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Old October 5, 2021, 01:42 PM   #1
NeverEnough
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How to legally ship AR upper & lower separately?

My new 7" barrel FM9 upper is having ejection issues. Foxtrot Mike's wants me to ship them both the upper & lower (Only the upper is FM) to them, but in separate boxes.

They instructed me to ship them via USPS. Isn't that illegal? I am not an FFL.

What is the legal & insured way, if there is one, to ship both the lower (complete) and upper (also complete) to them? I am in PA & they are in ID.
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Old October 5, 2021, 11:34 PM   #2
Cirdan
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You can ship Fedex and USPS to the manufacturer.
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Old October 5, 2021, 11:59 PM   #3
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Disassembling the gun into two pieces does not change the legality of shipping.

You can legally ship a gun to an FFL holder (manufacturers are FFL holders) so if FM is a manufacturer you can legally ship the gun to them.

The only legal reason I can think of to ship the gun in two pieces is because it insures that you don't ship them a loaded firearm.

You will need to use FEDEX or UPS to ship and you will need to contact a true FEDEX or UPS location to get the details on how to ship a firearm. When I say a "true location", I mean one that is staffed by actual employees of the shipping company.
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Old October 6, 2021, 12:54 AM   #4
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The GCA 68 which essentially ended direct USPS shipping of firearms to individuals has an exception. The owner of the gun may use the US Post Office to ship their gun back to the manufacturer for "repair or customization" and have it shipped directly back to them by the manufacturer when work is completed, using the USPS.

However, almost no one does this anymore. I think its a combination of service and security using UPS or Fed Ex over the Post office, and the legal safety of going from an FFL to an FFL.

The downside to going through an FFL is the added cost. The upside is that if there is some error resulting in a violation of something, you are the responsible party for that. And since its a shipment, NOT a transfer of ownership, there should be no background check or fee for the same.

The will charge something, but it shouldn't be the same as an ownership transfer.

Not a lawyer my advice is general, and worth what you paid for it.
Ask the Post Office, they should know where to look in their rules to see what is required, if its still possible. Been a while since 68 and they tend to add more rules every so often...
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Old October 6, 2021, 02:05 AM   #5
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Since FM only made the upper, I don't know if they qualify as the manufacturer of the firearm given that the lower is the serialized part and is made by some other company.
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Old October 6, 2021, 11:29 AM   #6
stinkeypete
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A Google search or call to the Foxtrot Mike again will verify:
Fed Ex will ship pistols to FFL. Since you have a 7” barrel, I assume the lower is registered as a pistol.
USPS will ship long guns and gun parts.

The heavy firearm lower receiver registered as a pistol can be sent FedEx overnight.
It might be cheaper to send the upper and misc heavy parts by usps, reducing the weight of the registered “pistol” part. (Reduce the weight of your overnight fedex shipment.)

Should a customer send Foxtrot Mike a rifle lower and pistol upper in the same box, this could put them in legal jeopardy for violation of the NFA.

These are my speculations.

Similar problems can occur with Contender pistols which can be made into carbines, but one must never assemble a regulated firearm or send all the parts that some might reasonably assume the intent to do so.
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Old October 6, 2021, 02:18 PM   #7
Frank Ettin
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A non-FFL may not legally ship a receiver using USPS.

One must carefully read the USPS regulations, and read them completely.

A non-FFL may lawfully ship only a rifle or shotgun by USPS. "Rifle" and "shotgun" are defined at 431.4 of the postal regulations (USPS Publication 52, Part 4, Section 43):
Quote:
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.
So a receiver alone is neither a rifle nor a shotgun.
  1. First, let's look at what is mailable.

    • Under 432.3:
      Quote:
      Except under 431.2, unloaded rifles and shotguns are mailable. Mailers must comply with the rules and regulations under 27 CFR, Part 478, as well as state and local laws. The mailer may be required by the USPS to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the rifle or shotgun is unloaded and not ineligible for mailing. The following conditions also apply:...
      431.2 refers to short barrel rifles and shotguns which are not mailable.

