Firearms Shipping

This is a discussion on Firearms Shipping within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am headed down to the ATL area for the New Year & would like to have my EDC with me while on my trip. ...

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Thread: Firearms Shipping

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Firearms Shipping

    I am headed down to the ATL area for the New Year & would like to have my EDC with me while on my trip.

    I am not going to try to fly out of Logan with my firearm so close to the holiday because I KNOW that would be a recipe for disaster. It's tough enough to get out of Boston on any holiday WITHOUT a firearm.

    I thought about flying out of Manchester but with the time of year and all, I don't want to worry about inclimate weather affecting my travel plans.

    So instead, I'm thinking of shipping the gun to myself in ATL next day air. I've read an earlier CC post that listed the firearms shipping rules made by the ATF but they've left me more confused than anything else. I can't tell if the rules refer to an FFL as a licensed individual or a permit holder.

    Can someone tell me if I can go to a UPS/FedEx hub and mail it to my place of temporary residence in GA? Or do I have to take my gun to a FFL in MA to have it mailed to a FFL in GA?

    Is it considered a "transfer" if I have to ship it to a FFL in GA when ownership is not being transferred?

    I am simply hoping to avoid being given undue attention by MSP Tactical at Logan or having my handgun lost/stolen in the airline's baggage. Yet I really don't want to put my carry piece at the discretion of someone that I don't know (like a FFL in GA).

    What to do?

    I have permits in MA & FL, which will cover me on the origin and destination points of my trip.
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but I beleive the FFL to FFL is the way you'll have to go for shipping. You'll also have to do the background check when picking up. Can you not just have it checked in the case with your baggage?
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimmak View Post
    Can you not just have it checked in the case with your baggage?
    If I lived in a gun-friendly state, like FL or VA, then I would do just that without a second thought.

    But in Boston, the airport employees/law enforcement are not likely accustomed to people owning firearms, much less people lawfully transporting them during aircraft travel.

    I don't want to imagine the circus routine that I'd be subject to by a bunch of TSA babboons that has never processed a firearm transaction, especially not between Christmas & the new year. Lots of people very short on patience and easily panicked. It's bad enough that I seem to get "randomly" picked for a comprehensive screening check every time I fly, in spite of my birth name being William Adams. You'd think I was Abdullah Rahman Al-Sadr by the way randomness seems to find me at the airport.

    I will drive to New Hampshire for my flight before I attempt to depart from Logan with my firearm. Yet I'd prefer to have it at my side when I arrive at Hartfield without worrying the whole time if someone has opened my bag and made off with my 1911.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
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  5. #4
    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    I would get online and check the TSA regs on transporting firearms, print them out and take them with you. Get a GOOD locking case and ask to be present when it is inspected (they should let you do that) and then put it INSIDE a checked bag - so the everyday bag-throwers don't know what it is. You should be good to go.....

    Good luck...

  6. #5
    Member Array Nate's Avatar
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    Honestly, your best bet is to take it with you, and have it checked. It's cheaper too - you've already paid for your ticket (AND your stuff!), so why pay more to have it overnighted to you?

    To transport firearms, you're required to have a hard, lockable case with TSA-approved locks. This way, no one will be able open your bag and make off with it (unless it's a TSA employee and they want to face a felony conviction).

    Make sure you get an approved TSA lock, so they can use their master key to unlock it, and not have to cut the locks off your case: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...ant/locks.shtm

    Here's another forum post about how easy it is: http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...eclare+firearm

    TSA Info: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm

    Also, check with your carrier to see if they have any special restrictions. American Airlines is supposedly one of the best for traveling with firearms: http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...firearms.jhtml

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    After reading the posts that Nate contributed, I may give flying out of Logan a try with my EDC.

    I think the hard-sided case I use to transport my sidearm to the range is TSA-approved. Now I'll have to pick up two of the master-key accessible locks for it.

    Thanks to all that replied to this post. I'll let you all know how it went upon my return.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
    Proud Member of GeorgiaCarry.Org

  8. #7
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Answer to your original question, you cannot ship it to yourself (unless, of course, you have an FFL). Shipping must be FFL to FFL, with some very specific exceptions for shipping to/from a gunsmith. In any case you cannot EVER ship a gun unless there is an FFL on at least one end of the transaction.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Please do ALOT of research on taking it with you. We had a member of XDTalk go through all of the proper procedures, and his gun was not in his bag when he got to his destination. He still doesn't have it! TSA is not being much help it appears either.

    Figure out a way to attach you hard case TO the inside of your luggage, and it may be safer.
    Sean
    XD 9SC | XD 45ACP Service | XD 45ACP Compact |Borealis
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    I have traveled with firearms from VA to PR, no problems - just arrive 1 hour earlier to declare it at the service counter instead of the ticketing counter. I stuffed the gun on a Sentry locking fire safe, then stuck the safe inside a dufflebag with a lock. Before locking the dufflebag, I had to go through TSA - they asked me if I had declared the firearm, I said yes, they told me to go ahead and lock the bag, and then they took the bag to the cargo area. One thing, make sure you are at the baggage claim as the bags are coming out, some airports don't secure the baggage claim area - so anyone can walk out with your bag (and your gun).

    You might want to call your airline to check specifics and ask for the number to the service counter, so you can call them ahead (either real early or late at night when theres not a lot of trafic) and verify what the procedures are for that specific airport (they tend to have different procedures in different places, regardless of it is the same airline or not). One more thing, if you are taking ammo, it has to be separate from your firearm (at least it had to be last time I flew with guns + ammo), so you will need a separate locking box/safe/etc, and everything needs to fit into your main bag.

    Keep all receipts/tickets the airline gives you in your carry on luggage, just in case something gets lost/stolen and you need to file a claim.

