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1. When shipping out of state (sale, trade, gift, or donation), you must ship to an FFL.

2. FFL not required when shipping to a repair center.

3. You can ship a firearm to yourself without using an FFL.

4. Shipping long guns via USPS registered mail (insured) is recommended.

5. Frames or receivers of firearms are "firearms" as defined in the law and subject to the same controls as firearms.

You cannot ship via a UPS Store. Ship from the main UPS facility.

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?

A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

You cannot use USPS to ship a handgun.

[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]

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]

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.

c/o Mother Doe Gun Club
123 Somewhere Street
City, ST 12345

Q: May a person who is relocating out of State move firearms with other household goods?

Yes. A person who lawfully possesses a firearm may transport or ship the firearm interstate when changing his or her State of residence.

Certain NFA firearms must have prior approval from the Bureau of ATF before they may be moved interstate. The person must notify the mover that firearms are being transported. He or she should also check State and local laws where relocating to ensure that movement of firearms into the new State does not violate any State law or local ordinance.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(4) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.28 and 478.31]

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My research has found many sites have outdated information in regard to FFLs.

The days of red ink and original signatures has long passed. Faxed, even email attachements are legal.

There is no requirement for an FFL to provide a copy of an FFL to a private individual.

    If your shipping out of state to a non-licensee, the firearm must be shipped to an FFL, who in turn will transfer it to the non-licensee.

    If the receiving FFL refuses to provide a copy of the FFL license, you should be provided the FFL license number and ship to address.
    You might only be provided the first 3 digits and the last 5 digits. That's all you need to verify.

    Take the number provided and use the "Verify Federal Firearms License (FFL)" link below.

    Copy and print the information provided. Keep a copy for your records. Ship to the premesis address.

If for any reason the FFL license number is not available, walk away.

To protect yourself (fraud), I would run the number even if a copy of the FFL is provided.

There has been cases where the non-licensee failed to notify the FFL that a firearm was being shipped. The FFL does not have to accept the shipment. Nothing stops you from calling the FFL before shipping!

Your state may have more stringent requirements for in-state shipments in regard to using an FFL.

  • FFL Registry: Search By ZIP Code

  • Verify Federal Firearms License (FFL) is valid


  • FedEx Express

      FedEx Firearms (June 2020)
      A. 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'), between areas served in the U.S., but only between:
          1. Licensed importers; licensed manufacturers; licensed dealers; licensed collectors; law enforcement agencies of the U.S. or any department or agency thereof; and law enforcement agencies of any state or any department, agency or political subdivisions thereof; or
          2. Where not prohibited by local, state and federal law, from individuals to licensed importers, licensed manufacturers or licensed dealers (and return of same).
      B. If your shipment contains firearms, select the Direct Signature Required or Adult Signature Required Delivery Signature Option, depending on the requirements of your shipment. See the Delivery Signature Options section for details. Firearms shipments are not eligible for signature release or indirect delivery.
      C. Firearms must be shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight service. FedEx Express cannot ship or deliver firearms C.O.D. Firearms shipments cannot be placed in a FedEx Drop Box. Firearms shipments are not eligible to be held at Hold at Location facilities.
      D. Upon presenting the package for shipment, the person tendering the shipment to FedEx Express is required to notify FedEx Express that the package contains a firearm. The outside of the package must not be marked, labeled or otherwise identify that the package contains a firearm.
      E. The shipper and recipient must be of legal age as identified by applicable law.
      F. The shipper and recipient are required to comply with all applicable government regulations and laws, including those pertaining to labeling. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can provide assistance.
      G. 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.

  • UPS

    Quick Information:

      (b) UPS accepts packages containing firearms 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.

      Handguns, as defined by 18 U.S.C. - 921, will be accepted for transportation only via UPS Next Day Air Services, specifically, UPS Next Day Air Early, UPS Next Day Air, and UPS Next Day Air Saver. (Note: UPS Express Critical Service is not available for firearms).

      Ammunition can only be shipped via UPS Ground, and only within the 48 contiguous United States, or via UPS Ground Intra-Oahu and Intra-Alaska.

      Note: Firearms (including handguns) are not accepted for shipment via UPS Drop Boxes or UPS On-Call Pickup, and may not be tendered to or dropped off at locations of The UPS Store, any third party retailer, or any UPS Access Point' location.

  • US Postal Service

      a. Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (referred to as handguns) are nonmailable in the domestic mail. There are people who can mail, an FFL is one.

      d. Unloaded rifles and shotguns may be mailed if the mailer fully complies with the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90 618) and 18 U.S.C. 921. The mailer may be required to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not excluded from mailing

        1. Bear a Return Service Requested endorsement.

        2. Be sent by Priority Mail Express (with signature required) or Registered Mail.

        3. Include Signature Confirmation service or insured mail service (for more than $500) requiring a signature at delivery.

      Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of rifles or shotguns.

      No markings of any kind that indicate the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside wrapper or container of any mailpiece containing firearms.

      Ammunition includes all kinds of bombs, grenades, rockets, mines, projectiles, and other similar devices or contrivances. Ammunition is a Class 1 explosive and is nonmailable.

      432.4 Indemnity Claims
      When indemnity claims pertaining to regulated firearms are filed for loss or damage to contents, claims will only be paid for complete loss under either of the following conditions: a. The regulated firearm has been lost, or b. When the mailer has provided reasonable estimates of firearm's value and of repair cost from a reputable dealer, and the repair cost exceeds the declared and/ or actual value of the firearm at the time of mailing.

  • Shipping Ammunition

      As of January 1, 2014 you MUST use the Striped Diamonds shipping label when shipping ammunition.  You are required to use one of the larger labels on one side of any package containing ammunition.  If the package is too small for one of the larger labels then you are permitted to use one of the smaller labels instead.  No additional written information required on the box!

      Shipping Label  Shipping Label

      There is NO HAZMAT FEE for shipping loaded ammo. Hazmat is only for Gunpowder and Primers.

      FFL not required!

      USPS will not mail!

      * Recent state laws may make it illegal for you to ship or receive ammunition via UPS or FedEx (label or not).  Check your state laws!

    You cannot ship ammunition via a UPS Store, it must be from the main UPS facility in your area.

    Posted By: Joe Potosky

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