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Old June 14, 2013, 09:42 AM   #1
ryanh51
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Shipping a handgun

You guys are hearing a lot from me lately

I'm trying to move my handgun from North Carolina to Utah. I'm taking a greyhound bus and they absolutely won't allow any firearms on the bus. I read that it's legal to ship "from yourself to yourself" without getting a licensed dealer involved. This seems to be a pretty consistent statement but whether it's legal or not I can't seem to find anyone willing to accommodate me. I've contacted both fedex and ups and they've told me pretty firmly(I may have pressed them a little bit) that their policies won't allow them to ship any handgun without either the recipient or the shipper being a licensed dealer.

My sister will be flying out in a couple months and she SHOULD be able to take it with her in her checked baggage but I'd rather not wait that long. Any advice? Does anyone know of a carrier that will take my gun or an alternative way to move it to utah?(I already have my greyhound ticket so taking a plan is out at this point)
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:53 AM   #2
spacecoast
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Wow, that's discouraging to hear about Greyhound. You wouldn't think they would be even less reasonable than the airlines.
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:55 AM   #3
ryanh51
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Haha I would :P. If I didn't get a military discount there's no way I'd ever get on another bus. It's always a miserable experience but you just can't beat the price

Anyway... I'll cut my rant short haha
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Old June 14, 2013, 10:24 AM   #4
carguychris
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Quote:
I've contacted both fedex and ups and they've told me pretty firmly(I may have pressed them a little bit) that their policies won't allow them to ship any handgun without either the recipient or the shipper being a licensed dealer.
FWIW even if you can get them to agree to take the shipment, their prices are pretty high due to the requirement to use Next Day Air; you'll likely wind up paying $50-$80. Another factor is (a) you can't ship from a drop box and (b) most storefront franchise shipment centers won't touch firearms unless you rent a mailbox from them; you'll probably have to ship from a hub, which can be a major PITA if there isn't one nearby (they're generally located near major commercial airports).

I would encourage you to find a local FFL who is willing to ship a handgun for a set price via USPS. He/she can legally ship the handgun in a USPS Flat Rate Box, which is so much cheaper than UPS/FedEx Air that you will probably come out ahead, despite having to pay a transfer fee. Hint: get on Gunbroker and look up a "kitchen table" FFL who works out of his/her house; they're often cheaper, friendlier, and more convenient than commercial storefront gun dealers.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 14, 2013 at 10:27 AM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old June 14, 2013, 11:29 AM   #5
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris
...I would encourage you to find a local FFL who is willing to ship a handgun for a set price via USPS. He/she can legally ship the handgun in a USPS Flat Rate Box,...
The problem here is that as I read the USPS regulations, a dealer may only mail a handgun to another dealer (or manufacturer or one of a very limited group of people) -- not an individual. And if the handgun is then received by a dealer in another State, he will have a problem releasing it to someone without going through all the usual formalities, including the person to whom the handgun is released demonstrating in a satisfactory manner that he is a resident of the State.

And I'm afraid I don't have a good solution, other than to recommend that the OP find a way to take it with him, even if it means using alternate transportation.
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Old June 14, 2013, 11:30 AM   #6
maestro pistolero
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You could find a gunsmith (a real one, with an FFL). Give it to him for repair, cleaning, or just 'inspection'. A gunsmith can ship your lawfully owned firearm directly back to you and may get a better shipping rate.
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Old June 14, 2013, 01:28 PM   #7
osbornk
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Could you not take the gun apart and mail some of the parts to yourself and take some of them with you? I have been mailed cylinders, grips, magazines, etc. without any problem.
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Old June 14, 2013, 01:35 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by osbornk
Could you not take the gun apart and mail some of the parts to yourself and take some of them with you?...
In general, the frame is a firearm under federal law (in the case of the Ruger Mark II, the firearm is the upper receiver and barrel assembly). That part would be subject to all laws regarding the shipping or transportation of firearms.
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Old June 14, 2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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UPS will ship a handgun to a person. I have shipped a handgun to a manufacturer for repair. Yes, a manufacturer qualifies as an FFL. But ... the manufacturer replaced the handgun rather than repair the original, and the replacement was shipped directly to me ... via UPS.

