shipping firearms

This is a discussion on shipping firearms within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have never had to ship a pistol back to the manufacturer for repair (thank god) I don't need to yet but If I ever ...

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Thread: shipping firearms

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    shipping firearms

    I have never had to ship a pistol back to the manufacturer for repair (thank god) I don't need to yet but If I ever did I don't really know how to go about it. I understand you can't ship complete guns through the USPS but you can send parts right? barrel, slide etc... correct?

    Say I wanted to ship a complete handgun to the manufacturer to fix, do I need to have an FFL pack it and ship it to the company or can I bring it to UPS boxed up and ship it myself?

    Also say I wanted to send a pistol to a gunsmith who does trigger jobs. Would I need to have an FFL pack and ship it to him or can I ship it myself? The gunsmith I would send it to has an FFL by the way.
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array TheShadow's Avatar
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    If the person receiving the firearm is a licensed dealer you are good to go. You have to take it to the UPS counter and not an UPS Store.

    UPS
    “Put your pain in a box. Lock it down. No man is stronger than one who can harness his emotions.” -Act of Valor

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    If it's a complete firearm it has to be shipped to the manufacturer by next day air right? darn that can get expensive!
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    Member Array Pete14's Avatar
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    I was told by the guy in the shipping department at Glock that you can send guns back and forth from an individual to a manufacturer legally through the mail (he suggested UPS). He told me that you cannot purchase a gun from a dealer and have it shipped to an individual. It has to go to a FFL dealer. Most any (legitimate) dealer will not sell you a gun that has to be shipped without it going to a FFL first.

    I believe this to be correct but hopefully someone knows for sure.

  6. #5
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    You can send gun parts through the USPS, and you may send long arms, but handguns are prohibited. This includes anything that the BATFE would consider a "firearm" - i.e., the serially-numbered receiver or action. A barrel by itself with a serial number is not considered a "firearm." In the example you cite (a trigger job) you'd need to send pretty much the full handgun, so no, you could not ship via the USPS.

    For a non-licensee (you) to send complete handguns to an FFL or licensed manufacturer (gunsmith), there is no need to invoke the use of an FFL. You have to use either FedEx or UPS and enjoy their extortionary rates. I've used both; FedEx is close to my workplace and I'm usually asked "is the gun disassembled?" To which I answer "of course" because there is no way I will undo my very secure packaging job. The gun can be returned to you by USPS or by common carrier, again as long as the shipper is duly licensed.
    Smitty
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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    A firearm is a frame or receiver. Barrels, slides, grips, magazines, and whatever else can be shipped via Post Office, but only FFL holders can ship actual guns via USPS, and only as part of a commercial transaction. Since C&R holders are specifically not allowed to do commercial transactions, a C&R FFL does not let you ship your gun to a gunsmith via USPS. Look on the Post Office web site for the exact details. (I looked this up because I have a C&R and wondered if it was a way around the USPS regulations. No dice.)

    There is no law saying you must ship via UPS or FedEx, or in any particular way; the law (USPS regulations, really) simply says you can't use the Post Office. UPS and FedEx, then, can accept your regulated firearms for shipment, and it is the policy of each of those carriers (as opposed to any legal requirements) that you use their highest priced service (Next Day Air or Priority Overnight) to do so. You also are required to tell them what is in the package, but do not indicate firearms anywhere on the package itself---I also note that most reputable gun smiths have shipping addresses that do not use the word "gun" anywhere in the name.

    Mind you, this all presumes that the smith you are sending to does have an FFL; you can't mail a regulated firearm to your buddy the gunsmith if he is not also a commercial FFL holder.

    An alternative is that you can have an FFL holder ship the gun for you. If you get a flat-rate USPS Priority box for about $7, then even a $30 transfer fee makes it a viable proposition. If you have a transfer dealer with whom you are on good terms, ask him what he would charge to ship a gun for you. Again, the FFL-holding gunsmith can ship direct back to you without using overnight service. If the return shipment comes back through your transfer FFL, you might want to double-check that this does not require you to fill out the ATF transfer forms.

    (By the way, Smitty, I have never been asked if my shipped gun is disassembled, and there is nothing in the common carrier policy that says it must be; I have only ever been asked if it is unloaded...)
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    thanks guys.

