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View Full Version : Does a seller have to ship through an FFL?


vikingshelmut
03-22-2007, 12:17 PM
I just wanted to clarify something. I'm attempting to buy a used shotgun from a private party in TX. He says he needs a copy of my guys FFL to provide to his FFL who will do the shipping. It was my assumption that he does not need to ship the item through an FFL since this is a private party sale. Is this correct?

vikingshelmut
03-22-2007, 12:21 PM
Excuse me, I should clarify. I mean that I thought he did not need to ship it through his FFL, but he must ship it to my FFL.

bwiese
03-22-2007, 12:24 PM
He does NOT need to ship thru his FFL; the Texas dude can ship straight to your FFL. Only one FFL needs to be in the path, and you need the FFL to be in CA for your end.

If you give him a few numbers from your FFL dealer's FFL ID number, he can be 100% confident he's indeed shipping to a legit, valid FFL dealer by using the BATF's E-Z-Chek website (Google for it...) and shipping to the actual address on it.

461
03-22-2007, 12:40 PM
Keep in mind however that he's also not required NOT to send it through his FFL. It's completely up to him how he wants to proceed. Also, not all FFL's will accept a firearm from a private party, it's their choice.

vikingshelmut
03-22-2007, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the replies. I understand it is his choice to ship through an FFL if he wants to. I was just making sure I was correct in that he doesn't have to. Since I figured his FFL would probably charge him a fee, I wanted him to know this.

tenpercentfirearms
03-22-2007, 12:49 PM
Correct, he does not have to ship it through an FFL. There is no law that stipulates this.

If he tries to pass onto you extra cost because he wants to ship through an FFL, I wouldn't pay it.

DrjonesUSA
03-22-2007, 3:22 PM
What about if someone in CA were to sell a gun to a party outside of CA; do they have to ship out through an FFL in CA?

MaceWindu
03-22-2007, 3:46 PM
What about if someone in CA were to sell a gun to a party outside of CA; do they have to ship out through an FFL in CA?

No.

Mace

Sam Hainn
03-22-2007, 5:38 PM
No.

Mace

Well....there are always exceptions. If it is a registered AW, then technically, you must use an AW dealer to ship the firearm, even if to out-of-state from CA.

Yute
03-22-2007, 6:59 PM
Some FFLs I have transfered with insist that the seller also through a FFL - it's unnesscary under the law but they want to do it to cover their behinds..

MaceWindu
03-22-2007, 9:36 PM
Well....there are always exceptions. If it is a registered AW, then technically, you must use an AW dealer to ship the firearm, even if to out-of-state from CA.

Based on the original question.

I'm attempting to buy a used shotgun from a private party in TX.

That would be "no". "AW" was not mentioned anywhere in the original question.


Mace

vikingshelmut
03-22-2007, 9:53 PM
BTW I got a response from the seller, who insists that "Legally when a gun travels across state lines it has to go from FLL to FLL, regardless of what everybody says or writes on the internet." Even says he was visited by the BATF for not doing so. Oh well, I'm not going to argue about it with him. Just find it interesting the different interpretations of the law.

Just so I know, can anybody point out the law that says you don't need to do this? I'd like to know and point it out to him.

Mssr. Eleganté
03-22-2007, 11:23 PM
Just so I know, can anybody point out the law that says you don't need to do this? I'd like to know and point it out to him.

This is kind of a tough one to be able to show him. The 1968 Gun Control Act generally just prohibits certain things. It is mostly just a list of prohibitions, not a list of things that are legal to do.

The best you will probably be able to show him from the text of the law is USC 922(a)(5)...

922(a)(5) It shall be unlawful for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides;

What this says is that you can't transfer a gun to somebody who lives in another State unless you have an FFL or they have an FFL. Just one party needs the FFL, not both parties. But it is written in such a way that the guy probably won't be able to figure out what it is saying and he still won't believe you.

You might have better luck showing him this question from the FAQ page on ATF's web site...

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b1

B1) To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA?

A person may sell or transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State.

Sam Hainn
03-22-2007, 11:58 PM
Based on the original question.

That would be "no". "AW" was not mentioned anywhere in the original question.

Mace

Original question aside, I presented it as part of discussion only. The preemptory "Well....there are always exceptions." should telegraph that.

I knew the exception didn't apply in this case - it exists as exception to the original poster's question. It's worthy to note, so generalization wouldn't cause others a whole different type of trouble. Imagine how reverse application of generalization could cause trouble for a CA citizen shipping their AW out of state, were it applied to all transfers, because of a belief this thread is establishing that one never needs to ship FFL to FFL?

fun2none
03-23-2007, 9:07 AM
Based on my experience with out of state sellers, it might be more economical if an FFL ships a handgun. FFLs (licensees) can use the US Postal Service to ship handguns via Express Mail, which amounts to $25 plus FFL service charge if any.

A non-licensee must ship via contract carrier (UPS, Fedex, etc.) which will insist on next-day service for all handguns. The shipping charge could anywhere from from $40 to $50.

So it might be cheaper to ship it from an FFL.

vikingshelmut
03-23-2007, 9:10 AM
In my case it is not a handgun, but I understand your point.

vikingshelmut
03-26-2007, 12:39 PM
I also found this in the BATF FAQ:
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/index.htm

(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?

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)]


(B7) 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)]

Seems pretty clear to me.

monkey
03-26-2007, 5:24 PM
Less than knowledgable people tend to be a bit timid in selling and shipping guns and they should be. I'm comfortable in my knowledge of the law and of course would never use a shipping FFL, but those less experienced are smart to do this as it will minimize their risk of being scammed or inadvertantly breaking the law. If he wants to ship ot through an FFL, arguing with him just makes him more uneasy about the whole thing.

My problem is when the receiving FFL won't send me a signed copy of his license because I am not also a licensee. That's where I draw the line, I will not ship my gun anywhere unless I have a signed FFL.

SnWnMe
04-02-2007, 4:58 PM
Very educational thread. I feel comfy about shipping a handgun now.

Maybe this should be stickied?