View Full Version : Shipping: UPS - avoiding overnight
May 23, 2002, 12:56 PM
I'm looking at doing a deal with a guy on the boards and am looking for experiences from people who have avoided UPS's "requirement" that handguns be shipped "overnight." I know people get around it all the time, I just need to know "how."
Have you successfully sent a gun via UPS without resorting to the exhortitant overnight rate? What do you claim as the contents? Have you ever had to make a claim against something shipped this way? Package would be going to a sporting goods store, who happens to also be an FFL.
Legal eagles, please note: This is perfectly legal, it is strictly UPS "rules" (that is, "greed") that say you have to use overnight.
If you feel better mailing me off board please feel free to do so.
May 23, 2002, 01:10 PM
Probably not the most helpful answer, but...
1. Don't tell 'em
2. Use FedEx?
May 23, 2002, 01:41 PM
It's not merely greed, it seems ups has a problem with sticky-fingered employees when it comes to firearms being shipped. By forcing it to go overnight, it has a much more stringent tracking system, has less time to be stolen, and is touched by fewer people, FWIH.
May 23, 2002, 05:24 PM
Well, a firearm is after all merely a bunch of "machined parts". Or you could tell UPS it is a "projectile delivery system with feeding apparatus." I can already picture the goofy little teenie bopper UPS or Pack 'n Mail clerk scratching her head at that one!:D
Seriously, while I have never done what you're contemplating (no, really I haven't yet anyway), I have yet to have them inquire as to the contents of anything I have ever shipped. Maybe I've just lucked out, I don't know.....
May 24, 2002, 10:53 AM
Even though it still costs too much, 2nd day air is okay, too. It's cheaper than overnight.
May 24, 2002, 12:09 PM
I've 'heard' that folks box the gun, well packed. Then ship them as "machined parts" That way only you and the ffl know what's in the box.
May 24, 2002, 12:11 PM
I've 'heard' that folks box the gun, well packed. Then ship them as "machined parts" That way only you and the ffl know what's in the box. Go ground and it's a lot cheaper.
June 4, 2002, 10:23 AM
To get a better price on shipping go Priority Mail with the Post Office. I had sent a pistol to a customer in MO. His cost shipping through the Post Office was $8.00, compared to UPS $32.00. I plan on shipping everything out via US Mail. Alot cheaper:)
June 4, 2002, 11:33 AM
Unfortunately, that option is only legally available to FFLs. The USPS will not ship guns for individuals. It is against their rules, and therefore (somehow) the law.
June 5, 2002, 02:54 AM
I'll recheck the regs, but then so should you, but I'm sure an individual can ship a pistol to an FFL, a gunsmith with FFL, the original dealer or the factory when returns or repairs are needed. None of those are sales activities. Selling one and shipping one by USPS is limited to FFL holders at both ends. That knocks out an individual selling one and shipping it USPS or an FFL selling one and shipping it to a non-FFL. Here's an opinion I value:
"Think of it this way, I am always a dealer and you are only a dealer when it concerns C&R guns. A dealer may mail a handgun to another dealer. So if it is a 1922 Canardly-Shute, I can mail it to you or you can mail it to me because we are both dealers. If we are talking about a new Desert Eagle, you are not a dealer and I can neither mail it to you nor can you mail it to me.
However, ANYONE may use a common carrier to ship a gun and you, as a non-dealer, may ship that Desert Eagle to a gunsmith in Ohio and he may ship it back to you via common carrier."
I'm shipping a revolver to Taurus for repair tomorrow, I returned a semi-auto to SOG a month ago. My Gunsmith/FFL ships USPS all the time. USPS does not have the same theft problem as UPS and Fedex simply because its a violation of federal law to tamper with the US Mail. No such laws protect you with UPS or Fedex.
USPS has a website with their Form 1508 (certifies the shipment legally) and alls regs available for download and printing. I will pack to their specs, present the package for their inspection before sealing at their counter and ship it Priority Mail. Done!
Herb Fredricksen firstname.lastname@example.org
June 5, 2002, 09:20 AM
That knocks out an individual selling one and shipping it USPS or an FFL selling one and shipping it to a non-FFL.
But that's precisely the situation I'm asking about here.
Thanks for the info though, re: shipping for other purposes than sale.
June 5, 2002, 08:08 PM
June 7, 2002, 02:23 AM
Both FEDEX and UPS require notification, BUT, should you choose NOT to notify and you must make a claim for lost/stolen or damaged property, according to the Standard operating guidelines of both shippers, as you FAILED to properly list your item, you forfeit insurance.
I've been shipping via FEDEX ONLINE for years now and I've yet to have a single problem.
June 7, 2002, 11:05 PM
I belive federal law requires you to notify carrier that a firearm is being shipped - I think they aren't suposed to mark the box and must require adult sig. Check ATF regs before shipping.
I think Fed Ex may still allow firearms at cheaper rates then overnight - last time I shipped a gun the dealer didn't want me to use Fed Ex as they were across town from him.
June 8, 2002, 02:07 AM
NVCDL FEDEX requires overnight shipping on all firearms but they have two different overnight, before 10am and before 5pm.
If you choose the before 5pm you can usually save quite a bit more.
If you ship a lot however, do as I do, I've linked my FEDEX account to my American Express account, and now everything shipped I receive 20% off.
A NON license holder may ONLY ship his weapon to a licensed FFL ( Dealer, Gunsmith, Manufacturer), if you ship to a gunsmith or manufacturer for repairs then they can ship it directly back to you bypassing a dealer and the 4473.
