The Lost Target
A web based news service for gun enthusiasts.


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 (Sept 2022)

      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. Also, you must be an approved firearm shipper with a signed contract on file with FedEx. For more information, contact your FedEx account executive.

  • UPS

      UPS accepts packages containing Firearm Products for shipment only as a contractual service and only from Shippers who are licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors

    • 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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