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Old May 13, 2013, 01:29 PM   #1
mjes92
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Mailing rifle to FFL ?

Any words of caution when mailing a non-restricted rifle to a FFL?

This is what the USPS website states.

Unloaded rifles and shotguns may be mailed if the mailer fully complies with the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90—618) and
18 U.S.C. 921. The mailer may be required to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not excluded from mailing because of the restrictions in 432.1b and c.

Unloaded Rifle or Shotgun

Short-barreled rifles or shotguns that can be concealed on the person are nonmailable.

The mailer must comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968 and with state and local laws.

The Postal Service may require the mailer to open the parcel or give written certification that the weapon is unloaded and not concealable.

Registered Mail service is recommended.


http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_008.htm.


Any words of wisdom? Thanks
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:00 PM   #2
Armorer-at-Law
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It looks like you have found the applicable regs.

Have a signed copy of the receiver's FFL, the USPS may want to see it.

Pack it well. Rifles and barrels have a way of punching through packaging.

Comply with any state laws (particularly the state you are sending it from).
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:26 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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I would go to the post office a couple of days in advance of the shipment and speaking to the personnel at that office regarding how they want to handle it. Bring a printout of the regulation as you cited it -- do not expect them to know that you can legally mail a rifle.

Once you get it established that what you want to do IS legal, then discuss this part:

Quote:
The Postal Service may require the mailer to open the parcel or give written certification that the weapon is unloaded and not concealable.
Get a clear understanding up front as to whether or not they will require you to open the package so they can verify that it's a rifle and that it's not loaded, or if they'll accept your certification. If they are going to require that they verify the contents, then there's no point in doing a super packaging job at home. Put the rifle in a sturdy box, and bring your address labels and lots of heavy packing tape with you to the post office.
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:38 PM   #4
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjes92
Any words of caution when mailing a non-restricted rifle to a FFL?
Yes; other than what Aguila and Armorer already stated, be aware that the postal definition of a "short-barreled rifle" and/or "firearm... capable of being concealed on the person" is subtly different from the NFA definition and other familiar federal definitions in an important way.

The postal regs define a "short-barreled rifle" as...
Quote:
...any weapon made from a rifle (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(emphasis mine)

IOW the rifle must be at least 26" long as mailed. Do NOT disassemble it to fit into a smaller package; your attempt to save on shipping costs could land you in hot water! This is particularly important with modular firearms such as AR's.
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Last edited by carguychris; May 13, 2013 at 02:42 PM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:49 PM   #5
BigD_in_FL
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One does not need to go a few days in advance.

Helping a friend sell an inherited collection we mailed a lot of guns he sold via USPS. Just package it securely, do NOT have gun or similar on the label.

Example, if the FFL recipient is Joe Bob at Joe Bob's guns,
I address the package to the buyer, c/o Joe Bob, address, state, zip - no mention of the business name
Get a plain brown shipping box from a gun dealer, and make sure - as stated above - that it is secured so the barrel does not come poking out.

One way to do that is to buy a cheap plastic gun case and get the brown box it came in
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Old May 13, 2013, 05:54 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDinFL
Helping a friend sell an inherited collection we mailed a lot of guns he sold via USPS. Just package it securely, do NOT have gun or similar on the label.
What did your friend's post office do about verifying that the packages contained rifles, and that they weren't loaded? Did they accept his written certification?

What would he have done if they had insisted on physically inspecting each firearm (which they have every right to do under the law)?
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Old May 13, 2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
carguychris

Yes; other than what Aguila and Armorer already stated, be aware that the postal definition of a "short-barreled rifle" and/or "firearm... capable of being concealed on the person" is subtly different from the NFA definition and other familiar federal definitions in an important way.

The postal regs define a "short-barreled rifle" as...

Quote:
Quote:
...any weapon made from a rifle (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(emphasis mine)

IOW the rifle must be at least 26" long as mailed. Do NOT disassemble it to fit into a smaller package; your attempt to save on shipping costs could land you in hot water! This is particularly important with modular firearms such as AR's.
Nonsense.
"..made from..." clearly means the rifle (or shotgun) was originally 26".....and was altered to be less than that, and OAL is not measured when dissassembled.

While the USPS prohibition of "short barreled rifle" isn't word for word identical to ATF regulations, it clearly does not prohibit shipping a dissassembled firearm........if it did there are 10,000 violations every day as Remington, Browning, Benelli, Beretta and dozens of other firearm manufacturers box their shotguns and many rifles in dissassembled condition.

Further, Federal law dictates how firearms are measured for overall length........and that is ASSEMBLED. If the firearm has a folding stock, ATF measures the OAL with stock extended.
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Old May 13, 2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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This doesn't add anything but I once mailed a firearm via USPS. I had a neighbor that was retired from the PO and he told me exactly what to do and ask for. I don't remember the details now, but he advised me to send it a certain way so that it is stored in a safe whenever it is not in transit. At each point in the journey it is removed from the truck and signed for and secured in a safe.

The gun was fully disassembled. In fact, I didn't even ship most of the parts. No inspection was made. And they didn't bat an eye when I insured it for $8000.

It was a total non-event. They acted like this is done all the time and showed no reaction at any point. I should mention that this was in Nevada.
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Old May 13, 2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
What did your friend's post office do about verifying that the packages contained rifles, and that they weren't loaded? Did they accept his written certification?

What would he have done if they had insisted on physically inspecting each firearm (which they have every right to do under the law)?
I mailed them, there was never any issues. They asked what it was (bought insurance), told them - all they did was ask if the gun was secured inside the box - was no big deal. They saw me several times over the course of a few weeks - as did the Fedex guys for others - neither had any qualms
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Old May 13, 2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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Just use UPS or Fed Ex and you will have no problems. I mail pistols occasionally, just take them to the local UPS customer center, which is like a mile from my house and tell the guy it's a gun and I'm sending it to the manufacturer or an FFL, whatever.

Maybe because I live in a relatively small town (our UPS office is in a trailer... LOL) and they are used to rednecks with guns. Probably would be a different story if I was trying to mail in San Francisco.

Heck I just realized the last gun I shipped (last Friday) I didn't even mention whether it was loaded or unloaded and the clerk didn't ask. LOL
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Old May 13, 2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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Be VERY sure that the FFL in question knows that you will be sending the gun and that you do not have a license.

Some FFLs do not accept shipments from non-licensed individuals and they are not required to do so by law.

If they end up rejecting the shipment it can be a real hassle to get the mess straightened out because the gun can't come straight back to you at that point and that complicates things.
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:20 AM   #12
mjes92
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Thanks for the info gentelmen. I appreciate the advice.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:56 AM   #13
carguychris
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Quote:
Nonsense.
"..made from..." clearly means the rifle (or shotgun) was originally 26".....and was altered to be less than that, and OAL is not measured when dissassembled.
Well crap, I went 0 for 2 on L&CR posts for Monday apparently.
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