Have you discussed with FedEx and UPS what the BATFE says on the subject? Our friends at the BATFE have recently rearranged their FAQ page so that it's now multiple pages that don't seem to be interlinked. Took me awhile to find this, but:
http://www.atf.gov/content/firearms-...rms-additional

Quote:
Originally Posted by BATFE
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.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; June 14, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old June 14, 2013, 04:15 PM   #10
dogtown tom
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UPS shipping tariff:

http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/res...ch_phr=handgun
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Old June 14, 2013, 05:53 PM   #11
osbornk
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Quote:
In general, the frame is a firearm under federal law (in the case of the Ruger Mark II, the firearm is the upper receiver and barrel assembly). That part would be subject to all laws regarding the shipping or transportation of firearms.
Thanks.
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Old June 14, 2013, 06:06 PM   #12
zxcvbob
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I'm surprised Greyhound will not accommodate you if the gun is in the cargo hold of the bus. What about this, take the gun apart and take just the frame with you, and mail the barrel, cylinder, bolt, (whatever) parts to yourself.

In other words, will Greyhound let pack just a gun *frame* in your luggage if it's obviously not enough parts to reassemble a usable gun? Check with a supervisor and see if they'll work with you.

That's all I got.
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:51 PM   #13
carguychris
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Quote:
...a dealer may only mail a handgun to another dealer (or manufacturer or one of a very limited group of people) -- not an individual. And if the handgun is then received by a dealer in another State, he will have a problem releasing it to someone without going through all the usual formalities, including the person to whom the handgun is released demonstrating in a satisfactory manner that he is a resident of the State.
I knew that but forgot to write it.

This is what happens when I write in a hurry.
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Old June 14, 2013, 11:34 PM   #14
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris
I knew that but forgot to write it.

This is what happens when I write in a hurry.
I figured it was something like that, because I know that you know this stuff.
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Old June 15, 2013, 08:37 AM   #15
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom
Great -- another Catch 22. The BATFE says you can ship a handgun to yourself by common carrier, but the major common carriers won't ship it. Nice.

How about DHL?
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Old June 15, 2013, 09:09 AM   #16
Hunter Customs
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Quote:
You could find a gunsmith (a real one, with an FFL). Give it to him for repair, cleaning, or just 'inspection'. A gunsmith can ship your lawfully owned firearm directly back to you and may get a better shipping rate.
The way this was explained to me by the BATF&E is, a gunsmith can ship back to an individual, however it must go back to the address from where it was received.
So if the gun is received in North Carolina from a North Carolina address I don't believe the gunsmith can ship the gun to Utah without going through another FFL, even though it's going back to the owner of the gun.

As for gunsmiths getting special shipping rates, some may.
However from my own experience I can say I do not.
As a matter of fact I've been told by my local Fed-Ex and UPS depot that a handgun is required to be shipped fastest day air express which is more costly then next day air.

The last handgun I shipped through Fed-Ex went two states away, was insured for $1200.00, shipping cost was about $145.00.
FFL to FFL shipped through the USPS is the cheapest way to go.

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Old June 15, 2013, 09:27 AM   #17
zxcvbob
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As a matter of fact I've been told by my local Fed-Ex and UPS depot that a handgun is required to be shipped fastest day air express which is more costly then next day air.
They keep ratcheting that up just to screw us. Pretty soon they will have a special handling charge for guns on top of the most expensive rate.

If he ships it to a gunsmith in Utah (it was Utah, right?) for cleaning and adjusting, can he pick it up in person?
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:28 AM   #18
Hunter Customs
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Quote:
If he ships it to a gunsmith in Utah (it was Utah, right?) for cleaning and adjusting, can he pick it up in person?
Good question, I'm not sure what the answer is.

I would think at worst he may have to do a 4473 and NICS check, however I'm not sure that would be the case either.

I do know the BATF&E has what they refer to as gray areas and they also frown on what they refer to as circumventing the law.

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Old June 17, 2013, 02:33 AM   #19
maestro pistolero
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It's hard to imagine how handing a person his own gun, in person, is somehow less secure than shipping it across the country.
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Old June 17, 2013, 11:04 AM   #20
ryanh51
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Discouragingly it's sounding like I might have to wait :/ My sister will be making a trip back home in about 2 months and she can probably pick it up. She lives in Idaho so I can get it from her pretty easy. If nothing else I'll be going back in six months or so(flying this time). It'll end up cheaper and I'll probably feel a LOT more at ease knowing that it'll be under my(or my sister's) direct supervision.

