individuals to licensed importers, licensed manufacturers or licensed dealers (and return of same).
- If your shipment contains firearms, select the Direct Signature Required or Adult Signature Required Delivery Signature Option, depending on the requirements of your shipment. See the Delivery Signature Options section for details. Firearms shipments are not eligible for signature release or indirect delivery.
- Firearms must be shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight service. FedEx Express cannot ship or deliver firearms C.O.D. Firearms shipments cannot be placed in a FedEx Express Drop Box.
- Upon presenting the package for shipment, the person tendering the shipment to FedEx Express is required to notify FedEx Express that the package contains a firearm. The outside of the package must not be marked, labeled or otherwise identify that the package contains a firearm.
- The shipper and recipient must be of legal age as identified by applicable law.
- The shipper and recipient are required to comply with all applicable government regulations and laws, including those pertaining to labeling. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can provide assistance.
- G. FedEx Express will transport ammunition when packed and labeled in compliance with local, state and federal law, and the Dangerous Goods section of this Service Guide. Ammunition is an explosive and must be shipped separately as dangerous goods. You agree not to ship loaded firearms or firearms with ammunition in the same package.