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Thread: mailing a gun

  1. #1
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    Anyone know the legalities of mailing a handgun? I know it has to be FedEX or UPS. I'm wondering, if you are flying across the country, can you mail it to yourself at the address where you will be staying? Do FFL's have to be any part of this?

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    Why would you want to mail it if you were flying? You can declare it at the airport and check it, pick it up at your destination and all is good.
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    j2l3 wrote:
    Why would you want to mail it if you were flying? You can declare it at the airport and check it, pick it up at your destination and all is good.
    Possibly more convenient, and I have a feeling OP is like me and trusts UPS a hell of a lot more than Southwest.

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    j2l3 wrote:
    Why would you want to mail it if you were flying? You can declare it at the airport and check it, pick it up at your destination and all is good.
    I will be flying into Boston in December. I spoke with the Mass. department of safety/firearms about three months ago. They said I would be ok to fly into Logan airport leaving my handgun locked in it's case, in my luggage locked in my trunk and drive straight to New Hampshire where I can resume living as a free citizen. They said that if I were to want to spend the night in Mass. I would have to apply for a firearm license. Commies.

    It dawned on me the other day, that's just half the battle. What about driving to Logan from NH and declaring the firearm there? So... I am going to call them again and ask for that info. I am considering other options that would make life easier.

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    I believe that a night's stay incident to travel would fall under the heading of interstate travel still. Federal law allowing posession of firearms while traveling over-rides state law on this, given that Massachusetts would not be your destination. Others have cited the code on here before, I don't have it to hand at the moment.

    Doesn't mean you won't be detained and falsely arrested, just that you have a good case if it went to court. Much like the people who are being arrested in New York City when they have to claim a checked firearm when transferring between airlines.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    Here is the federal interstate transportation of firearms code.

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/1...6---A000-.html

    §926A. Interstate transportation of firearms
    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Massachusetts has some severe gun laws and Boston has some additional laws. Even if you have all of your i's dotted and your t's crossed, you still may run into trouble if your airplane has to divert to a more restrictive location in case of bad weather. During the winter time when bad weather hits often and planes commonly divert.

    Your flightcould divert to an airport like JFK Int'l in New York,where handguns are illegal without a special permit. If that happens and you had a handgun checked as baggage, you just became a felon, even though you had no intention of taking the handgun to a place where it was illegal.

    This has happened in the past, and the unfortunate citizen was charged and convicted. (Last I heard he was appealing.)



    Italicized text is from the NRA-ILA site.

    MASSACHUSETTS--Nonresidents are allowed to bring personally-owned handguns into the Commonwealth for competition, exhibition or hunting. If the handgun is for hunting, a valid hunting license must be procured. Furthermore, the handgun owner must have a valid carry permit from another state and that state's permit requirements must be as stringent as those of Massachusetts. A person who does not meet these requirements must obtain a temporary handgun permit from the Dept. of Public Safety, 1010 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215.

    A nonresident may transport rifles and shotguns into or through Massachusetts if the guns are unloaded, cased, and locked in the trunk of a vehicle.

    A nonresident may physically possess an operable rifle or shotgun while hunting with a Massachusetts license, while on a firing range, while at a gun show, or if the nonresident has a permit to possess any firearm in his home state and the licensing requirements are as stringent as those of Massachusetts.

    Caution--Massachusetts has enacted one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, imposing a mandatory one-year jail sentence for anyone illegally possessing a firearm, loaded or unloaded, "on his person or under his control in a vehicle." In all cases, all firearms must be transported as prescribed in the general rule.

    BOSTON--Under a vague law, it is unlawful to possess, display, transfer or receive any shotgun with a capacity exceeding six rounds; a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine exceeding 10 rounds; any SKS, AK47, Uzi, AR-15, Steyr AUG, FN-FAL, or FN-FNC rifle; any semi-automatic pistol which is a modification of a proscribed rifle or shotgun; and any magazine or belt that holds more than 10 rounds. An "assault weapons roster board" may add additional firearms to the list of "assault weapons." For owners to continue possession of such firearms, a license/registration must have been obtained from the Boston Police Commissioner within 90 days of the effective date of the law (12/ 9/89) or within 90 days of the addition of a firearm to a roster of "assault weapons." Otherwise a license/registration cannot be obtained.

