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View Full Version : Taking my gun on Vacation... But how?


Exdc
11-29-2011, 4:39 PM
As many of you know, I recently purchased all the parts for an AR-15. Currently in the process of assembling them, as they come in the mail. The final pieces (ironically, the ones I need most) are going to be here last; on Wednesday.

So, for Christmas, I (and my family) are going to the free state of Oregon. For some very complicated reasons, revolving around my father being a felon, I don't want to figure out a way to take the gun in the car with me (even in my gun safe). At first I thought "I could drive separately..." But after some quick calculations, it would be about $200 in gas, just to drive. Then, I though "Well, I could ship it up", then realized that all I really need to ship is the lower. I have a locking box for ammunition, and I'll probably get more while I'm up there, since I'm planning to be shooting quite often, so I can keep that in the car. (It's a suburban; no trunk to lock it in)

Anyway, I was wondering which (if any) precautions I need to take when mailing an assembled lower. I've heard that the post office people aren't too happy when you tell them what you're shipping, even though it's not against the law, or even their policy. Also, if I ship it up with two day shipping, and I don't get their in time to receive it (at the door of my relative's house) then what kind of legal repercussions could there be? If I'm sending it to me, but at a relative's address, am I breaking any kind of law? Should I write to myself, but in care of "relative's name"?

Has anyone done this, or something similar? Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. I leave somewhere around the 16th of December.

digitalelf
11-29-2011, 5:08 PM
As far as I know, anytime you send a firearm through the mail (be it UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.), the person(s) receiving the firearm have to have an FFL...

Meaning, you'd have to ship it to a dealer...

Like I said, that's how I understand it. I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than I will chime in on this later...

Exdc
11-29-2011, 5:11 PM
See, that's what I thought; then I read that that's only if I'm making a transfer... But I'm not sure... thus, the purpose of the thread.

tast101
11-29-2011, 5:20 PM
Wouldn't we be able to, say, mail a firearm to yourself in a locked pelican case and be fine?

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 5:25 PM
You can mail a rifle to yourself for hunting or any other lawful reason. It does not need to go to an FFL in that case

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html
look at 7, 8 and 9

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?
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)]

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?
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]

Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?
Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

heycorey
11-29-2011, 5:27 PM
It's perfectly legal to ship a gun to yourself ... the idea being that you're the person who'll open the box after you (and your gun) arrive at your destination. Put your name as the shipper/receiver and whatever the correct addresses are.

And while a receiver is regulated by the ATF, for shipping purposes, you're not shipping a "gun". So if it were me, I wouldn't feel compelled to tell anyone at the shipping counter what's inside the box.

tujungatoes
11-29-2011, 5:37 PM
And while a receiver is regulated by the ATF, for shipping purposes, you're not shipping a "gun". So if it were me, I wouldn't feel compelled to tell anyone at the shipping counter what's inside the box.

That's about the dumbest thing I've read all day. The receiver IS the firearm.
Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm.

http://api.ning.com/files/8fP-yfvv-HULwYXx5wjfP2K-dDsb5uBthzGrHYTdmLrZW9k6GG2HwGVk6TFB1K0BV3L4siZSFF YFkm55G1JYX5C6FguMKTlH/facepalm4cr.jpg?width=500&height=432

You just encouraged the OP to break federal law.

Exdc
11-29-2011, 5:38 PM
Thanks guys. What I'm planning to do: Ship the lower receiver in a box from myself, to myself with the address of where I'm going to be. I will NOTIFY the person at the counter that I am shipping a firearm. I'll be the one to open the package, and all's well.

Anyone to verify whether or not this is okay?

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 5:45 PM
Thanks guys. What I'm planning to do: Ship the lower receiver in a box from myself, to myself with the address of where I'm going to be. I will NOTIFY the person at the counter that I am shipping a firearm. I'll be the one to open the package, and all's well.

Anyone to verify whether or not this is okay?

Sounds like it follows the law

heycorey
11-29-2011, 6:01 PM
That's about the dumbest thing I've read all day. The receiver IS the firearm.

You just encouraged the OP to break federal law.

Well ... as with any endeavour, if I'm going to something dumb, I try to do it the best I can.

For clarification, per federal law, how would you suggest that the OP notify the carrier that the shipment contains a firearm", ensuring that he doesn't violate that law?

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 6:09 PM
Just like you do when flying with a checked firearm

Hi I would like to declare that I am shipping (inset checking in for flying) an unloaded firearm in accordance to your rules (and federal law)

(Have print outs of the ATF laws and the carriers rules handy)

tujungatoes
11-29-2011, 6:12 PM
When you go to the post office you tell the clerk "I'm mailing a firearm".

I've never done this before, but wouldn't be at all surprised if the clerk told you it was illegal. I would read up on the regs concerning mailing firearms through the usps and be prepared to speak intelligently to the post master if necessary.

twinjetguy
11-29-2011, 6:14 PM
Just curious here, despite the fact that you are traveling with a convicted felon, is it illegal to have your firearm with you in a locked container? If you are the registered owner of said firearm, it shouldn't be an issue as long as you are with it.

