View Full Version : transfer shotgun from out of state

Uncle Ben
February 8, 2008, 02:16 AM
My dad is passing his Remington 20ga down to me (it was his Dad's before that), and also a .22 revolver....but he is in Tennessee and I'm in California. TN does not require registration of handguns or shotguns, and CA requires registration of handguns only.

Does this mean for the shotgun I do not have to go through any legal process or paperwork since he does not have it registered currently and I do not have to register in CA either?

What about the handgun? Does anyone have any experience with this type of transfer? Do I have to go though a dealer even though it will be a gift from a family member?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

February 8, 2008, 07:52 AM
I am sure that both have to go through an FFL if they are shipped.

I am not familiar with CA laws.

Good info can be found here:


Uncle Ben
February 8, 2008, 10:26 AM
Thanks buckaroo. That's good info in that link. So I guess that means we both have to go to a local gun dealer and ask them to ship it between them, if they will agree? I have read about transfers done at a dealer, but I don't want to do an actual transfer for the shotgun, but of course would have to do so for the handgun since HG's have to be registered in CA. I guess I'll have to check with the local dealers to see if they are willing to provide these types of services. Thanks!

February 8, 2008, 11:20 AM
Actually not true. Federal law states that you can ship a gun to "immediate family", father to son qualifies, without going through an FFL. You would then have to take the pistol in to get it registered.

February 8, 2008, 12:47 PM
Actually not true. Federal law states that you can ship a gun to "immediate family", father to son qualifies, without going through an FFL. You would then have to take the pistol in to get it registered.

Sounds good but I would want to see a regulation quoted...

Your father may not need to ship from an FFL unless the FFL you use requires that. An individual can ship to an FFL out of state.


Uncle Ben
February 8, 2008, 04:35 PM
Neither of the guns are registered, so if I can get both firearms (the shotty and the .22 handgun) to me without a FFL one way or the other (I'll research more), can I get by with NO paperwork whatsoever when I go into a dealer to get it registered?

February 8, 2008, 04:47 PM

February 8, 2008, 04:57 PM
Next time you guys visit, just put them in your car and haul them home. That way you won't have to have them shipped. Then register the pistol. I don't know of any laws prohibiting transporting the guns unloaded in the trunk of your car or in a secured, locked case.

Uncle Ben
February 8, 2008, 05:11 PM
Believe me Ebutler, I would love to do that, but we are about 2,700 miles from each other, so we always travel by plane. I have heard that you can pack unloaded firearms in your "checked" luggage, but that just does not seem possible to me.

Anyway, what about the fact that my Dad has no registration or papers for these guns? As far as the handgun, do I still just take it in to a dealer and register based on the serial #. Won't they want to know who previously owned it??

Thanks a lot for the help guys. I know you can't answer every details, but all this input does help!

February 8, 2008, 05:20 PM
It is easy to fly with firearms and there is only notification on the departure side... I have done it often.


Uncle Ben
February 8, 2008, 05:25 PM
Then I guess that's the way to go since he'll be visiting me mid year and I suppose I can wait that long :(

I just go the info from UPS and Fedex and they both will only ship between liscensed dealers, collectors, etc. I suppose I might still have the option to go through one of them, but still need to call around.

February 8, 2008, 07:14 PM
How about the US Postal Service? I have used them before. You have to ship overnight if you are shipping guns.

Uncle Ben
February 10, 2008, 11:56 PM
I previously heard that US Postal would not ship firearms so I did not even consider them, but I'll have to look into that.

February 11, 2008, 03:45 AM
It is a violation of FEDERAL LAW to sell, give as a gift etc etc ANY firearm to an out of state resident... the firearms need to be shipped to an FFL in the transferee's state...

J F Cooper
February 11, 2008, 09:33 AM
eButler: I disagree, the U S Post Office does not require long guns be shipped overnight..JFC

Uncle Ben
February 11, 2008, 12:01 PM
"RKBA": what is the FFL's part in this exactly? Are they basically receiving the shipment and having me sign off on it, or are they completing a complete "registered" transfer? I was not going to register the shotgun, only the handgun. Will most gun dealers act as an FFL for shipping?

February 11, 2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks JF for setting me straight. I have always used overnight because I didn't know better. Now our friend can get his guns by USPS with the handgun shipped overnight or put them both in the same package and ship both overnight.

Good info. It will save me a few bucks. And get his guns to him shortly.

I have no idea of the way folks in California register their guns. To be safe, get a local FFL to accept them for you, if you use the postal service. You probably will have to jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops to get the handgun registered.

Uncle Ben
February 15, 2008, 11:38 AM
Well, I'm trying to convince my Dad to pack them in his checked suitcase next time he comes out here to visit. It will save time, money, and hassle on both ends...as long as the airline regulations are met and procedures are followed.

By the way, can you pack a handgun in your checked bag for air travel, or long guns only?

February 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
You can check a handgun - no problem there. As far as putting it in his luggage, I would advise a better way. He can go down to his nearest Walmart or other sporting goods store and buy a hardside locking guncase for relatively little money. That will protect them better than just a regular suitcase.

To get them onto an airplane, you go to the ticket counter and ask them for a "firearms declaration". They give you a paper to fill out and return to them. Make sure there is no ammo in the same case as the firearm(s).

Uncle Ben
February 15, 2008, 04:07 PM
Thanks....more great info! I will gladly pay him for the walmart case like you suggested. As for the "firearms declaration" form, do you just ask them for that right before you check your bags, fill it out right then, then take it back to them....or does this have to be filled out before the day of your flight?

Any other parts of the procedure I should warn him about, or just make aware?

Will they open the firearm case, or can it be locked? Is it okay to have more than one gun in there (potentially there could be 2 shottys and one revolver, but not sure yet). There will not be any ammo whatsoever in any of the bags.

Anyway, I'm just a little afraid he'll get treated like a terrorist while trying to do me a favor...

February 15, 2008, 04:14 PM
He will fill out the form right there and return it to them. I don't remember what is on it, but it would be a good idea for him to have the make/model/serial numbers written down in case he has to put that on the form. They might or might not ask to see inside the case - it is up to the airline's policy. He needs to have the key with him. He should lock the case before leaving for the airport and only open it if they ask. If anybody does ask - they are HIS firearms. We don't want them getting confused with the fact that he is bringing them to someone else.

TSA will contact him directly if they desire to inspect the case before it is loaded onto the airplane.

Airlines are pretty used to this as hunters/competitive shooters travel with their weapons all the time.

Uncle Ben
February 15, 2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks so much. I'm actually left with no questions now :)