View Full Version : Shipping guns, questions

03-30-2005, 1:07 PM
Someone in the know please answer...
Assume a non-FFL wants to ship a gun to an FFL for sale to another party.

Long Guns...
Which services USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex will accept and which is the best (cheapest)?

Do they always have to go through an FFL or can a seller send him/herself to an FFL?


03-30-2005, 2:25 PM
Hi NorCalGuy...

OK... I think below is generally correct. (From a legal standpoint it IS correct.)

Your target address must be an FFL. I'd have a BATF E-Z Check printout of FFL address or a copy of destination FFL just in case of questions at shipping point.

<LI>Long guns: if not CA assault weapon, long guns can be shipped via US Postal or by other carriers. I do not think UPS/FedEx/etc. have special restrictions on shipping types for long guns though you might have to go to special offices for firearms shipments (i.e., not FedEx offices in Kinko's stores...) I believe you must declare item as firearm no matter what carrier you choose.

I ship my long guns via US Post Office priority Mail or Parcel Post - insured, return receipt.

<LI>Handguns: Handguns cannot be shipped at all by non-FFLs via US Postal mail.
FFLs can ship handguns via US Postal mail. Handguns can also be shipped via FedEx, UPS, etc. carriers by non-FFL. Because of prior theft issues, I believe these carriers all require 'next day air' shipping of handguns to reduce theft exposure.

<LI>Assault Weapons: There is no Federal recognition of AWs, but Calif. law mandates AW owners ship their AWs via CA FFL who holds a (rare) CA Assault Weapon Permit. 50BMG rifles will be treated similarly.

Carriers, including USPO, do not differentiate
AWs from other firearm types. If the AW is a pistol, you again cannot ship it via US Postal mail.

If a Calif AW is a Type III 'by feature' AW - but not a Type I 'named' or Type II AR/AK rifle - a sufficient number of evil features can be removed to render it into a non-AW configuration (i.e, removing pistol grip, flash hider, etc.). It then it can be shipped like a regular rifle even though it is registered as an AW.

[This is from DOJ website and from direct query of senior Cal DOJ officials at recent NRA Member's Council meeting.]

[If you have an unregistered AW in Calif, I'd seriously advise you to avoid any transactions with it and, at best, get it out of state very carefully or destroy the receiver.]

I would not send a complete Type III AW, even if some evil parts were separated from it, in the same box. If necessary, the pistol grip, etc. should be sent separately. When my FAL clone was returned by my smith (CGW), I had him mail me the barreled upper receiver in a separate box from the pistol grip lower. Extra postage, but what the hell.

Ensure, if it's this latter case, that your gunsmith returns the gun EXACTLY the way you sent it - if 'swith accidently ships you your gun in AW configuration it could cause you and him problems. [/list]

Also I would not ship any hicap mags in or out w/any gun!!

Make sure smith does not accidentally send you back a hicap mag.

Do NOT allow any external markings on package indicating 'Firearm'. That's a big 'STEAL ME' sign and there's no law requiring that (and I think there are prob ones prohibiting it - I know this applies for airline travel w/declared guns in luggage.)

And of course you should verify to be unloaded, no ammo present in package, etc. Conceivably, you might be asked to open the pacakge.

Print out a copy of your shipper's firearm policies from their website. If there's any quibbling at the front counter, refer 'em to that - they will go back and check their own books too but at least this will speed the process so they don't have to cruise around.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

03-30-2005, 4:49 PM
Bookmark these links:

UPS Firearm Shipping Guidelines (http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/prepare/guidelines/firearms.html)

FedEx Firearms Shipping Guidelines at #14 (http://www.fedex.com/us/services/terms/us.html)

08-04-2005, 12:42 PM
QUick update here

Shipping individual (Non-FFL) to FFL in another state.

USPS: No way
UPS: No way, go away
FedEx: Yep, has to be taken to shipping node, unmarked box, firearm preferably disassembled, has to ship via Priority Overnight (Air)

08-04-2005, 2:36 PM
Originally posted by Czechsix:
Shipping individual (Non-FFL) to FFL in another state.
USPS: No way
UPS: No way, go away

Wrong wrong wrong!!!

Long guns are perfectly legal to be sent via US Mail to an FFL anywhere (CA or other 49 states). You can mail your rifle or shotgun, as long as it's not an assault weapon, to any FFL, inside or outside CA.

UPS: you can send any guns via UPS to an FFL. I think you can only send overnight. Gotta go to regular UPS shipping office.

FedEx: no requirement whatsoever that firearms are broken down.

You may've been listening to a desk clerk instead of reading the actual rules.

Bill Wiese
San Jose