On the bright side, that will give me enough time to get my concealed carry permit . I just wish I could get some target practice with it in the meantime!

Still very happy with my purchase
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Old June 17, 2013, 11:37 AM   #21
dogtown tom
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Quote:
ryanh51 ........My sister will be flying out in a couple months and she SHOULD be able to take it with her in her checked baggage.....

..............My sister will be making a trip back home in about 2 months and she can probably pick it up. She lives in Idaho so I can get it from her pretty easy.
Do this and you both are committing a Federal crime.
You and your sister are residents of two different states. Letting her take your firearm is an illegal interstate transfer.
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Old June 17, 2013, 01:30 PM   #22
carguychris
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Quote:
Do this and you both are committing a Federal crime... You and your sister are residents of two different states. Letting her take your firearm is an illegal interstate transfer.
As usual, Dogtown is correct.

The only way this plan could be lawfully carried out is if you or a NC FFL ships the gun to an ID FFL and the ID FFL then transfers it to your sister. She can then ship it, have an ID FFL ship it, or personally transport it to a UT FFL where it can be transferred to you. As with the earlier scenario, the sticking point will probably be satisfying the UT residency requirement on the receiving end.

A FFL can only transfer a handgun to a legal resident of the state in which the FFL is located.

Also- this assumes that the firearm is legal to possess in NC, ID, and UT, and that all state licensing, registration, and transportation requirements are followed; I'm not familiar with those requirements in these three states.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM. Reason: info added...
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Old June 21, 2013, 10:44 AM   #23
ryanh51
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wow.... If I'd known it was THIS difficult I might have waited and paid(potentially) more money to buy it(them) here. Just to be sure: there are no bars to ME checking it on my baggage and transporting it to Utah correct? Obviously I need to follow all the correct procedures(having it unloaded, not transporting with ammo, locked in a hard sided box, filling the forms, etc. etc.). Do I need to re-register it or pay extra taxes or anything else? this is getting complex lol.
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Old June 21, 2013, 11:15 AM   #24
zxcvbob
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Quote:
wow.... If I'd known it was THIS difficult I might have waited and paid(potentially) more money to buy it(them) here. Just to be sure: there are no bars to ME checking it on my baggage and transporting it to Utah correct? Obviously I need to follow all the correct procedures(having it unloaded, not transporting with ammo, locked in a hard sided box, filling the forms, etc. etc.). Do I need to re-register it or pay extra taxes or anything else? this is getting complex lol.
I thought you said the bus company would not transport it?
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Old June 21, 2013, 12:13 PM   #25
dogtown tom
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Quote:
ryanh51 wow.... If I'd known it was THIS difficult I might have waited and paid(potentially) more money to buy it(them) here. Just to be sure: there are no bars to ME checking it on my baggage and transporting it to Utah correct? Obviously I need to follow all the correct procedures(having it unloaded, not transporting with ammo, locked in a hard sided box, filling the forms, etc. etc.). Do I need to re-register it or pay extra taxes or anything else? this is getting complex lol.
No Federal law "bars" you from checking a firearm, but notification to the common carrier IS REQUIRED. As Greyhound's tariff prohibits shipment of firearms it seems as if Greyhound isn't an option.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx...3.1.13&idno=27


Quote:
ยง 478.31 Delivery by common or contract carrier.

(a) No person shall knowingly deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce to any person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, 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: Provided, 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 that trip without violating any provision of this part.

(b) 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 indicating that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

(c) No common or contract carrier shall transport or deliver in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm or ammunition with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the shipment, transportation, or receipt thereof would be in violation of any provision of this part: Provided, however, That the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply in respect to the transportation of firearms or ammunition in in-bond shipment under Customs laws and regulations.

(d) No common or contract carrier shall knowingly deliver in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm without obtaining written acknowledgement of receipt from the recipient of the package or other container in which there is a firearm: Provided, That this paragraph shall not apply with respect to the return of a firearm to a passenger who places firearms in the carrier's custody for the duration of the trip.

[33 FR 18555, Dec. 14, 1968. Redesignated at 40 FR 16385, Apr. 15, 1975, and amended by T.D. ATF-354, 59 FR 7112, Feb. 14, 1994; T.D. ATF-361, 60 FR 10786, Feb. 27, 1995]
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