Shipping a Firearm - Who, Where, How, When and Why

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nalioth

Active Member
Oct 13, 2008
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Houston Metro
I have noticed a lot of misinformation out there on shipping guns. This FAQ should answer all questions.

AS A SELLER/SHIPPER OF FIREARMS

For a quick reference, check these links:


ATF FAQ

http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub52.pdf

FedEx Firearms Policies

UPS: Shipping Firearms

The Gun Zone -- Shipping Firearms


AS A SELLER/SHIPPER - IF YOU WANT TO SAVE TIME READING:

How about this "short course" on shipping firearms:

***Declare all firearm shipments***and***Unless prohibited by your state or local laws***

A Non-FFL can ship a rifle or shotgun, via US Mail or common carrier (Fed Ex or UPS) to an FFL, back to the factory, or gunsmith, or out of state (to yourself). Or ship a rifle to another non-prohibited person within your state.

A Non-FFL can also ship a pistol via common carrier to an FFL, back to the factory, or gunsmith, or out of state (to yourself). Or ship a pistol (via common carrier) to another non-prohibited person within your state.
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The common carriers make the rules on how they want it shipped (overnight, same day or whatever), cause they can't trust their employees.

*THINGS MAY HAVE CHANGED* Some UPS employees THINK that the additional tariff rule ONLY allows shipping by authorized lic. to authorized lic. But read it carefully, it DOES allow for a non-FFL to ship to a FFL holder, back to the factory, or gunsmith. A lot of folks use Fed Ex cause, UPS has some ”problem employees,” that have a difficult time reading their own rules. *THINGS MAY HAVE CHANGED*
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US POSTAL SERVICE:

Non-FFL people, may mail a rifle or shotgun via the USPS.

Non-FFL people, may NOT mail a handgun via the USPS. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

For an FFL holder, a pistol (or rifle or shotgun) can be shipped FFL to FFL, FFL to the factory, or FFL to the gunsmith, via the US Mail.

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Shipping to an FFL, without a signed inked FFL in your hand
:

The shipper/seller, for their protection, needs to verify the receiver is a licensed dealer. They need to ask for the receiver's FFL Number.
The shipper should then go to this website to verify the license and address: ATF FFL Ez Check Site.
The shipper should print the screen they get.
They can then legally ship the gun to the receiver, but only at the address verified at the Ez Check Site.

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IF YOU’RE THE BUYER OF A FIREARM (FROM ANOTHER STATE


Since this is SALE of a firearm, the seller will ship the firearm to your FFL (not directly to you). Once the gun is at your local FFL, the FFL will record it in his book, he'll be responsible to check you out. Making sure you're not a prohibited person, have followed your local and state laws, have paid the correct fees (if applicable), and of course filled out form 4473.

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SHIPPING ANTIQUES

If the gun was manufactured prior to or in 1898 NOT in or after 1899, it is an antique. Period. It can be sent ANY way you like. The reference made to the type of ammo it fires applies to REPLICAS, NOT the real thing. If it is manufactured prior to 1899, it IS an antique and NOT covered by the GCA and is NOT a firearm by ANY definition under the law. There may be some weird state law somewhere, but I am not aware of it. Perhaps in Illinois, they have some weird laws.

The gun you described can be sent ANY way you like.


Title 18, Section 921(a)(16) then defines "antique firearm" as follows:

"The term 'antique firearm' means -

(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
(any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica -
(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
(ii) 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."

And….
Ship them USPS insured. They are NOT firearms and therefore are not controlled by the same laws. Do NOT declare what they are unless you want to start an argument with someone unknowledgeable. That is not necessary.


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FedEx Rules Governing Firearms Shipment
General Rules for 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 Delivery Signature Option 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.
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.

Additional Ground Tarrif Rules for FedEx

FedEx Ground will transport and deliver firearms (excluding handguns) 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 Delivery Signature Option 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, driver release or indirect delivery.
FedEx Ground cannot ship or deliver firearms C.O.D.
Upon presenting the package for shipment, the person tendering the shipment to FedEx Ground is required to notify FedEx Ground 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.
FedEx Ground will transport small-arms ammunition when packed and labeled in compliance with local, state and federal law, and the Hazardous Materials section of this Service Guide. Ammunition is an explosive and must be shipped separately as hazardous materials. You agree not to ship loaded firearms or firearms with ammunition in the same package.
FedEx Ground will not accept for transport handguns, assembled or disassembled.


