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Old November 7, 2014, 01:27 PM   #26
fastfr8r
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Carguychris,
Am not going for a blanket statement here, was under the impression the original post was aimed at us non FFL or LEO folks just trying to ship a firearm legally, but would like to learn a bit more about any exceptions. Not sure I follow your previous reply; trying to find something in your post to show an example of not requiring notification to the common carrier and coming up short (probably me trying to read legaleze). Saw you had highlighted eligible parties to receive a firearm and thought we are talking about any requirement to notify a common carrier. The only thing I see is first a confirmation of the requirement and then a caveat where the person accompanies the shipment which would require notifying the person in charge of it's transport.
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Old November 7, 2014, 02:47 PM   #27
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Fastfr8r, for the purposes of this discussion, you can ignore everything after the word "Provided". Those provisions only apply when you travel by air, water, rail, or highway respectively, accompanied by a firearm that belongs to you. (FWIW handing the firearm to a counter clerk or station agent accomplishes the same thing under law as personally notifying the "pilot, captain, conductor or operator", as that person will be given a cargo manifest. Transport regulations are often phrased this way.)

I'll strip some of the legalese out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carguychris Paraphrasing 27 CFR 478.31(a)
No person shall knowingly deliver... [a firearm] to any common or contract carrier for... shipment... to any person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector... without written notice... that [a] firearm... is being... shipped.
IOW the notification requirement applies when the firearm is NOT being shipped to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector.

Please note that I'm only writing about the requirements under federal law. State and local law and the carrier's policies may impose additional requirements.

[Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice. Caveat emptor and YMMV.]
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Last edited by carguychris; November 7, 2014 at 04:08 PM. Reason: IANAL disclaimer
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Old November 7, 2014, 04:52 PM   #28
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Carguychris,
When you read Part 478 of the CFR it does say exactly what you have pointed out and my confusion comes when you read the BATF website interpretation of that same statute:

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?
A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]

Do you suppose their interpretation is (dare I even think it?) in conflict with the written statute? The CFR mentions written notification only in reference to "any person other than a licensed importer, etc."; what person would they be referring to? And again, we are confirming a requirement for notification, in this case written. The BATF FAQ on their website are pretty clear about notifying the carrier; as for whether the statute supports that requirement verbatim may be still another one for the lawyers. My head hurts...
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Old November 7, 2014, 05:09 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfr8r
Do you suppose their interpretation is (dare I even think it?) in conflict with the written statute?
You be the judge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfr8r
...as for whether the statute supports that requirement verbatim may be still another one for the lawyers. My head hurts...
One's head often hurts when one tries to reconcile the ATF online FAQ with statute law, or even with the ATF's own official written rulings. This is not the only example I've seen.

When in doubt, however, I follow the law or the ruling, NOT the FAQ.

Just for the record, I've always honestly divulged what was in the package when I've shipped UPS, mainly to ensure that I can recover the insured value with minimal headaches. I don't, however, go into any more detail than absolutely necessary, regardless of the item. ("Dinner plates"; "Car stereo"; "Books"; "Ammunition"; "Firearm".) IMHO the make, model, and serial number is none of their business unless and until there is an insurance claim.
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Old November 7, 2014, 09:51 PM   #30
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The ATF FAQ answer is wrong.
ATF knows its wrong and has admitted as much in letters and in the ATF FFL Newsletter..........but they still haven't pulled the FAQ answer.

If you read the actual citations to the US Code and CFR underneath the FAQ answer you'll see that notification is only required when shipping interstate to a nonlicensee..........and that's already a violation of federal law.
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Old December 3, 2014, 10:07 AM   #31
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OK, so why have I heard that I can't mail stripped serial-numbered rifle receivers, like AR lowers?
This issue is confusing because the postal regulations do not directly address a stripped receiver from a rifle or shotgun.

The key thing to understand is the term "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" as it's used in the postal regulations. From Publication 52, with my emphasis underlined:
Quote:
432.2 Handguns

Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section, after the filing of an affidavit or statement described in 432.22 or 432.24, and are subject to the following...
[The "parties listed in this section" are licensed firearms manufacturers, dealers, or importers, or certain military and government agencies, as discussed previously.]