    • But what is a rifle and what is a shotgun for the purpose of 432.2? "Rifle" and "shotgun" are defined at 431.4:
      Quote:
      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.
    • So a bare frame or stripped receive can not be a rifle or a shotgun. A bare frame or stripped receiver doesn't have a barrel, nor is its overall length 26 inches or longer.

    • Therefore a bare frame or a stripped lower receiver can not be a rifle or shotgun mailable under 432.2.

  2. Then what is not mailable.

    • Under 432.2 (emphasis added):
      Quote:
      Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section,...
      The persons referred to who under the regulation may mail a handgun or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person do not include an ordinary, private citizen.

    • A bare frame or stripped lower receiver is not a handgun as defined at 431.2, nor is it a rifle or shotgun defined at 431.4, but is it a "firearm capable of being concealed on the person"?

      • "Firearm" is defined at 431.1 (emphasis added):
        Quote:
        ...a. 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).

        b. Firearm frame or receiver is the part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel....
      • So a stripped lower receiver, as the part of the firearm providing the housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, is, all by itself, a firearm.

      • Also, physically a stripped lower receiver is small enough to be concealed upon the person.

      • With regard to concealability the regulations provide, at 431.2.b (emphasis added):
        Quote:
        b. Other firearms capable of being concealed on the person include, but are not limited to, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.
        A stripped lower receiver will be smaller than at least most short barrel rifles or shotguns and so would be at least as concealable.

      • Furthermore, a stripped lower receiver is not, by itself, a rifle. First, it doesn't fit the regulation's definition of a rifle (432.4), but also, it may be used to construct, whether legally or not, a handgun or a short barrel rifle. Therefore, a stripped lower receiver is not necessarily a rifle part.

    • Therefore, a stripped lower receiver is, for the purpose of the USPS regulations and the restrictions on mailing firearms which are handguns or other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person, other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person.

  3. Therefore a stripped lower receiver is not mailable under USPS regulations by a non-licensee.

Note that shipping a firearm in violation of USPS Regulations is a federal crime. See 18 USC 1715 (emphasis added):
Quote:
Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such articles may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe, for use in connection with their official duty, to officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps; to officers of the National Guard or Militia of a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District; to officers of the United States or of a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitments; to employees of the Postal Service; to officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States; and to watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District. Such articles also may be conveyed in the mails to manufacturers of firearms or bona fide dealers therein in customary trade shipments, including such articles for repairs or replacement of parts, from one to the other, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe.

Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any pistol, revolver, or firearm declared nonmailable by this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
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Old October 6, 2021, 03:54 PM   #8
stinkeypete
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Frank’s post is very interesting. For some purposes, a lower is registered as a rifle or pistol but for the USPS, no matter how it’s registered, you can’t mail it. I learned something.

In any case, ship lowers/receivers FedEx or talk to a FFL holder and ask what they will charge for shipping. Rules for shipping FFL to FFL holder are … less expensive.
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Old October 6, 2021, 09:29 PM   #9
dogtown tom
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Quote:
stinkeypete..... For some purposes, a lower is registered as a rifle or pistol
Nope.
There is no federal "registration" except for NFA firearms. Firearm frames and receivers are not handguns or long guns until assembled as such.

How it was transferred on the Form 4473 is irrelevent.


Quote:
but for the USPS, no matter how it’s registered, you can’t mail it. I learned something
.
Average Joe can only mail complete rifles and shotguns via USPS.


Quote:
In any case, ship lowers/receivers FedEx
Be aware that FedEx recently updated its service terms and no longer accepts ANY firearm shipment except for FFL's registered through their shipping program.

