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Ran into this on the ATF site when looking for some other info, and since the subject comes up frequently ..... I thought it was worth posting :

Firearms - Frequently Asked Questions - Unlicensed Persons | ATF

ATF website ---- Frequently Asked Questions :

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.


Q: May a person who is relocating out of State move firearms with other household goods?

Yes. A person who lawfully possesses a firearm may transport or ship the firearm interstate when changing his or her State of residence.

Certain NFA firearms must have prior approval from the Bureau of ATF before they may be moved interstate. The person must notify the mover that firearms are being transported. He or she should also check State and local laws where relocating to ensure that movement of firearms into the new State does not violate any State law or local ordinance.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(4) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.28 and 478.31]
 

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The only time,iv'e ever mailed a firearm,was for some warranty work, to S&W last Dec.S&W sent me a shipping label and told me to use Fedex.I called Fedex and was told the drivers didn't accept firearms,but,would deliver it to me,when it came back.I don't have an FFL.S&W told me to be sure to let Fedex know,it was a firearm when i took it to one of their offices.
Thankfully all went well.To the OP,good info on the post,thanks.May be useful down the road.
 

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Good reference for those who've never had a need to ship.

Dan060, FedEx and UPS won't take firearms for shipping except at their retain counters. Further, even their "authorized" franchise outlets (mailbox places, pack-n-ship, etc.) generally won't accept guns.
 
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The few times I've shipped a firearm I used FedEx. I just took it to the office and showed the unloaded gun to the person at the counter and said "I need to package this up" Paid the fee and off it went, no problem.
 
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