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View Full Version : Shipping a Handgun Out of State (or Handgun Parts)


chiselchst
03-11-2009, 5:52 PM
OK, I just want to make sure I understand the law, and would appreciate input. I live in CA.

I need to ship a couple of handguns out of state, and have them returned to me. So I call my local gunstore (Martinez, CA), and ask if - for a fee if they could ship my guns to another FFL in another state, and accept them when shipped back. After being put on hold maybe 3 times and waiting, another "expert" comes on the line and says;

"Just ship the barrels & slides in one box, and the frames in another box. That way you're not really shipping a gun...plus I think you have to re-register them when they return"...:eek: :confused: At that point I said thanks for the help and hung up.

I can't do that, right? The frame IS the gun, right?

Along these lines, what have peoples experience been when asking an FFL to handle shipping for you? Seems to be little in it for them, except maybe future sales because of good customer service?

Thanks in advance...

B Strong
03-11-2009, 6:00 PM
OK, I just want to make sure I understand the law, and would appreciate input. I live in CA.

I need to ship a couple of handguns out of state, and have them returned to me. So I call my local gunstore (Martinez, CA), and ask if - for a fee if they could ship my guns to another FFL in another state, and accept them when shipped back. After being put on hold maybe 3 times and waiting, another "expert" comes on the line and says;

"Just ship the barrels & slides in one box, and the frames in another box. That way you're not really shipping a gun...plus I think you have to re-register them when they return"...:eek: :confused: At that point I said thanks for the help and hung up.

I can't do that, right? The frame IS the gun, right?

Along these lines, what have peoples experience been when asking an FFL to handle shipping for you? Seems to be little in it for them, except maybe future sales because of good customer service?

Thanks in advance...

AFAIK, it's legal for you to ship a handgun to a FFL, a manufacturer or gunsmith w/o having to go through an FFL dealer, and it is legal for them to ship the handgun directly back to you.

I just did it with a Kimber for warranty service, UPS was the carrier, and there were no glitchs (other than the fact that the piece wasn't fixed)

ke6guj
03-11-2009, 6:02 PM
AFAIK, it's legal for you to ship a handgun to a FFL, a manufacturer or gunsmith w/o having to go through an FFL dealer, and it is legal for them to ship the handgun directly back to you.


+1. It is legal for you to ship the handgun to an FFL for repair/customization, and have it returned directly to you, with no other FFLs needed in the process.

chiselchst
03-11-2009, 6:12 PM
Wow...

I thought it was only legal to ship to/from a MANUFACTURE?

Even when shipping out of state to gunsmith, not a manufacture?

That's great news ! Thanks...

scr83jp
03-11-2009, 6:16 PM
OK, I just want to make sure I understand the law, and would appreciate input. I live in CA.

I need to ship a couple of handguns out of state, and have them returned to me. So I call my local gunstore (Martinez, CA), and ask if - for a fee if they could ship my guns to another FFL in another state, and accept them when shipped back. After being put on hold maybe 3 times and waiting, another "expert" comes on the line and says;

"Just ship the barrels & slides in one box, and the frames in another box. That way you're not really shipping a gun...plus I think you have to re-register them when they return"...:eek: :confused: At that point I said thanks for the help and hung up.

I can't do that, right? The frame IS the gun, right?

Along these lines, what have peoples experience been when asking an FFL to handle shipping for you? Seems to be little in it for them, except maybe future sales because of good customer service?

Thanks in advance... I'm a CA resident.If you're going hunting in another state and flying to that destination you can ship your weapons safely with UPS or FedEx and return.A friend told me a horror story about a friend who transported his rifle with him on a flight ,the homeland security rep was given a key to his reinforced guncase to open it for inspection.When he arrived at his destination and claimed his luggage and guncase he discovered someone had cut the hinges on the guncase,taken all of his ammunition which was in plastic boxes ( a note said it had to be in the original factory boxes) and searched his hunting clothes then threw them back it the case,they tied it together with tape and string.If the handguns are going to a shop for service you can ship them.I had a defective SS Ruger 4 5/8 inch barreled Single Six ,I packed it up and sent it to Ruger in New Hampshire for repairs and it was sent back to me.

ke6guj
03-11-2009, 6:19 PM
Wow...

I thought it was only legal to ship to/from a MANUFACTURE?

Even when shipping out of state to gunsmith, not a manufacture?

That's great news ! Thanks...

here's the info.

Sec. 478.147 Return of firearm.

A person not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State or local law may
ship a firearm to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or
licensed dealer for any lawful purpose, and, notwithstanding any other
provision of this part, the licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or
licensed dealer may return in interstate or foreign commerce to that
person the firearm or a replacement firearm of the same kind and type.
See Sec. 478.124(a) for requirements of a Form 4473 prior to return. A
person not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State or local law may ship
a firearm curio or relic to a licensed collector for any lawful purpose,
and, notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the licensed
collector may return in interstate or foreign commerce to that person
the firearm curio or relic.