June 8, 2002, 06:57 PM
Postal Service only allows the ordinary non-FFL subject to ship LONG ARMS. That's to the best of my knowledge.
IIRC, UPS or FE(both?) only require HANDGUNS to be shipped at usery rates. Now, if the only suitable shipping box you can find at your home happens to be from that 12-gauge you just bought, I don't see any reason why you couldn't use it. ;) :cool:
Now, if you want to avoid any kind of horror story, just insure it for an amount that requires hand-to-hand transmittal during the entire process. I think the level of insurance you need to ask for varies with the carrier, but it's not dramatically more expensive than the $40 or so they already charge for $500 of coverage. I think $2500 is the minimum, but you'll have to check.
June 9, 2002, 09:23 PM
I shipped a N frame from az to tn,i picked up a box and shipping label from the local fed-ex office,packed it at home and returned to the fed-ex place and shipped it for $13.00,they didn't ask so i didn't tell.It helps if you're shipping to a obvious firearm maker like glock,ruger,etc etc etc.
June 13, 2002, 04:33 PM
You violate Federal law if you ship a "firearm" interstate and don't tell the carrier that it is one. NVCDL got it right when he said, "I belive federal law requires you to notify carrier that a firearm is being shipped". Of course, that's only for shipping interstate. Intrastate, your state's law would apply.
Here's the code:
Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Sec. 922, part (e)
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.
June 13, 2002, 06:29 PM
The firearm i shipped went to a ffl holder,after reading the above i don't think i violated any laws,just some company policy. don't recomend this to anybody but it worked for me.
July 21, 2002, 08:22 AM
:rolleyes: machined parts:rolleyes: its the only way.
August 1, 2002, 07:55 AM
im not your lawyer, this is not legal advice, and you should check w/ your lawyer if you have any questions.
that said, my understanding is the same as yours. it is legal to ship an unmarked package containing a firearm to someone holding an FFL (while it still violates shippers rules and thus you will forfeit any right to compensation if it is stolen). it is illegal to ship to someone not holding an FFL w/o notifying the carrier though. of course it is illegal to ship a firearm interstate person to person anyway (non-FFL to non-FFL).
August 1, 2002, 06:05 PM
I love it....machined parts, about as illegal as it comes. If you ship a firearm, firearm receiver, or barreled action.....it "must" be declared. Machined parts, is not a firearm. Now in this day of checking things, every now and again in the name of terrorism. Your name on that package, pretty smart dude????????
If you are an individual, you may"not" ship a handgun using USPS....period! Whether it`s going to a dealer or a gunsmith.
USPS handguns, by FFL`s only.....Long guns are ok for individuals.
I still can`t believe no one understands how to ship a handgun via UPS without paying for overnight. We ship them by UPS Ground everyday, $8.50. We do it legally and claim it as a firearm.
It does not matter if it is the same State or across the country. Same rules.
Machined parts, I can see the explanation to the feds now. "Well??? they`re machined parts. Deceiption comes to mind and not ignorance of the law. Good for twenty with bubba and no more guns ever. Real smart to save a few bucks. LTS
August 7, 2002, 11:50 PM
You violate Federal law if you ship a "firearm" interstate and don't tell the
carrier that it is one. NVCDL got it right when he said, "I belive federal law
requires you to notify carrier that a firearm is being shipped". Of course,
that's only for shipping interstate. Intrastate, your state's law would apply.
Here's the code:
Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Sec. 922, part (e)
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be
delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment
in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers,
licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any
package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition
without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is
being transported or shipped;
I read that to mean that you must notify the carrier if you ship to anyone other than a Federal licensee. If it's an interstate shipment this will be the case in any event. This would only seem to apply to an intrastate shipment to a non-licensee if state law allows it.
IIRC the UPS 2-day policy applies to handguns only. Longarms can still be shipped Ground or any of the other services. That said, one can imagine how a pistol might turn into a "rifle" (for shipping purposes only, of course). Taping your revolver to a length of galvanized pipe would reinforce the illusion.
August 8, 2002, 03:40 PM
I still can`t believe no one understands how to ship a handgun via UPS without paying for overnight.
Care to clue us all in?:)
August 8, 2002, 08:34 PM
You must carefully read my post, as it contains the answer to your question. LTS ;)
August 8, 2002, 10:30 PM
or 2nd day air. Do you just put-your-foot-down, and insist on GROUND? Quote them their own internal regulation, or something? Or, is the method covered in my earlier reply? Inquiring minds want to know!:D
August 10, 2002, 08:24 AM
On the fourth line of the counter shipping record, it says "package contains"
Now some people fill this in with, rifle....shotgun.....handgun/pistol.
If this is the way you are doing it, you are being to specific...as they all fall under one heading. Sometimes, to much information is given for no reason. Could it be as simple as writing, firearm???
Beat them at their own game, overboxing does not cost extra, only weight does. LTS
ps/ How would you ship a "receiver" only??? Label it "receiver????"
What is it really??????.......The legal definition.
August 10, 2002, 10:22 PM
August 13, 2002, 07:46 PM
45nut has it right. Personally, i always ship 'projectile delivery systems'. The clerks have never even asked for an explanation. :D
August 14, 2002, 03:11 PM
Now, for a curve, what about "black powder" handguns and/or muzzle loaders? Same requirements? (They're not required to go to FFL according to ATF rules, from what I've heard and read.)
Just curious ...
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