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Old May 2, 2016, 02:43 PM   #44
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,523
Originally Posted by BlackPowderBen
Ok so I if I want to buy a black powder revolver from a unlicensed seller in another state can they ship it to my door?
If you're using U.S. mail, you can only lawfully do this if you're an 03 C&R FFL, the sender is also a FFL (C&R or otherwise), and the handgun is C&R eligible.

Per Publication 52 § 432.1.a, my emphasis underlined:
Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include antique firearms (except antique firearms meeting the description of a handgun or of a firearm capable of being concealed on a person).
Confusingly, the definition first exempts antiques, but then says that "a handgun or of a firearm capable of being concealed on a person" is not covered by the exemption.

OK, so now that we've established that handguns aren't exempted...

Per Publication 52 § 432.2.a:
Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 431.2 and the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 may be mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm under 431.3.
The definition of "antique firearm" under 431.3 is basically similar to the ATF definition, i.e. black powder muzzleloaders, black powder replica handguns that don't fire fixed cartridges, pre-1899 firearms, and firearms that can only use "rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."

However, a handgun must be both C&R eligible and an antique in order to satisfy § 432.2.a, so newer replicas must presumably be mailed under the same rules as modern handguns. This makes 432.2.a a perilously narrow exception; since newly-made legal antiques (i.e. BP replicas and muzzleloaders) are pretty much unregulated by the ATF except as it relates to the NFA, the ATF has no compelling reason to place them on the published C&R list, so most legal antiques that are C&R got that way by virtue of being 50+ years old. (In case you're unaware, the definition of a C&R firearm specifically excludes replicas.)

I haven't checked whether UPS and FedEx differentiate between a modern firearm and an antique.
Originally Posted by BlackPowderBen
Do regular handgun shipping rules apply for black powder?
With the USPS—unlike with the ATF—the C&R FFL exception is the ONLY "goodie" that you earn for having an antique firearm rather than a modern one. The term "antique" appears nowhere else in Publication 52 other than the definition.

[IANAL disclaimers apply.]
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; May 3, 2016 at 08:33 AM. Reason: stuff added
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