The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 27, 2016, 08:56 AM   #1
BumbleBug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2013
Location: Near Heart of Texas
Posts: 835
I want to make sure it's legal: USPS mailing

I've been reading USPS rules & I'm still a bit confused so I'd like to double check here with experts. I need to mail a CVA cap-n-ball black powder replica (1851 Navy Pistol) from Texas to Colorado. Are their some legalities I need to worry about? I'd like to insure it but what do I say on form?

TIA...

Last edited by BumbleBug; October 27, 2016 at 09:19 AM.
BumbleBug is offline  
Old October 27, 2016, 12:36 PM   #2
JWT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 3,831
Why not go UPS and not get involved with the government?
JWT is offline  
Old October 27, 2016, 03:45 PM   #3
kilimanjaro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 3,963
Best bet is to call or email your local Postmaster, they know the rules and who knows the rules.

Don't walk in the PO door with it, though, ask first.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old October 27, 2016, 04:31 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,100
http://www.usacarry.com/forums/gener...-usps-ups.html

See paragraph 12.1.1.h below:
https://about.usps.com/postal-bullet...l/updt_001.htm
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old October 27, 2016, 04:57 PM   #5
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,029
They only ask if it contains hazardous or flamable material. It is perfectly legal to ship antique or black powder firearms via the USPS. I've done it a number of times. They do not ask what is in the package....ever.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old October 28, 2016, 08:06 AM   #6
BumbleBug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2013
Location: Near Heart of Texas
Posts: 835
Thanks everyone.

It looks like reading the USPS reg's several times its all OK.

...bug
BumbleBug is offline  
Old October 28, 2016, 09:03 AM   #7
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleBug
It looks like reading the USPS reg's several times its all OK.
You may want to reread Section 43 of Publication 52 very carefully. I wrote much of the USPS discussion in the stickied thread on "How to ship firearms," and some of the regulations in Publication 52 are counterintuitive, particularly if you try to think in terms of ATF regulations. It's best to clear your mind of "ATFisms" and try to read the postal regulations purely at face value.

In terms of shipment by a non-licensee (i.e. a non-FFL), the USPS broadly classifies firearms into 2 categories: "Rifles and shotguns" (Pub. 52 § 431.4) and "Handguns" ("Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person" - § 431.2).

There is no problem shipping rifles and shotguns, provided that the barrel length and shoulder stock requirements are met. Per § 432.3:
Quote:
Except under 431.2, unloaded rifles and shotguns are mailable.
Per § 432.2, "Handguns <and Other Concealable Thingies>" may only be shipped between FFLs and certain LE/military/security/gov't agents ["...the parties listed in this section"].

Publication 52 contains a definition for antiques in § 431.3 that is superficially similar to the familiar 68 GCA definition, but it does NOT have the same ramifications because the USPS does NOT broadly exempt legal antiques from (almost!) all regulations like the ATF does.

Notably, § 432.2 says this:
Quote:
Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section [i.e. NOT non-licensees]... b. 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.
Read this carefully. This is the ONLY place where Publication 52 relaxes a postal regulation when the firearm is a legal antique. In order for an antique handgun to be lawfully mailed, both the sender and recipient must hold at least an 03 Collector FFL (aka C&R license), and the handgun must be BOTH a legal antique under § 431.4 AND be C&R-eligible under 27 CFR § 478.11. Generally speaking, new-made replicas are NOT C&R unless they were manufactured more than 50 years ago.

Keep in mind that U.S. postal regulations carry the force of law, and you may be surprised at the harshness of the penalties for many violations. If you bust a FedEx or UPS rule, generally the worst thing that's going to happen is they might ban you from future shipments and refuse to honor your insurance claim if the item was lost. Not so with the Post Office!

If I were you, I would ship UPS or FedEx. It's been a while since I read their tariffs and I strongly recommend that you do so, but the last time I read them, they exempted antique handguns from most of the onerous requirements that apply to modern handguns.

Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice. Caveat emptor and YMMV.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; October 28, 2016 at 01:48 PM. Reason: typo, stuff added; minor reword
carguychris is offline  
Old October 28, 2016, 04:17 PM   #8
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,029
Put it in a box and mail it. They only ask you if it is flamable or hazardous. There are pics posted in the post office showing what can't be mailed as hazardous materials....and black powder handguns aren't on the list. Just say no and pay the postage. Cabela's will ship them right to your house. No FFL is necessary. There are a couple of places they won't ship, like Ill. They'll even ship to NYS. It's legal to own one in NY, you just can't load and shoot them without a pistol permit.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old October 28, 2016, 05:10 PM   #9
dogtown tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,307
Quote:
NoSecondBest Put it in a box and mail it.
FYI........you are advising a forum member to violate Federal law/USPS regulations.