Nalioth says: At this time, you're out of luck exercising your rights to ship directly to another resident of your state with FedEx - they just won't do it under their current corporate policy. UPS, however, will happily do so..



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UPS Rules Governing Firearms Shipment

Special Procedures for Shipping Firearms

Use These UPS Services for Your Firearm Shipment
Firearms will be transported only between licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors, as defined in the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, law enforcement agencies of the United States or of any department or agency thereof and law enforcement agencies of any state or department agency, or political subdivision thereof, 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.

You must ship your packages that contain handguns with UPS Next Day Air Early A.M.®, UPS Next Day Air®, or UPS Next Day Air Saver® services
Your packages that contain firearms will not be accepted for shipment at UPS Drop Boxes, with UPS SonicAir® service, at locations of The UPS Store or any third-party retailer, or with international services.

Follow These Packing Requirements
Your packages that contain handguns must be separated from other packages being delivered to UPS
Ammunition cannot be included in your packages that contain firearms (including handguns)

About Documentation and Labeling
When you are shipping your package that contains a firearm with UPS, you must 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 firearm from UPS daily pickup accounts and through UPS Customer Centers.
When you are shipping a package that contains a handgun, you must verbally notify the UPS driver or UPS Customer Center clerk
You can use UPS daily pickup accounts to ship firearms, not including handguns, through UPS Internet Shipping, UPS On-Call PickupSM, and One-Time Pickup
Your packages that contain firearms will not be accepted for shipment at UPS Drop Boxes, with UPS SonicAir® service, at locations of The UPS Store or any third-party retailer, or with international services
See the terms and conditions in the UPS Tariff for shipping firearms




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Unlicensed persons - ATF FAQ

B. UNLICENSED PERSONS

(B1) To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA? [Back]

A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may sell or transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State. However, a firearm other than a curio or relic may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(d), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]

(B2) From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA? [Back]

A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]

(B3) May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-State source if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s own State? [Back]

A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a firearm from an out-of-State source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser's State of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]

(B4) May an unlicensed person obtain ammunition from an out-of-State source? [Back]

Yes, provided he or she is not a person prohibited from possessing or receiving ammunition.

[18 U.S.C. 922(g) and (n)]

(B5) Are there certain persons who cannot legally receive or possess firearms and/or ammunition? [Back]

Yes, a person who –

(1) Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;

(2) Is a fugitive from justice;

(3) Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;

(4) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution;

(5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;

(6) Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship;

(8) Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner; or

(9) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

(10) Cannot lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.

A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year cannot lawfully receive a firearm.

Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information.

[18 U.S.C. 922(g) and (n), 27 CFR 478.32]

(B6) Do law enforcement officers who are subject to restraining orders and who receive and possess firearms for purposes of carrying out their official duties violate the law? [Back]

Not if the firearms are received and possessed for official use only.

The law prohibits persons subject to certain restraining orders from receiving, shipping, transporting or possessing firearms or ammunition. To be disabling, the restraining order must:

1. specifically restrain the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an "intimate partner" of the person (e.g., spouse);

2. be issued after a hearing of which notice was given to the person and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; and

3. include a finding that the person subject to the order represents a credible threat to the "intimate partner" or child of the "intimate partner" OR explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force against the partner.

However, the GCA has an exception for the receipt and possession of firearms and ammunition on behalf of a Federal or State agency. Therefore, the GCA does not prohibit a law enforcement officer under a restraining order from receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition for use in performing official duties. Possession of the firearm for official purposes while off duty would be lawful if such possession is required or authorized by law or by official departmental policy. An officer subject to a disabling restraining order would violate the law if the officer received or possessed a firearm or ammunition for other than official use. (See Question Q13 on officers’ receipt and possession of firearms and ammunition after a conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The government exception does not apply to such convictions.)

[18 U.S.C. 921(a)(32), 922(g)(8) and 925(a)(1)]

(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]
Only Federal laws are referenced here, you are responsible for knowing your own state and local laws before personally shipping or receiving firearms.
 
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