Maybe I am not educated on the law? I don't know. I know that I have a friend that has a felony on his record and it is 100% legal for his wife to own firearms. If it were me, I wouldn't feel comfortable shipping one of my firearms. I wouldn't want it out of my site really.

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 6:16 PM
Also do not try to do this at a 3rd party mail box place.

Take it to a a big branch location of the USPS bigger the better (They will be more up on their laws and may have seen it done before)

I'm pretty sure if you try to do it with UPS or Fedex you have to take it to a distribution center that accepts package drop offs

heycorey
11-29-2011, 6:18 PM
When you go to the post office you tell the clerk "I'm mailing a firearm".

I've never done this before, but wouldn't be at all surprised if the clerk told you it was illegal. I would read up on the regs concerning mailing firearms through the usps and be prepared to speak intelligently to the post master if necessary.

Gotcha. I guess now I have to be worried that if I tell the clerk I'm mailing a firearm, they accept the package ..., but then the package is somehow intercepted and opened by Federal law enforcement and they want me to prove that I followed the law.

Exdc
11-29-2011, 6:19 PM
Just curious here, despite the fact that you are traveling with a convicted felon, is it illegal to have your firearm with you in a locked container? If you are the registered owner of said firearm, it shouldn't be an issue as long as you are with it.

Maybe I am not educated on the law? I don't know. I know that I have a friend that has a felony on his record and it is 100% legal for his wife to own firearms. If it were me, I wouldn't feel comfortable shipping one of my firearms. I wouldn't want it out of my site really.


Technically twinjetguy, you are correct. It shouldn't be any less legal than having the firearm locked in my house. That said, it wouldn't make my dad's life easy if say, we were stopped by local authorities. If I was driving, it wouldn't be as much of an issue, since I could just hand them my DL and let them know I'm carrying an unloaded firearm that is locked in a safe (and has a cable lock on it). But since he won't let me drive, he would have to say "I'm carrying an unloaded firearm locked in a safe", and that wouldn't make them too happy when they look him up and find out he's a felon. He'd get taken in indefinitely, and that wouldn't make for too happy a vacation.

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 6:19 PM
Just curious here, despite the fact that you are traveling with a convicted felon, is it illegal to have your firearm with you in a locked container? If you are the registered owner of said firearm, it shouldn't be an issue as long as you are with it.

Maybe I am not educated on the law? I don't know. I know that I have a friend that has a felony on his record and it is 100% legal for his wife to own firearms. If it were me, I wouldn't feel comfortable shipping one of my firearms. I wouldn't want it out of my site really.


As far as I understand it at as long as you have sole access to the weapon you can have a felon living in your home or with you in a car etc. So as long as you always have control of the key you are GTG

If I was driving, it wouldn't be as much of an issue, since I could just hand them my DL and let them know I'm carrying an unloaded firearm that is locked in a safe (and has a cable lock on it). But since he won't let me drive, he would have to say "I'm carrying an unloaded firearm locked in a safe",
Uhh you do not have to volunteer information to the officer that you have a legal gun being transported in a legal fashion.
If he asks for officer safety you can then tell him that yes its locked in the trunk. It's still your possession and in your control so it would not be your fathers problem

straykiller
11-29-2011, 6:24 PM
heres UPS rules for shipping a firearm if you haven't read it yet

http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/guidelines/firearms.html

Exdc
11-29-2011, 6:24 PM
Suburban's don't have a trunk; should have clarified that.

Thanks Stray, I haven't, because I hadn't known if it was even possible, and if so which carrier I would ship it with. I'll read this now.

mattt
11-29-2011, 6:32 PM
So how do you get it back into calif with a felon? ship it back? sounds like a full retard plan! Ship a gun out of state and then back for Vacation because you are driving with a felon.Why not chain it to the underside of the chevy?

straykiller
11-29-2011, 6:32 PM
Suburban's don't have a trunk; should have clarified that.

Thanks Stray, I haven't, because I hadn't known if it was even possible, and if so which carrier I would ship it with. I'll read this now.

no problem, if you have a lockable glove box couldn't you lock you receiver in your glove box? its a different compartment and locked then just keep your upper and ammo in the car. dunno if this is considered legal so someone chime in and let me know but it would be a lot easier and better than having to ship your lower.

Edit: Never mind i just realized you do not want to drive with it because of certain reasons.

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 6:32 PM
USPS
http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_009.htm

Fedex
http://www.cgwgun.com/shipping/fedex.aspx

Exdc
11-29-2011, 6:46 PM
So how do you get it back into calif with a felon? ship it back? sounds like a full retard plan! Ship a gun out of state and then back for Vacation because you are driving with a felon.

Yes, maybe it is. However, it beats paying $200 for gas, or not taking it along at all. This is more likely the best option; just leave it home. But assuming I don't want to do that, this seems the only logical way.


