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Thread: Shipping a Handgun

  1. #1
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    Default Shipping a Handgun

    We are driving to AZ. for the winter. I want to ship a handgun to the states.
    The problem is this: The gunshops I've contacted will accept my gun but will not let me have it without doing a transfer.
    I cannot do a transfer due to being a non-resident of that state. I am not transferring ownership, only wanting them to accept my gun so I can pick it up there.
    I used to do this using a place in Sweetgrass, MT. that is no longer in business.
    The ATF permits shipping a firearm from yourself to yourself.
    All I want is to ship the gun to myself in care of licensed dealer.
    Fed-Ex will ship handguns so long as there is a licensee on one end or the other.
    Local dealers will not ship unless it's going to a dealer on the other end.
    I found one dealer who will accept my gun without doing a transfer, but he is in Tucson.
    We won't be down that far for a couple months which leaves me with just a shotgun until then.

    Does anyone know of a dealer in the NW states that would accept a handgun, let me pick it up, and not want to treat it like a transfer?

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    have you tried using air freight. alaska airlines air freight and pick up in seattle.

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    Do you know someone you can ship it to? If so, ship it to yourself.

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unli...rms-additional

    Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.
    If not, this might get you in the right direction.


    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/tex....n=div5# PartTop

    478.147 Return of firearm.

    A person not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State or local law may ship a firearm to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer for any lawful purpose, and, notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer may return in interstate or foreign commerce to that person the firearm or a replacement firearm of the same kind and type. See ß478.124(a) for requirements of a Form 4473 prior to return. A person not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State or local law may ship a firearm curio or relic to a licensed collector for any lawful purpose, and, notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the licensed collector may return in interstate or foreign commerce to that person the firearm curio or relic.



    Q: A firearm is delivered to a licensee by an unlicensed individual for the purpose of repair. Is the return of the repaired firearm subject to the requirements of the Brady law? Would the transfer of a replacement firearm from the licensee to the owner of the damaged firearm be subject to the requirements of the Brady law?
    Neither the transfer of a repaired firearm nor the transfer of a replacement firearm would be subject to the requirements of the Brady law. Furthermore, the regulations provide that a Form 4473 is not required to cover these transactions. However, the licenseeís permanent acquisition and disposition records should reflect the return of the firearm or the transfer of a replacement firearm.
    [27 CFR 478.124-25]

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/brad...epair-transfer
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  4. #4

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    Find a gunsmith where you are going. Have him clean your gun. Law says you can ship it to a gunsmith for service and not have to transfer it.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by retiredinhomer View Post
    have you tried using air freight. alaska airlines air freight and pick up in seattle.
    This is the way to go. I called them to verify and everything looks good. Thank you very much for the suggestion.

    Snyd, thanks for your post. I checked the ATF regs previously and found the info you provided. The problem arose when I could not locate a dealer who would do it. They fear the ATF and would only ship to another FFL. Even though I showed them the provisions, they still refused and stated that since they had never done it, they weren't going to start now just for me. I went to three different shops, two who know me personally.
    They would not ship to a residence as allowed by law.

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    I can hook ya up for AZ, I'm from there and move guns to/from there all the time. You canít get PMs yet so email me and Iíll lay out some options for you, yes I am an FFL. adfields(at)mtaonline.net
    Andy
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Find a gunsmith where you are going. Have him clean your gun. Law says you can ship it to a gunsmith for service and not have to transfer it.
    That does not fly at all, an FFL that does that won't be an FFL long. I can take the gun mailed from out of state BUT then itís on my books, there are only a couple ways to get a gun back off the book. I canít log a handgun out to anyone from another state even if they own the thing . . . all I can do is log it out to a shipper so he receives it back in his home state. Stupid yes, but thatís the way it works.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    That does not fly at all, an FFL that does that won't be an FFL long. I can take the gun mailed from out of state BUT then itís on my books, there are only a couple ways to get a gun back off the book. I canít log a handgun out to anyone from another state even if they own the thing . . . all I can do is log it out to a shipper so he receives it back in his home state. Stupid yes, but thatís the way it works.
    Must have changed; we used to ship firearms to stock-makers after we installed the barrel to do barrel contours then they went to the platers and we might never see that firearm again.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Must have changed; we used to ship firearms to stock-makers after we installed the barrel to do barrel contours then they went to the platers and we might never see that firearm again.
    That would work, your logging it out as shipped to whoever on their FFL so USPS/UPS/FedEx gets custody from you and you can make a hunky dory paper trail there. That stock maker can then send it on to the next FFL and I believe (but am not sure on this one) maybe even mail it back to the owner where the receiver came from in the first place.

    But if I got custody at the post office and then the owner comes here to get it later (after I logged it in to do whatever work) I then need a 4473 for my paper work to be right. Then the hang-up is I canít transfer/give custody of a handgun to an out of state resident on a 4473. If he walks in to drop it off and pick it up itís pretty much a non-issue.

    So then ya figure what if itís mailed ďin care ofĒ me to the owner and I donít open the box but hand it to the owner. That one I donít know, never thought to ask about it. It makes me feel all spooky though because it would mean I signed for custody of a gun that never got logged into my book.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post

    So then ya figure what if itís mailed ďin care ofĒ me to the owner and I donít open the box but hand it to the owner. That one I donít know, never thought to ask about it. It makes me feel all spooky though because it would mean I signed for custody of a gun that never got logged into my book.
    This was the issue I encountered with lower 48 gun shops. ATF says a person can ship a firearm from yourself to yourself in care of a third party. The package is signed for, but the only person authorized to open it is the owner of the firearm.The gun shops want to treat it like a transfer of ownership, which it is not.