    The provision does not apply to possession by nonresidents of Boston at a sporting or shooting club, by a person with a Massachusetts license to carry a pistol, or while taking part in competition or at a collectors' exhibit or meeting or traveling to or from such event or while in transit through Boston for the purpose of hunting by licensed hunters, provided that in all cases the "assault weapon" is unloaded and packaged and the person has a Massachusetts Firearm Identification Card or has a license or permit to carry or possess firearms issued by another state. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617)660-4780 or the State Police at http://www.mass.gov/msp/firearms/ for further information.


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    http://www.seark.net/~jlove/shipping.htm

    FedEx will only ship to or from an FFL.
    UPS does not appear to have this restriction; call them to verify or dig out the info from their web site. It is doubtful their customer service reps will know for sure, but likely they will knee-jerk and say, "NO!!" because they're afraid of guns and don't know their own damn policies.

    In either case, you must ship Next Day Air. This is not a federal requirement, it's a carrier requirement. Their thieving employees were stealing too many handguns, so they "protect" you by demanding you keep it in their distribution chain less than 24 hours at your expense.

    I shipped a handgun back to Beretta for service via FedEx. It was entirely painless. I packaged it up, took it to an actual FedEx shipping center, and told them I was shipping a handgun. Paid the outrageous next day air fee and that was that.


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    Thanks for the info. I have never been diverted from Boston before, but there could always be a first time, and I have heard of a story where an individual was arrested for flying into New York with a handgun in his check in baggage.

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    Hey come on now what is so communist about this situation? Lets not forget that true communism promotes less government involvement. Now if only it could actually work........

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    tricityguy wrote:
    http://www.seark.net/~jlove/shipping.htm

    FedEx will only ship to or from an FFL.
    UPS does not appear to have this restriction; call them to verify or dig out the info from their web site. It is doubtful their customer service reps will know for sure, but likely they will knee-jerk and say, "NO!!" because they're afraid of guns and don't know their own damn policies.

    In either case, you must ship Next Day Air. This is not a federal requirement, it's a carrier requirement. Their thieving employees were stealing too many handguns, so they "protect" you by demanding you keep it in their distribution chain less than 24 hours at your expense.

    I shipped a handgun back to Beretta for service via FedEx. It was entirely painless. I packaged it up, took it to an actual FedEx shipping center, and told them I was shipping a handgun. Paid the outrageous next day air fee and that was that.
    I called Beretta about repairing a firearm and they told me the same thing, next day air. I called the shop where I bought my firearm, I was told I did not have to ship it next day air that I may need to talk to a manager but to put my foot down and ship it ground. I will report back after I do this.

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    Rifles and shotguns can ship via USPS, however handguns MUST be shipped by FedEx or UPS overnight service. If I recall my interview with the ATF right you can ship to any person in your state, but when shipping to another state it either has to go through FFLs or you may ship it to yourself. I can email my ATF contact and ask him.

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    I wonder if I should call the atf...

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    zakst1 wrote:
    I wonder if I should call the atf...
    You should view this site I linked above from the NRA short-info thing about Boston and Mass.

    http://www.mass.gov/msp/firearms/

    If you're wanting to bring your handgun to Mass, you should contact them directly, not the BATFE.

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    At the risk of hijacking this thread, which I don't want to but this slight tangent seems applicable, how in the world would NYC police or Mass Police know that your bag has a checked firearm? According to TSA, there should be no markings whatsoever on the exterior of the bag indicating it has a firearm.

    So if you just keep your mouth shut in those unfortunate circumstances that you are diverted, keep your bag locked, and move along promptly, how are you going to have any problems?

    And FWIW, I flew in and out of Boston en route to New Hampshire a couple years ago with a checked firearm with no hassle at all on either direction.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" - George Washington
    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Gandhi

    As always, insert standard IANAL disclaimer here.

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    I'm glad to hear that you had no problems with your travels. How long ago is a few years ago just out of curiosity? Was it post 9/11?

    For the record, I spoke with the manager today at Sportsman's Warehouse in Silverdale (and I know that he is not a lawyer). He told me that you can ship to yourself via UPS. His advise was to go directly to the hub, not just a branch store, and do the same thing to ship it back.