[T.D. ATF-270, 53 FR 10507, Mar. 31, 1988]
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/aprqtr/27cfr478.147.htm

chiselchst
03-11-2009, 7:03 PM
Ke6guj,

Thank you very much. I will do that. Thanks for the info & link...

Mitch

hawk1
03-11-2009, 8:17 PM
Just be sure he is a licensed gunsmith.

Eastbayguy
03-11-2009, 9:08 PM
Can you let me know how much UPS charged you for couple handguns,
as I'm looking to send them to be refinished!

freakshow10mm
03-11-2009, 9:17 PM
Overnight is usually $50-70 depending on how much weight and how far it's going.

jellyb
03-11-2009, 9:20 PM
Interesting story:
I was at the UPS store in Pleasanton CA and was trying to ship my gun to Entreprise Arms for Hardchroming and a new hammer installed. I filled out all the paper and when he asked what I was shipping I said a pistol to a gunsmith. His face turned red as he stated you are not allowed to ship guns. Instead of haggling with the guy I just left. The shipping was not that bad until you added insurance.

UPS ground on a 6lb package was about 35.00
insurance for 3000.00 brought it up to about 65.00
total: 100.00 to ship

I am not sure what it would have cost me to get it shipped back.
Shipping was so expensive I don't know if I will even ship. I will probably deliver it in person.

freakshow10mm
03-11-2009, 9:27 PM
UPS policy is handguns must ship overnight.

If you ship any other method, and there is a loss, your insurance is void and they will not cover it because you didn't ship it according to their shipping policy.

If your firearm is going to a licensed dealer, manufacturer, gunsmith, or importer you do NOT have to disclose that it is a firearm.

NotSoFast
03-11-2009, 9:48 PM
My personal experience is that you can ship directly to a FFL. I recently sold a gun to a friend in a different state. The only thing I had to do was to ship the handgun directly to a FFL. I called that FFL and he said that was correct. I did have to take the gun, already wrapped and boxed, to the UPS Shipping Center, not to a UPS Store.

I have also dealt with a gunsmith. His directions were the same, since he was a licensed FFL himself. When the gun was ready he shipped it directly back to me, without having to go through a local dealer.

And I did not have to reregister it. Think about it. It is already registered in my name. The only thing the gunsmith or dealer does is to log it in his log when it comes in and log it back out when he returns it to me.

Another item to consider. A handgun must be shipped UPS or FedEX overnight, while a rifle may be shipped Ground.

railroader
03-11-2009, 10:40 PM
I have shipped handguns at a kinkos fedex. I filled out the paperwork and put the item was a gun and put the true value. I handed the girl the box and said ship it ground. It was about $10 for shipping. Mark

chiselchst
03-12-2009, 2:31 AM
I have shipped handguns at a kinkos fedex. I filled out the paperwork and put the item was a gun and put the true value. I handed the girl the box and said ship it ground. It was about $10 for shipping. Mark

She violated FedEx's policy...

This what I have learned:
* UPS or FedEx does ship handguns, but has to be Overnight
* Signature required
* Must provide copy of receivers FFL license, to verify that gun is going to an FFL
* Must be declared as a hand gun

Here's some text from the FedEx website:
"Firearms
A. 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:

1. 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
2. Where not prohibited by local, state and federal law, from individuals to licensed importers, licensed manufacturers or licensed dealers (and return of same).
B. 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.
C. Firearms must be shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight service. FedEx Express cannotship or deliver firearms C.O.D. Firearms shipments cannot be placed in a FedEx Express Drop Box.
D. 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.
E. The shipper and recipient must be of legal age as identified by applicable law.
F. 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.

http://www.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/SG_TermsCond_US_2009.pdf

(enter *firearm* in .pdf search field)

Eastbayguy
03-12-2009, 6:16 AM
Interesting story:
I was at the UPS store in Pleasanton CA and was trying to ship my gun to Entreprise Arms for Hardchroming and a new hammer installed. I filled out all the paper and when he asked what I was shipping I said a pistol to a gunsmith. His face turned red as he stated you are not allowed to ship guns. Instead of haggling with the guy I just left. The shipping was not that bad until you added insurance.

UPS ground on a 6lb package was about 35.00
insurance for 3000.00 brought it up to about 65.00
total: 100.00 to ship

I am not sure what it would have cost me to get it shipped back.
Shipping was so expensive I don't know if I will even ship. I will probably deliver it in person.
Looks like I'm going to send just slides for refinishing:o

1923mack
03-12-2009, 10:06 AM
Interesting data to know!