    Here's a short version of what I researched trying to ship my handgun:

    1] Checked ATF law. A firearm may be shipped from from yourself to yourself in care of a third party. No mention of needing an FFL on either end.

    2] Checked shipping policies at UPS, FED EX and the Post Office. UPS- All firearms FFL to FFL. FED EX- FFL on either end. Post Office- Handguns FFL to FFL. Long guns - person to person. So FED EX looks good if I send it from an FFL here to a non FFL outside.

    3] Checked with three local gunshops. All said FFL to FFL only.

    4] Checked with gun shops outside. All said you can't take possesion because your not a state resident. After being told it's not a transfer, they all still said no.

    5] Got a tip here to try Alaska Airlines. Checked their website and all looked good, called to verify. Nice lady said bring your stuff to the counter in Anchorage, declare as firearms and pick-up in Seattle. They will hold for 72 hrs. and then charge a storage fee.

    So, I'm going with Alaska Airlines and hoping for the best. This will allow me to ship the AR and the Glock in one package and have it all when I get across the border.

    The only issues now are the 10mm cartridges through Canada, which I don't see as a problem unless they think I have the pistol hidden somewhere.

    The other is the 30 rd. AR mags in Calif. I would avoid the place altogether but did want to see the redwoods again. Thinking about getting some 10 rounders here and shipping the 30's to AZ.


    .

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    Have you got a Mail Boxes Etc or similar address in Arizona? My wife and I were looking at moving outside a few months ago and it looked like the way to go, the moving company her employer uses won't move guns as part of the household.

    I figured we would set up an address while we were down there looking at houses anyway. Than the long arms could go USPS to the MBE addy, handguns would have to go FedeX from Fairbanks to the MBE outside, but it could be done.

    I didn't have to do it, haven't done it. Might depend on the owner/operator of the Postal Express franchise at that end too.

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    That might work if you can find an FFL who doesn't insist on shipping only to another FFL. Fed Ex seems at least half willing to cooperate anyway.
    ATF says you must declare the firearms to the carrier. I did not see anything about the receiver having to be put on notice.
    The federal law seems to be the easy part in all this. The real challenge is the policies between the different shipping companies and FFL holders.

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    Default Fed Ex & UPS

    I shipped handguns back to Ruger and S&W by UPS and FedEx respectively - they will accept shipment to a FFL from a non-FFL as you found.

    I did have to declare it as a handgun at the counter for FedEx. I don't recall that UPS even asked - they just picked up the package.

    Wonder if S&W or Ruger would ship a gun back to you at another address?


    Quote Originally Posted by 870 View Post
    That might work if you can find an FFL who doesn't insist on shipping only to another FFL. Fed Ex seems at least half willing to cooperate anyway.
    ATF says you must declare the firearms to the carrier. I did not see anything about the receiver having to be put on notice.
    The federal law seems to be the easy part in all this. The real challenge is the policies between the different shipping companies and FFL holders.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Wonder if S&W or Ruger would ship a gun back to you at another address?
    Ruger wouldn't do that for me when they had my Redhawk a few months ago. No harm in asking again hoping for a different person answering the question this time.

  15. #15

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    Why not just send it as air freight on Alaska Airlines? I've been doing that for 15 years now. Drop it off in Anchorage/Fairbanks and then ship it to the nearest Alaska Airlines location where you want to pick it up. NO FFL involved. Very simple. Easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
    Why not just send it as air freight on Alaska Airlines? I've been doing that for 15 years now. Drop it off in Anchorage/Fairbanks and then ship it to the nearest Alaska Airlines location where you want to pick it up. NO FFL involved. Very simple. Easy.
    That is the plan as was suggested earlier. Glad I took the time to ask for help here. Thanks for all the suggestions and willingness to help.
    I was losing it for a while there trying to stay legal. Alaska Airlines says they will do the job.

    On a side note: I had mentioned earlier about taking my AR into Calif. After researching the law, it appears the gun is illegal to posess in that state. So, I have decided to Hell with them and just stay out of that that place.

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    Here's an update on Alaska Airlines:

    Took the AR and handgun in a hard rifle case inside a cardboard box to the Anch. freight terminal.

    The lady asks if the case is locked. It was not as the case has no holes to put a lock through.
    She refuses to accept without a lock. I had read the rules before taking it in, there was no mention of locks required.


    She gets the supervisor who seems unfamiliar with the company policy herself. They get on their own website and can find no requirement stating a lock is needed. They agree to accept it.


    They ask where I want to ship to. Their terminal in Bozeman, MT. Can't do that because I'm not a verified customer, can only ship to Seattle.
    I had asked previously about a one-time shipment and was told I would not need to be verified.
    What they didn't mention was that without the verification I would only be limited to a Seattle pick-up.

    So that messed up the travel plans and will cost a few hundred more in fuel, but I must have my guns.

    I can't wait to see what happens next. This whole deal has been totally frustrating just trying to stay legal.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shipping a Handgun

    I would go on gunbroker.com and look up the nearest ffl and get it in the mail. Might cost you $10 in addition to shipping cost.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    I would go on gunbroker.com and look up the nearest ffl and get it in the mail. Might cost you $10 in addition to shipping cost.
    He canít, he is an Alaska resident so canít pick up his handgun from an FFL in the lower 48.
    Andy
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