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    Regular Member eBratt's Avatar
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    It was definitely post 9/11. Christmas/New Years or 06/07 if I remember correctly. Flew on Jet Blue out of Seattle into Boston.

    I don't recall the airline agent doing anything of note when I returned to fly back here and asked to check a firearm.

    Your mileage may vary.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" - George Washington
    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Gandhi

    As always, insert standard IANAL disclaimer here.

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    I am nervous, but I am 99% sure that I am just going to do it and fly with the gun. Not doing so is letting the liberals win..

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    I believe some of the responses say it, but to clarify my understanding is that you can only mail to the manufacturer, and back, for the purposes of repair. I believe everything else requires a FFL transaction.

    I have not heard the one about mailing to someone in the same state, and although it probably should be allowable in thatit isnot interstate commerce, that fact alone doesn't seem to hold back the regulators, as is an example of the instant check, that is not interstate commerce either.

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    When in doubt go to the source ......


    From the ATF's FAQ (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b10) about shipping to yourself:

    (B10) 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.

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    M1Gunr wrote:
    When in doubt go to the source ......


    From the ATF's FAQ (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b10) about shipping to yourself:

    Yes and no. When in doubt, go to the source - 922 itself, NOT the BATF's FAQ. There are areas where their FAQ does not match the law. For example, the FAQ says you have to notify the shipper that it is a firearm. That is NOT the law if you read 922.

    In this particular case the FAQ is accurate.

    -adamsesq


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    So to whoever may be interested, I did fly with the gun. Declaring it at Seattle was beyond easy. I said, "I need to declare a.." and the baggage handler said "ok" before I could say "firearm." No problem, no showing clear. He just asked if it was unloaded and locked separately from ammo. Sign a little tag and we checked it in with oversize luggage at the TSA window.

    Returning was a little different. I had expected Boston to be more of the hassle. I said that I needed to declare a firearm. The lady was on her fourth day on the job and had to get her manager. The manager said that she needed me to show that the weapon was clear. So to make sure, I repeated to her in a question, "you are telling me to open the case and physically handle the firearm in the airport to show clear, correct?" She said yes, so did as directed. The only hassle was digging through the suitcase and unlocking the cable lock to the frame of the suitcase (extra precautionary measure), then also the lock to the case. We were close to missing the flight as well due to weather/travel, so I was already somewhat nervous.

    Other than that, it was hassle free... the way it should be. I realized when we were back home in New Hampshire that the idea of always carrying a gun on me was nowhere near as big an issue to me as it is over here in Washington. It is such a simple and different world over there, unless you are in southern New Hampshire which feels like it is ever so being Massachusettized (or becoming more urbanized)...

    But anyhoo, we are back here now and resuming to always carry and be paranoid of living around so many people.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    zakst1 wrote:
    So to whoever may be interested, I did fly with the gun. Declaring it at Seattle was beyond easy. I said, "I need to declare a.." and the baggage handler said "ok" before I could say "firearm." No problem, no showing clear. He just asked if it was unloaded and locked separately from ammo. Sign a little tag and we checked it in with oversize luggage at the TSA window.

    Returning was a little different. I had expected Boston to be more of the hassle. I said that I needed to declare a firearm. The lady was on her fourth day on the job and had to get her manager. The manager said that she needed me to show that the weapon was clear. So to make sure, I repeated to her in a question, "you are telling me to open the case and physically handle the firearm in the airport to show clear, correct?" She said yes, so did as directed. The only hassle was digging through the suitcase and unlocking the cable lock to the frame of the suitcase (extra precautionary measure), then also the lock to the case. We were close to missing the flight as well due to weather/travel, so I was already somewhat nervous.

    Other than that, it was hassle free... the way it should be. I realized when we were back home in New Hampshire that the idea of always carrying a gun on me was nowhere near as big an issue to me as it is over here in Washington. It is such a simple and different world over there, unless you are in southern New Hampshire which feels like it is ever so being Massachusettized (or becoming more urbanized)...

    But anyhoo, we are back here now and resuming to always carry and be paranoid of living around so many people.
    I'm glad it went well for you and I've been checking this thread because I was curious if it went ok. The laws where you travelled to are nuts, so it's a relief to hear that you made it back without legal hassles.

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