Not all FedEx webpages are updated but here's the service guide:
https://www.fedex.com/content/dam/fe...Guide_2021.pdf
New firearm shipping policy on page 125.
Quote:
Firearms
Only customers holding a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and federal, state, or local
government agencies may ship firearms with FedEx. Customers holding an FFL must enter
into an approved FedEx Firearms Shipping Compliance Agreement before shipping any
firearms with FedEx. For more information, contact your FedEx account executive.
On behalf of customers holding an FFL who enter into an approved FedEx Firearms
Shipping Compliance Agreement and federal, state, or local government agencies, FedEx
Express will transport and deliver firearms, antique firearms, and replica firearms, all as
defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, as well as muzzleloaders and black
powder firearms (collectively “firearms”). Shipments containing firearms must be sent with
the Adult Signature Required Delivery Signature Option.
FedEx Express will transport ammunition when packed and labeled in compliance
with local, state and federal law, and the Dangerous Goods section of this Service Guide.
Ammunition is an explosive and must be shipped separately as dangerous goods. You
agree not to ship loaded firearms or firearms with ammunition in the same package.
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Old October 13, 2021, 06:12 PM   #10
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Why do gun laws have to be so convoluted?? I guess just to get people convicted.
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Old October 13, 2021, 11:44 PM   #11
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pretty much.

First off, each separate segment of the US government makes its own rules.

Here we have what appears to be a case of Federal law allowing shipment under specific circumstances and Post Office regulations further limiting what those situations are. Private carriers can, of course set whatever rules they want, within the boundaries of Federal law.

Regulations are the power of authority, and each segment our our bureaucracy is its own little (or not so little) kingdom.

Human greed and desire for power, influence, prestige, and yes, even money also plays a part.
I don't know of any system that involves people that doesn't suffer from some degree of this.
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Old October 14, 2021, 12:12 AM   #12
stinkeypete
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Quote:
Why do gun laws have to be so convoluted?? I guess just to get people convicted.
Well, if a bunch of gangsters had not had huge shootouts with tommy guns, the National Firearms Act of 1934 would not have happened.
If people had not shot a President with a rifle they ordered through a mail order catalog and had shipped to their house, followed by people shooting his brother and Dr. King, we would not have the Gun Control Act of 1968.

In any group, there are going to be bad apples. America is no longer a rural agrarian economy. Now 82% of the population lives in cities and a raccoon in the trash can is pretty much unheard of.

If people didn't do things like kill 60 people at a Las Vegas hotel, you could still have your bump stock.

There is also the question: Why do people go nuts and kill people out of the blue? If people would just act right, life would be a lot better.

People ruled on the NFA.. and as 44Amp explained to me, you can have what looks exactly like a short barreled rifle or sawed off shotgun if you start with metal, make it from scratch, and register it as a pistol. It's not okay to start with a rifle or shotgun and whittle it down. The result doesn't fit the definition of rifle or the definition of pistol.

The way to make it easy is to classify them as what they look exactly like, and then the shipping is the least of your problems.
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Old October 14, 2021, 07:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Foxtrot Mike's wants me to ship them both the upper & lower (Only the upper is FM) to them, but in separate boxes.
This makes sense to me because it sounds like you bought the lower from some other source, so you have no serialized component control relationship with FM. Different states vary in their rules, it will be a matter of what the shipper requires. I wondered at first why FM wanted your lower--but I see this is a blow-back pistol cartridge, the ejector (a blade thingie attached to the lower) also serves as a rail for the BCG and thus how it is timed to the upper affects the cycling. Probably why FM wants it would be my guess. The extractors can be flimsy on some BCG's--I'm not familiar with FM's, though.
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Last edited by stagpanther; October 14, 2021 at 06:51 PM.
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Old October 14, 2021, 06:23 PM   #14
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Not to throw wrench in this but why does the lower need to go ? Send the spring , buffer and BCG , there all better . The buffer tube , trigger or receiver are not the problem ???? I'd send an email asking if that would be good enough , can even all go in same box . No FFL needed and any carrier as well .
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Old October 14, 2021, 06:44 PM   #15
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For what it's worth, the OP (NeverEnough) has not been back to the forum since a couple of hours after posting the question. Let's hold any additional comments until he or she returns and can tell us if more input is needed.
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Old October 15, 2021, 03:51 PM   #16
Frank Ettin
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It looks like the OP, under a different screen name, posted the identical question on THR. He also received a bunch of correct answers there.

So it looks like the OP has the information he needs.
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