They only ask you if it is flamable or hazardous. There are pics posted in the post office showing what can't be mailed as hazardous materials....and black powder handguns aren't on the list.
That's because handguns can be legally mailed by a licensed dealer or manufacturer. (and Haz-Mat has nothing to do with it )


Just say no and pay the postage. Cabela's will ship them right to your house.
And they will ship it via common carrier, not USPS.

No FFL is necessary. There are a couple of places they won't ship, like Ill. They'll even ship to NYS. It's legal to own one in NY, you just can't load and shoot them without a pistol permit.
Oh brother.
__________________
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

Plano, Texas...........the Gun Nut Capitol of Gun Culture, USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE
dogtown tom is offline  
Old October 28, 2016, 06:43 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris
Read this carefully. This is the ONLY place where Publication 52 relaxes a postal regulation when the firearm is a legal antique. In order for an antique handgun to be lawfully mailed, both the sender and recipient must hold at least an 03 Collector FFL (aka C&R license), and the handgun must be BOTH a legal antique under § 431.4 AND be C&R-eligible under 27 CFR § 478.11. Generally speaking, new-made replicas are NOT C&R unless they were manufactured more than 50 years ago.
The original question for this thread concerned a black powder handgun. § 431.4 pertains to rifles and shotguns. § 431.3 provides the USPS definition of an antique firearm:

Quote:
Originally Posted by § 431.3
431.3 Antique Firearm

Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shotgun/pistol, which is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition (except those that incorporate a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof); or any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:
a.
Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
b.
Uses 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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 27 CFR § 478.11
Antique firearm.

(a) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and (b) any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this definition if such replica (1) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (2) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
The two citations you provided are nothing but definitions. Neither of your citations says anything about only allowing mailing between 03 FFLs, but the postal regulations do say that "antique firearms" (as defined in the postal regulations) are exempt from the prohibition on mailing handguns. Where did you find the requirement that such handguns can only be mailed between 03 FFLs?

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; October 28, 2016 at 06:55 PM.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 08:34 AM   #11
johnwilliamson062
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996
I'd call first irrespective of what the regulations say. I have run into people at the post office who are unfamiliar with the rules or possibly anti-gun and refuse to ship. If they aren't dealing with an issue regularly they may not know how to respond.
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 08:47 AM   #12
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,447
I've only ever bought BP guns, including cap and ball revolvers, in person - too many less than perfect ones out there.
But the airguns I've received by a shipper have been from UPS, not the post office.
Ironically, though, sometimes it's the postman who delivers it to my door, even if it started out with UPS.
Eh??
Apparently it's becoming a common thing.
So what does that do to the rules and laws?
__________________
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 08:49 AM   #13
ammo.crafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2006
Location: The Keystone State
Posts: 1,488
ship it

We seem to be going 'round n' 'round.

Ship it UPS and forget about USPS.
__________________
"The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry, American Patriot
ammo.crafter is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 10:24 AM   #14
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,447
One more time:
Quote:
sometimes it's the postman who delivers it to my door, even if it started out with UPS.
Eh??
Apparently it's becoming a common thing.
So what does that do to the rules and laws?
__________________
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 10:42 AM   #15
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
...the postal regulations do say that "antique firearms" (as defined in the postal regulations) are exempt from the prohibition on mailing handguns.
Not the way I read it.

From Publication 52 § 431.1.a (my emphasis in boldface):
Quote:
Firearm... 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).
In short, a legal antique is not considered to be a firearm UNLESS IT IS A HANDGUN (the definition of which includes SBRs, SBSs, and most things that the ATF would consider an "Other Firearm," e.g. a stripped rifle receiver). Thus, the postal regulations concerning a so-called "handgun" DO apply to a legal antique.

The definition is confusing because it first exempts antiques and then turns around and "un-exempts" antique handguns. I didn't write this stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Where did you find the requirement that such handguns can only be mailed between 03 FFLs?
http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_009.htm
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 02:55 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris
The definition is confusing because it first exempts antiques and then turns around and "un-exempts" antique handguns. I didn't write this stuff
You can say that again.

Quote:
The definition is confusing because it first exempts antiques and then turns around and "un-exempts" antique handguns. I didn't write this stuff
There, I said it again for you. Yeah, I hate it when the exception to the exception unexcepts the exception.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old October 30, 2016, 06:47 PM   #17
JimPage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2010
Location: Rome, NY
Posts: 941
Sometimes you just have to accept the exception to the exception unless you find the exception to the exception to be unacceptable.
__________________
Jim Page

Cogito, ergo armatum sum
JimPage is offline  
Old October 31, 2016, 02:15 PM   #18
BumbleBug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2013
Location: Near Heart of Texas
Posts: 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by ammo.crafter
We seem to be going 'round n' 'round.

Ship it UPS and forget about USPS.
Thanks everybody....I just shipped it UPS.
BumbleBug is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10864 seconds with 8 queries