Let's look a little closer at the definitions:
Quote:
431.2 Handguns

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (for example, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles) are defined as handguns. The following definitions apply:
  1. Handgun (including pistols and revolvers) means any firearm which has a short stock, and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand and subject to 431.1, or a combination of parts from which a handgun can be assembled.
  2. Other firearms capable of being concealed on the person include, but are not limited to, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.
  3. Short-barreled shotgun means a shotgun that has one or more barrels less than 18 inches long. The term short-barreled rifle means a rifle that has one or more barrels that are less than 16 inches long. These definitions include any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such a weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. A short-barreled shotgun or rifle of greater dimension may be regarded as nonmailable when it has characteristics to allow concealment on the person.
Any "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" is considered equivalent to a handgun, including short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles. However, the definition is NOT limited to these types; the "catch-all" clause in 431.2.b ["...include, but are not limited to..."] says that OTHER types of concealable firearms are included too.

To clarify what IS mailable by a non-licensee, we need to examine what is NOT considered to be a "firearm capable of being concealed on the person":
Quote:
431.4 Rifles and Shotguns

A rifle is a shoulder weapon having a barrel that is 16 inches or more in length. A shotgun is a shoulder weapon having a barrel that is 18 inches or more in length. Rifles and shotguns have an overall length of 26 inches or greater and cannot be concealed on a person.
A rifle or shotgun is a "shoulder weapon" that "cannot be concealed on a person". Each is described as "having a barrel" of a certain length.
Quote:
432.3 Rifles and Shotguns

Except under 431.2, unloaded rifles and shotguns are mailable.
Clear enough.

In summary:
  • Receiver (or frame) + Shoulder Stock + Barrel[s] 16 Inches or Longer + Overall Length 26 Inches or Greater + Cannot be Concealed on a Person = Mailable Rifle
  • Receiver (or frame) + Shoulder Stock + Barrel[s] 18 Inches or Longer + Overall Length 26 Inches or Greater + Cannot be Concealed on a Person = Mailable Shotgun
If ALL of these elements are not in the package, and/or the overall length requirement is not met, the gun may be considered a "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" under the catch-all clause in 431.2.b. Thus, a stripped AR lower receiver is implicitly nonmailable, unless it's accompanied by all the other bits needed to make a mailable rifle.

While we're discussing this, what about a pistol grip (aka pistol-grip-only or PGO) shotgun, i.e. a two-handed shotgun without a buttstock?
A pistol grip shotgun is not a shoulder weapon, and additionally, some models have a barrel under 18 inches in length and/or an overall length under 26 inches. Thus, such a weapon would clearly NOT qualify as a mailable shotgun.

Whoa, hold on here, the Postal Service has it all mixed up. A handgun is NOT the same thing as a short-barreled rifle, because you don't need an NFA tax stamp for a handgun. The ATF has explicitly said that a pistol grip shotgun is neither a short-barreled shotgun nor a handgun, and the ATF does not classify a stripped AR-15 receiver that has never been previously assembled into a firearm as either a handgun or a long gun. Both a stripped rifle receiver and a pistol grip shotgun are an "Other Firearm", and it says so in the instructions on the Form 4473.
That's what the ATF says, but remember, the mails are NOT regulated by the ATF- they're regulated by the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS doesn't care what the ATF regulations say- they care what THEIR OWN regulations say (and vice versa).

This issue is easier to understand if you mentally set aside everything you know about ATF firearms regulations and examine the postal regulations at face value.

It doesn't make any sense to call a stripped receiver a "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" when there is no barrel in the package. An AR lower is just a metal shell! It can't fire a projectile by itself!
No, it really doesn't make sense in that respect, but you have to go with what the regulations say.

A post-1898 frame or receiver is broadly considered to be a firearm under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 44 [specifically § 921(a)(3)(B)].

Any firearm that does NOT meet the definition of Rifle or Shotgun under Pub.52 431.4 is either implicitly or explicitly a "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" under 431.2, and is thus nonmailable by parties other than those listed in Pub.52 431.21 thru 431.25.