    Hope the info helps.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Sorry but there is a lot of mis-information here:

    -BATFE Q&A Question B9
    http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pu...04/q_and_a.pdf (page 9) states that it is perfectly legal for a person to ship their own gun to themselves in another state! NO FFL required.

    - BATFE and TSA rules on transporting firearms in checked luggage . . . it is illegal for ANYONE other than the gun owner to hold the key to the lock! NO TSA-approved locks can legally be used to secure the gun in the locked case! Better read the Regs!

    As a resident of the PRM, I can tell you that Logan was chosen for the 9/11 attacks specifically due to the very sloppy security there. Nothing has changed since 9/11 other than the rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic! For window dressing, they strip-search granny and others who pose no threat, fit no profile, while letting those that should get extra scrutiny through. I have not and will not travel thru Logan (hopefully) ever again. If I absolutely must fly, it will be thru TF Green (I'm South of Boston)!

    Also check the airline's own regs on transporting firearms and ammo. Their rules vary.

    If a gun of mine goes missing, my first call from the airlines own lost and found counter would be to BATFE! As a C&R FFL, there is a funny requirement that if any gun of ours gets stolen/lost, we MUST notify BATFE via 800 number and file a written report (special form) within x days. It does not seem to matter if the gun is C&R or not, it seems to be a function of being a "licensee". Telling the airline what you are doing is likely to get their attention . . . nobody wants the Feds crawling down their backs! BTW, another unknown legal requirement is to file an FA-10 declaring it lost/stolen and notifying your PD for MA residents. This could work to our advantage to get the airlines off its ass and look for it if it were missing.
    NRA Instructor

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    You can ship a handgun to yourself in another state. AND the BATFE does not require an FFL to be involved. HOWEVER, you can't use the US Postal Service, you need to use a common carrier (FedEx or UPS). BUT common carriers won't ship a handgun unless an FFL is on the shipping or receiving end, SO you end up using an FFL anyways! Also, as I remember, it is a crime to lie to a common carrier that you are shipping a gun as something else. Cute, eh?

    Compared to all that, the whole routine with checking it seems simpler...every airline I have ever checked guns with put the bag in their "special handling" category (i.e. over sized, over weight, live animals, etc.), which is loaded/unloaded separately.
    Last edited by AutoFan; December 9th, 2006 at 12:54 AM. Reason: clarity

  13. #12
    Member Array FireBreather01's Avatar
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    ATF regs state that if you are the owner of a gun you may ship it to yourself at any address as long as it is addressed to you and opened by you. State regs may differ. I've done this on occasion when I've had to fly - much less hassle and I don't have to worry about theft by baggage handlers.

    http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b9
    "(B9) 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."
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  14. #13
    Member Array Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LenS View Post
    - BATFE and TSA rules on transporting firearms in checked luggage . . . it is illegal for ANYONE other than the gun owner to hold the key to the lock! NO TSA-approved locks can legally be used to secure the gun in the locked case! Better read the Regs!
    Even with the current state of affairs, I find it hard to believe that two government agencies would contradict each other over something as major as this (firearms on aircraft).

    Here's what the regs DO say: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/100804tsaeducation.htm

    They even direct you to TSA's site. The whole "only owner can hold the key" thing is for non-security personnel. You are the only person that isn't paid to inspect baggage who is to hold that key. Obviously the TSA has to be able to open your baggage to inspect it. That's why they instituted the TSA-approved lock program/symbol, etc.

    One last note about flying with firearms: Once you arrive at your destination, your stuff SHOULD make it through to the luggage carousel. If, after a reasonable amount of time (usually 20-30 minutes at most airports), your weapon hasn't shown up yet, it's probably in the airport's baggage claim office. Just ask information, a security guard, etc., and they'll point you in the right direction to retrieve your weapon.

    Before leaving the airport, ask if there's a place where you can inspect the contents of your case to make sure everything's there. More than likely, they will accommodate.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moga View Post
    After reading the posts that Nate contributed, I may give flying out of Logan a try with my EDC.

    I think the hard-sided case I use to transport my sidearm to the range is TSA-approved. Now I'll have to pick up two of the master-key accessible locks for it.

    Thanks to all that replied to this post. I'll let you all know how it went upon my return.
    I had NO PROBLEM flying from Logan to O'Hare, then on to Hartsfield and back the same way on American. At most, a few minutes was added to the nominal amount of time required for counter check-in.

    I had the firearm and ammo stored in a hard-sided case padlocked by two combination-type locks. TSA asked me to open the gun case, then after swabbing the inside for bomb residue, had me sign an affidavit that the gun was unloaded before relocking it. The affadavit was placed inside the case with the gun. A TSA-approved lock kept the suitcase locked that contained my EDC.

    The only indication of Logan's lack of familiarity with the process was the counter clerk's insistance that I carry the hard-sided case in-hand to the TSA examination room. My opened luggage was left at the check-in counter with the clerk. I was a little weary of following her directions because I'm sure it was obvious to the other sheeple waiting in line at the counter what was in the case. I probably caused a small spectacle as the process I underwent is unusual for a customary check-in. Yet, at least the clerk didn't hit the panic switch when I declared the firearm.

    I find it mind boggling that no one ever asked to see my permit. Not even in Boston. To me, this oversight seems to be a critical break-down of airline security, but that's a topic for another thread.

    All in all, my first experience flying with my gun was a non-issue. I will definately bring along my buddy when I next fly to ATL (or anyplace else that I'm legal).
    Last edited by Moga; January 4th, 2007 at 02:25 PM.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
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  16. #15
    Member Array Nate's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good trip with your firearm, and thanks for the update! I was wondering how it turned out.

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