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How to Ship a Rifle?

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Unread 11-10-2010, 03:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 12
How to Ship a Rifle?

I have read the UPS policy on shipping firearms. I havent been completely able to understand what is required of me when I want to ship a firearm.

If I were to post a classified add on the page here, somebody wants to buy it.... how do I deal with shipping? (I am a private citizen, with no FFL)
Am I required to ship to an FFL?

On the UPS page it states;
...from and between persons not otherwise prohibited from shipping firearms by federal, state or local law and when such shipment complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws applicable to the shipper, recipient and package.
UPS: Shipping Firearms

Can anyone give me the rundown of how to do this correctly and legally? Thanks
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Unread 11-10-2010, 05:19 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Salmon, Idaho
Posts: 392
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

As I understand the law, when a firearm is being shipped from one owner to another it has to go through an FFL. When going to and from a repair facility ie gunsmith the FFL is not required.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 09:27 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dayton, Nevada
Posts: 1,971
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

In most instances, you have to ship it to an FFL. The federal regs say that you may ship it directly to the new owner if you reside in the same state, but there may be state or local regs the prohibit it.

Also be aware, you won't likely be able to ship a rifle from a UPS store. They are independent franchises, basically just money takers and package holders until the real UPS comes and gets it. That being said, if they don't have an FFL they are legally not able to hold your rifle until the truck gets there.

That's why it's better to either take your packaged rifle to a UPS terminal or to the regular old Post Office.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 09:36 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Libby, MT
Posts: 237
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

I have in the last month sent two rifles out. What I did was tell the person that is buying the rifle I wanted payment with a post office money order only and need a signed copy of his dealers FFL. after I recieved the money order I already had the rifle packaged, I took the ffl and package to ups and shipped it out. Peice of cake.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 11:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PUEBLO, CO, USA
Posts: 1,135
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

Well packed in a box from gun owner to an FFL dealer or gunsmith is legal and dont let them tell you otherwise. It aint all that hard. You can also ship the gun to yourself, like if I was going to Pa to huint I could mail my rifle to me at a PA address. The shipping agents for UPS and others are wayyyy to nosy. I figger if it aint hazmat then it's machinery.

NRA Life Member
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Unread 11-11-2010, 09:55 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,516
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

Assuming that the rifle is to be shipped "out-of-state" AND that it is being "lawfully transferred" from one owner to another here is what you should know:

Contrary to what is often stated by individuals and many FFL holders, the rifle does NOT have to be shipped from one FFL holder to another FFL holder. According to the NYC ATF office this requirement applies to handguns, not rifles. Rifles can be shipped interstate, for transfer, from the current owner to any (receiving) FFL holder who will complete the transfer. This is helpful because you will only have to pay one FFL holder for whatever the paperwork fee is. Fees vary so you should check rates first.

The catch is that many FFL holders do not want to accept rifles from individuals (non-FFL holders) that they don't know. You will have to ask the receiving FFL if he will accept the rifle from a non-FFL individual. Several FFL holders told me it was "illegal" but they were wrong.

As far as packaging a rifle for shipment, two methods have worked for me.
1. Ship the rifle in its original box which should be put in a heavy over-pack box. That is the way most new rifles are received by dealers. Your dealer could probably supply you with an over-pack box because they are normally thrown away by the dealers after they receive new rifles.

2. If you buy an inexpensive hard case (plasic box w/ foam padding) and also have the original cardboard box that many are shipped in, they make pretty decent shipping boxes at reasonable cost.

One last thing; UPS has become quite controversial with regard to shipping firearms. I use my local Post Office and never have a problem. Insurance is optional and expensive. Delivery Confirmation is cheap and you can at least be assured that your package did arrive at its destination. Choice is yours.

Just my 2 cents - hope it helps

Last edited by Varmint Hunter; 11-11-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 11:43 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 355
Re: How to Ship a Rifle?

I've recently done both and what some have already said is true, at least here in NC. For some reason UPS would NOT allow me to ship a firearm, not even an AR-15 upper that you can order from a sporting goods company without an FFL.

I've sent both of mine via FedEx without any issues.

If you send it to a gunsmith you do not need to use a FFL.

If you are selling a long gun it must be shipped to a FFL dealer. You do NOT need to ship from a FFL dealer UNLESS it is a handgun. I sold a gun (an extra SKS I had) and just used FedEx and shipped it to his gun dealer who had a FFL and they did all the paperwork. I did call them and verify who they were to ensure it was a legit business. I did that just for some peace of mind, it was a friend so I wasn't too worried about it but you can never be too careful.

Every time I've sent the rifle in a cheap plastic case and then put in the cardboard box the rifle case came in and have never had any problems. I would suggest doing insurance and signature required.

Win Model 70
Work done by Jim See (Center Shot Rifles)

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