[IANAL disclaimers apply.]
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Last edited by carguychris; December 4, 2014 at 07:25 PM. Reason: OK, I broke my promise. :/
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Old November 14, 2015, 03:21 AM   #32
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What about muzzle loaders? The USPS site gives a detailed legal definition of "Antique Firearms" but then doesn't mention them again. Can I assume this means that they are not regulated in any way? Are they completely separate from the "Rifle/Shotgun" category? http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_008.htm
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Old December 10, 2015, 03:14 PM   #33
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I have been in touch with someone who specializes in repairing a certain type of pistol that I need to have repaired. It is old but not legally an antique. He is presently not at his licensed place of business, but is visiting his mother in another state for the entire month of December. He said I can ship it to him at his mother's house, and he will repair it quickly and send it right back. (I am guessing he does not have much to do there.) Are there red flags or possible violations in shipping to an FFL who is not at his official place of business?
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Old December 10, 2015, 03:19 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjwils
...Are there red flags or possible violations in shipping to an FFL who is not at his official place of business?
Yes, his FFL does not authorize him to conduct business under his license anywhere but his licensed premises or at a gun show (18 USC 923(j)):
Quote:
(j) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer may, under rules or regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, conduct business temporarily at a location other than the location specified on the license if such temporary location is the location for a gun show or event sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, or any affiliate of any such organization devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms in the community, and such location is in the State which is specified on the license....
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Old February 25, 2016, 11:55 AM   #35
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Shipping by USPS

Can a non-licensed individual ship a handgun to a FFL licensed individual by USPS?
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Old February 25, 2016, 11:57 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyB731
Can a non-licensed individual ship a handgun to a FFL licensed individual by USPS?
No.
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Old February 25, 2016, 11:57 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyB731
Can a non-licensed individual ship a handgun to a FFL licensed individual by USPS?
No.
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Old February 25, 2016, 07:04 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyB731
Can a non-licensed individual ship a handgun to a FFL licensed individual by USPS?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
No.
Correct. Let's look at USPS Publication 52 § 432.2, my emphasis underlined:
Quote:
Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section, after the filing of an affidavit or statement described in 432.22 or 432.24, and are subject to the following... [regs about C&R licensees, air guns, parts, and mailers follows]
Between = both the sender and recipient must be "authorized persons" per the ensuing § 432.21; the list basically consists of FFL dealers, importers, and manufacturers, along with certain military, LE, USPS, and gov't security personnel.
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Old March 3, 2016, 06:41 PM   #39
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I've read this entire thread and it is obvious that I can ship hand guns via UPS or FedEx as long as I am shipping them to an FFL holder. No worries there.....

My question is this: I have three hand guns to ship. Which is best: ship all three in the same box or ship each one in a separate container?

And for Kev that lives in Florida and whos dad has 30+ guns in California. This is exactly your scenario. I am the executor of a friends estate. He has passed, the will has been executed and the estate has closed. The will specifically said that these guns go to his son. The trick as I understand it is the way I label the package when I send it. I am to ship from the son, 123 my street, mytown, MS 39999 to Son, C/O FFL Licensee, FFL Holders address, Tok,AK. Coming from himself to himself is not a 'transfer'. Son can just pick the guns up. Therefore the FFL license holder is not required to fill out transfer forms. The FFL holder in Tok, AK that I am shipping to told me this. If that makes sense.

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Old March 3, 2016, 09:21 PM   #40
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Quote:
ehenry ...My question is this: I have three hand guns to ship. Which is best: ship all three in the same box or ship each one in a separate container?
I recommend one box. There is no benefit to multiple boxes.



Quote:
..... I am the executor of a friends estate. He has passed, the will has been executed and the estate has closed. The will specifically said that these guns go to his son. The trick as I understand it is the way I label the package when I send it. I am to ship from the son, 123 my street, mytown, MS 39999 to Son, C/O FFL Licensee, FFL Holders address, Tok,AK. Coming from himself to himself is not a 'transfer'.
Whoever told you there was a "trick" is giving you terrible advice......and it sounds like a felony.
While Federal law provides an exemption to the typical interstate transfer requirement, this isn't it. And is different than the situation Kev described.

Federal law says the son can come to the state where the firearms are located and take immediate possession. If he then chooses to ship the firearms to himself at his home in another state he can (or he could drive back, take a train or fly with the firearms as checked luggage).

If you ship the firearms to a licensed dealer in the sons state, the son WILL have to do a 4473 and pass NICS. (don't falsify the label as coming from the son....they aren't)




Quote:
Son can just pick the guns up. Therefore the FFL license holder is not required to fill out transfer forms. The FFL holder in Tok, AK that I am shipping to told me this. If that makes sense.
The dealer in Tok, AK is horribly wrong.
It is no different than any other interstate transfer of a firearm.
You (not the son) are shipping a firearm interstate to a licensed dealer. There is no exemption from a 4473/NICS for such a transfer.

If you ship the firearms and falsify the shipping label with the sons name to the sons address in AK....you commit a felony as does the son.