    I'm good as long as I ship it to either customer service or an FFL gunsmith.

    Why does UPS make you ship it overnight?

    So humor me, what if I ship it UPS to a FFL gunsmith and said it was books or anything EXCEPT a firearm. I guess that would be breaking the law but I'm just curious.
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    (By the way, Smitty, I have never been asked if my shipped gun is disassembled, and there is nothing in the common carrier policy that says it must be; I have only ever been asked if it is unloaded...)
    Roger that... there's nothing in the FedEx guidelines on the web that state "disassembled", but I have been asked that at the counter at least twice now... maybe it's just a local custom (Phoenix area). Rather than press the issue I just give my affirmative answer.
    Smitty
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    when I package it up and bring it to ups is there anything I need to do differently or can I ship it like any other package. Do I need a copy of the recipients FFL and if so what do I do with it?
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Hello, everyone. I have a CCW, and an oddball concern came up regarding gun shipping. My GF Merischino was kind enough to let me post under her name.

    I brought my 9mm Hi-Power clone to a gun show, and came across someone who does professional gun blueing. Needless to say, I worked out an agreement and turned over my gun so he could do the work.

    Now, here's the kicker: he shipped it back to me, and the carrier just left the box on my front stoop while I was at work. No signature or anything. The package was clearly labeled 'GUN ENCLOSED'.

    I live in a somewhat sleazy neighborhood, and I believe that it was only by sheer luck that the package (and my gun--completely assembled) didn't end up in criminal hands. I've always been against increased gun legislation, but am I the only person who thinks that there is something wrong with this?

    Thank you for considering my post.

    Best,

    ---Kevin

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    Hello, everyone. I have a CCW, and an oddball concern came up regarding gun shipping. My GF Merischino was kind enough to let me post under her name.

    I brought my 9mm Hi-Power clone to a gun show, and came across someone who does professional gun blueing. Needless to say, I worked out an agreement and turned over my gun so he could do the work.

    Now, here's the kicker: he shipped it back to me, and the carrier just left the box on my front stoop while I was at work. No signature or anything. The package was clearly labeled 'GUN ENCLOSED'.

    I live in a somewhat sleazy neighborhood, and I believe that it was only by sheer luck that the package (and my gun--completely assembled) didn't end up in criminal hands. I've always been against increased gun legislation, but am I the only person who thinks that there is something wrong with this?

    Thank you for considering my post.

    Best,

    ---Kevin
    Yes, there's something wrong - a complete lack of common sense on the shipper's part. No matter who actually carries the freight - USPS, UPS or FedEx, they all warn against putting ANY markings on the outside of the box that state it contains a firearm. And legislation can't fix stupid.
    Smitty
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post
    Why does UPS make you ship it overnight?
    Because they have you by the short-hairs, of course.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post
    when I package it up and bring it to ups is there anything I need to do differently or can I ship it like any other package. Do I need a copy of the recipients FFL and if so what do I do with it?
    Nope, no verification required. It's just on your head if you aren't shipping it to an FFL and Somebody Finds Out.

    Oh, keep in mind that UPS and FedEx also require you to ship direct from a company service center; you can't go to Kinko's or the local packing/shipping center at the strip mall to send it. It has to go out of an actual UPS or FedEx center.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post

    Why does UPS make you ship it overnight?.
    Because they have a major internal theft problem. By minimizing the amount of time the weapon is in their system, the exposure to theft is reduced. So instead of fixing the basic problem, i.e., internal controls and making employees accountable, they resorted to the extortionary approach and make the customer pay.
    Smitty
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    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    ... he shipped it back to me, and the carrier just left the box on my front stoop while I was at work. No signature or anything. The package was clearly labeled 'GUN ENCLOSED'....am I the only person who thinks that there is something wrong with this?
    Kevin, not only is it wrong, it is illegal: 27 CFR 478.30

    (d) No common or contract carrier shall knowingly deliver in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm without obtaining written acknowledgment of receipt from the recipient of the package or other container in which there is a firearm:
    I always aim for the right eye...and I never miss - Goldeneye

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