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Shipping Firearms and Ammo
Had some people on another forum ask about shipping firearms so I wrote up a short blurb.

To qualify myself, I am an 01 FFL.


A non-FFL can mail (USPS) a long arm (rifle or shotgun) to ANY 01 FFL in the US (if the FFL will accept a shipment from a non-FFL).

A non-FFL can ship a handgun, using a commercial enterprise like UPS or FedEx, to ANY 01 FFL in the US (again if the FFL will accept a shipment from a non-FFL).

A non-FFL can mail or ship a long arm to another non-FFL intra state (within PA).

A non-FFL CAN NOT ship a handgun to another non-FFL intra state.

A non-FFL can ship or mail a firearm to himself in care of another individual (anywhere in the US as long as the firearm is legal in the state it is going to). The receiving individual CAN NOT open the package. The shipment can be done as long as it is for a legal activity (hunting, sanctioned firearm match, etc.)

A FFL can ship or mail (USPS) any firearm, including handguns to another FFL in the US.

A FFL can ship a firearm directly back to an individual who sent the firearm to the FFL for repair/modification/customization. It does not have to go through a FFL on the receiving end.

Where the FFLs get involved is when the shipment goes interstate, or when dealing with handgun transfers within the state. Shipping across state lines the Feds dictate what can happen because of interstate commerce laws.

And if you do ship a long arm through the USPS, you MAY have to tell the person at the counter and then prove that it is unloaded. However, you should have NOTHING on the outside of the box that would indicate that there is a firearm in the container (this is true no matter how you choose to ship the firearm). Your best bet, if using USPS is to ship it Priority Mail with insurance. Priority Mail is handled quite a bit differently than regular packages being sent. I have used this method for 14 or 15 years now and have NEVER had a gun come up missing.

Ammunition (loaded) CAN NOT be sent through the mail (USPS).

Ammunition must be sent by commercial carrier and the box must have a label on it that says: Cartridges, Small Arms ORM-D

Reloading components that are not hazardous (cases, bullets) CAN be sent through USPS, in fact the USPS Flat Rate Shipping boxes are a cheap way to send a large amount at one time.

Reloading components that are considered hazardous (primers and powder) must be shipped by commercial carrier and a hazardous materials charge will also have to be paid.
Xringshooter, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Good info, thanks.

made it a sticky.
Thanks for spelling it all out. Good resource.
RL Suehr, proud to be a member of since Aug 2013.
Here goes my virginity! Big Grin

Xringshooter, yours is the first post I've read on this board. It, alone, is the best reason I could imagine to join Excellent information! Thank you. - S.
L'enfer c’est les autres, et les choses terribles qu'ils font!'  -  Jean-Paul Sartre  
Thank you and welcome to the forum. You will find this forum is very easy going, we don't, like some other forums, denigrate a person for asking a question, no matter what it is. Also, when forum members have something that will be useful for others now or in the future, it gets posted where it can be found. This is a great forum, you will see. Don't be shy about adding your 2 cents worth.
Xringshooter, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Thanks for all the great info
What about shipping a pistol in state to get it refinished?
das, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
das;164501 Wrote:What about shipping a pistol in state to get it refinished?

It still falls under the FFL shipped or Non-FFL shipped for the shipment method to the company that is doing the refinishing. The difference is that the completed pistol can be sent back directly to the owner, it does not have to go through a FFL. This is as per the BATFE. Even if a FFL sends it, it can still be sent back to the owner. The plus on a FFL shipping it is that they can ship it USPS which is much cheaper. Now, if it is just parts of the pistol, not the frame, the owner can ship those parts via USPS themselves.
Xringshooter, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.

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