I highly recommend finding another licensed dealer to ship to......this one is an idiot of the highest order.
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Old March 4, 2016, 10:19 AM   #41
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Tom, Thanks for the wisdom. Shipping firearms isnt something I do on a regular basis at all. Last time I shipped one it was a rifle back to the manufacturer for repair 30 years ago. I really do appreciate you responding to my post.....thanks

As for the shipping and label, I will use only my name as the shipper to the FFL holder address not the sons address that should cover me. I was never going to ship to the son. I know I cant ship handguns to the sons address. It will be up to the FFL holder that I ship to and son to do the form 4473 and NCIC check. It will be on them to do the lawful thing. I've been sitting on these guns for over 2 years because of the court backlog and I'm ready for them to be in the rightful owners hands.

Of the 8 FFL dealers in TOK, AK this guy is the only one that has responded to my inquiry of shipping to him and I have called and sent email to all 8.

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Old March 4, 2016, 06:24 PM   #42
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Quote:
....I know I cant ship handguns to the sons address...
To be clear, you cannot ship ANY firearms directly to the son.
Tok, AK must have the highest ratio of FFL's in the country.
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Old April 29, 2016, 02:26 PM   #43
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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? Do regular handgun shipping rules apply for black powder?
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Old May 2, 2016, 02:43 PM   #44
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Quote:
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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.]
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Old May 3, 2016, 08:40 AM   #45
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UPS, FedEx, and antique handguns...

Now that I've had the time to check the tariffs...

From the FedEx Rules Tariff:
Quote:
2. Firearms
a. Carrier will transport and deliver firearms as defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, between areas served in the U.S., but only between...[list of parties]
Since antique firearms are not considered firearms under the GCA, this provision implicitly exempts antiques from FedEx restrictions on firearms shipments.

Similarly, from the UPS Guide to Shipping Firearms and Ammunition:
Quote:
UPS accepts packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code) for transportation only (a) between licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors (as defined in Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code), and government agencies and (b) where not otherwise prohibited by federal, state or local law (i) from an individual to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector; and (ii) from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to an individual.
Both 18 USC § 921(a)(3) and 26 USC § 5845(a) say that antiques are outside the scope of the regulations. Hence, UPS also implicitly exempts antiques from their firearm shipment restrictions.
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Old May 27, 2016, 10:37 AM   #46
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Change in FedEx policy, or were employees misguided?

I encountered a recent change regarding FedEx. I don't know if this is a new national FedEx policy or if this occurred only because someone put a weird bug in the ears of local FedEx employees. My local FedEx office is not a regional center, but it is more than a small mom and pop location. It is a relatively large FedEx storefront, which the FedEx website lists as a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center.

In recent years, I have shipped 2 or 3 handguns from that location to licensed repair sites. The FedEx employees always questioned me closely about it, but they shipped my handguns each time; until yesterday. I went in to ship a handgun to a major manufacturer for repair. The very same employees who previously accepted my handguns for shipping told me that they will not accept a handgun for shipping unless I have a pre-printed shipping label from the recipient.

In a few days, I will drive 45 minutes each way and try to ship this handgun from the regional FedEx center.
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Old May 31, 2016, 05:01 PM   #47
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FedEx again

Here is an update to the my post above. Today (four days later) I drove to the regional FedEx center, and they accepted the same gun to be shipped to the same repair facility without the slightest hesitation. They did not request a pre-printed label or any such nonsense. I still don't know if my experience on May 27 represents a national change in FedEx policy, or if it was simply a case of misinformed employees at my local FexEx office.
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Old July 24, 2016, 11:58 PM   #48
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My question is can I send a well-licensed firearm, like pistol or rifle to any other country from America?
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Old July 25, 2016, 12:12 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wozniak
My question is can I send a well-licensed firearm, like pistol or rifle to any other country from America
The question is too vague and complex enough to be beyond the reasonable scope of this thread.

There are complex U. S. rules regarding the export of firearms, ammunition and related items. A lot depends on exactly what would be shipped overseas and to where. Then there's are issues with the laws of the country into which it would be imported.

So shipping a gun to another country will most likely require a U. S. export license and an import license issued by the destination country.
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Old July 25, 2016, 09:04 AM   #50
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A few FFLs have experience with shipping outside the US, at least to some countries. One list of such FFLs can be found here:
http://www.gunbroker.com/FFL/DealerInternational.aspx
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