USPS
http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_009.htm

Fedex
http://www.cgwgun.com/shipping/fedex.aspx

UPS
http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/guidelines/firearms.html

As far as shipping, they all seem to have the same restrictions. Sounds fun. Actually... unless I'm missing something, it's not that bad, as long as I have ATF laws, and the PO/carrier's policies printed out, go to the largest branch, and am willing to talk to the post master (Not a problem).

stix213
11-29-2011, 6:48 PM
If this were me, I'd make the felon figure out he HE is going to get up to Oregon and back. This is all his problem he created after all, not yours. my $0.02

If FedEx/UPS loses your gun, or it gets swiped off of someone's doorstep, its going to be a bigger deal than a $200 issue anyway. You're also going to have to secure the firearm away from the felon while you're up there too, so you're still going to need some kind of locked case.

Exdc
11-29-2011, 6:53 PM
If this were me, I'd make the felon figure out he HE is going to get up to Oregon and back. This is all his problem he created after all, not yours. my $0.02

If FedEx/UPS loses your gun, or it gets swiped off of someone's doorstep, its going to be a bigger deal than a $200 issue anyway. You're also going to have to secure the firearm away from the felon while you're up there too, so you're still going to need some kind of locked case.

As far as I'm concerned, my father has done his time. No point sacrificing my relationship with him over a couple weeks without my gun. That's another thing you may have missed, or maybe you just chose to ignore it... The felon in question happens to be my father, and in spite of mistakes (stupid things) he's done in the past, I happen to care a great deal about both him, and his comfort. He also raised me to be respectful of my elders. He happens to be one of my elders.

twinjetguy
11-29-2011, 6:54 PM
Ok, I understand what you are saying and I can understand your concerns. That being said, if you had your rifle in a locking case and you were the only one with keys to it I don't think there would be an issue at all. Maybe you could contact your local police department, explain the situation and see what they have to say about it?

While I do not agree with your whole shipping idea, I won't be like some of the other posters on here and call it a "retard plan". No need to say things like that at all. You are coming on here looking for advice and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, not insults. Lighten up a little guys, he is trying to figure out the best way to do it.

I always get a laugh from people on forums that sling insults like it's no big deal. :D

Exdc
11-29-2011, 6:58 PM
Ok, I understand what you are saying and I can understand your concerns. That being said, if you had your rifle in a locking case and you were the only one with keys to it I don't think there would be an issue at all. Maybe you could contact your local police department, explain the situation and see what they have to say about it?

While I do not agree with your whole shipping idea, I won't be like some of the other posters on here and call it a "retard plan". No need to say things like that at all. You are coming on here looking for advice and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, not insults. Lighten up a little guys, he is trying to figure out the best way to do it.

I always get a laugh from people on forums that sling insults like it's no big deal. :D

I appreciate constructive criticism. I'm not to hot on the idea of shipping it, and now that I think about it, it may not be worth the hassle; especially if it gets "lost" in the mail. You're right, there *shouldn't* be an issue. There most likely wouldn't be. But my father isn't willing to take the chance, and I can understand why.

thomashoward
11-29-2011, 7:03 PM
As far as I know, anytime you send a firearm through the mail (be it UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.), the person(s) receiving the firearm have to have an FFL...

Meaning, you'd have to ship it to a dealer...

Like I said, that's how I understand it. I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than I will chime in on this later...

Fortunately my gunsmith in Oregon can send my completed rifles USPS. I go to the PO and sign for them. AOK not to FFL My friends and I send long guns to gunsmiths all over the country and they return them directly to us. I prefer overnight with insurance and hope someone steals it. no FFL needed

twinjetguy
11-29-2011, 7:03 PM
I appreciate constructive criticism. I'm not to hot on the idea of shipping it, and now that I think about it, it may not be worth the hassle; especially if it gets "lost" in the mail. You're right, there *shouldn't* be an issue. There most likely wouldn't be. But my father isn't willing to take the chance, and I can understand why.

Sounds to me like this is one of those vacations where the gun isn't going then. No need to cause any problems with pops over it. I know what you are going through. One of my best friends lives in Oregon. His parents own something like 100 acres and we can go shooting right off the deck at the house. I always wish I had some of my guns with me but luckily he has enough, even a couple I bought for him!!

Just for ****'n'giggles give your local police department a call and ask what their stance is on the situation. I know it won't help with how your dad feels. I can't blame him for feeling like he does. If I had a felony on my record I wouldn't want to risk it either.

I dated a girl that had a felony and I let her borrow my truck for awhile. I suddenly realized I had some ammo stashed in the truck that I forgot to take out. Nothing happened but I guess someone with a felony can't even be in possession of ammo either.

Exdc
11-29-2011, 7:07 PM
Right you are. Felon+ammo is a major no-no. I might call my LEO office for "giggles". Just not now; I really should get back to my project.

Tomorrow or Thursday, when I finish building my rifle, I'll post pictures. I may even find a range and begin to break it in.

Thanks guys. Have happy holidays.

Chaos47
11-29-2011, 7:14 PM
Your welcome. Hope whatever you decide it works out. I think your on to something about the family part, enjoy your time with them.

mattt
11-30-2011, 7:14 PM
Full Retard =Tropic Thunder movie =Over the top= not meant as insult.

Exdc
11-30-2011, 7:21 PM
My goodness... That movie was retarded. But thanks for the clarification.