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Old 12-15-2005, 08:42 PM   #1
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Hello Folks,
I ship out several rifles a month to FFL holders. Garands, Carbines, the occasional Krag or just a Ruger 10-22. I have tried to use UPS, but after getting spit on by the local Iranian owner and screamed at because I had the temerity to produce the BATFE Regs on shipping firearms to a cockroach that just didn't WANT to ship one, I went to FEDEX. Now, FEDEX is asking me "Is the rifle dissassembled?". This happened the other day after I spent an hour boxing up a Garanad, clips, bandolier, manual, etc. I plain lied to the little clerk and said yeah, it is. It did have a cable lock on it, but I wasn't about to tear that box down and dismantle the M-1 that I was sending to a newbie who expected a rifle ready to shoot. What is this bs?
My FFL friend in Ohio uses UPS, and they don't ask him to take the rifle apart. Of course, they charge an arm and a leg now. Diesel is expensive, don't ya know? My problem is that my local sand-digger won't even let you in the store with a rifle. Of course, he gladly delivers rifle parts to me all the time. So, UPS is out for me.
Does anyone use the old USPS, and what do I need to do to use them? I am sure there is some bunch of hoops to jump through, just let me have the straight skinny. I will gladly pay more for slower service IF the suckers will take the gun.
Sorry about the rant. The unfortunate Iranian who made the mistake of grabbing me and spitting in my face is probably chewing his Captain Crunch on the left side of his face. His right side don't work no more. This is getting bothersome. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:49 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I used USPS once to ship a couple pistols back to Century Arms. I brought a copy of the USPS regs with me along with my FFL to the Post Office.
The gal seemed a bit confused on what to do but didn't say much.

Their regs are on their website.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:57 PM   #3
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I've had the best luck with the USPS, just make sure that you take the copy of their DMM concerning firearms shipment with you as they will surely refuse you for any and all kinds of reasons unless you can show them how their company works by their own documentation.

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Old 12-15-2005, 09:00 PM   #4
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I've shipped rifles via USPS Priority Mail, UPS Ground and FedEx Ground. All with good results.

I use a local mail drop to ship rifles these days. They don't mind shipping longarms, but the thing that amazes me is the way their rules change. For the past two years they would only ship longarms by UPS. When I went in earlier this week though to ship a rifle they looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to ship a rifle UPS Ground. They said it "had" to go FedEx Ground, and had always been that way, UPS won't take longarms from them. Yeah. Whatever. Just ship it lady.

If I were you I'd just find a different UPS shop.
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Old 12-16-2005, 02:07 AM   #5
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OK, I get to act like the FNG guy and admit its been about 10 years since I, as in me, actually had to take something "in" to ship.

So forgive my naive ignorance~ BUT WHAT in the frickity frack is it thier busines to ask what the heck I'm shipping? Marvel comics or howitzers...its MY but that gets put in a sling if I do something wrong. Not them. Thier business is to ship packages~ only relevant questions I could concievably see being necessary to ask is "is it legal?" or "It ain't gonna blow up if we put it on our carrier is it?" Short of that I just dont see how ANY of it is thier 'right to know'. What next? Asking WHAT I said to my sister in the letter that I send???????

Are we at sooooooo much of a police state now that we have to actually open the boxes too for thier inspection of all contents?

Tell 'em it's a weighted lead medival staff! Maybe I am totally naive in all this~ but what are they gonna do? Say no? Wait, sounds like some people are already running into this.....

I AM GLAD that you've all mentioned showing up with thier own regs...would have been my first suggestion....

On a seperate but similar idea~ What about DHL? ((As said I don't ship much~ and my experience with UPS and FED EX is to call to complain when my "next day" service I paid for shows up 4 hours late so I can get my refund!))

Somebody PLEASE tell me we're not really this far into the police state we all know is coming.

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Old 12-16-2005, 04:28 AM   #6
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Tell 'em it's a weighted lead medival staff! Maybe I am totally naive in all this~ but what are they gonna do? Say no? Wait, sounds like some people are already running into this.....
I've thought of something similar like machined parts. But if it becomes missing then you have a problem. Stuff does "disappear". I just went through a claim with Nikon and UPS on a stolen camera. It left the Nikon facilty but "disappeared" at the UPS facility before it got it's initial scan (FWIW, LA area).
It'll be tough explaining your claim that the weighted medival staff suddenly turned into a firearm.

I checked into DHL a couple years when I was sending something to Switzerland. Their rates for that were in the stratosphere, something like $78 vs $18 for USPS. I haven't looked at them to ship firearms.
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:32 AM   #7
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USPS is always painless for me shipping rifles. Only once did they pull out the regs, which say shipping a rifle is fine. No hoops at all.
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:28 AM   #8
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I too had trouble with UPS when shipping some ammo! They asked if I had an FFL. I showed the supervisor the ATF regs on ammo shipments and he said,"They don't know what they're talking about." Now thats the pot calling the kettle black! After much arguing the ammo was finally shipped.
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:48 AM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Sorry about the bad experience, it was even downing me out expecting to read that you would let the guy go after insulting you -BUT, the end of the story was uplifting - right-on dude!

I have at least five of the UPS chain stores around me - these used to be Mail Boxes Plus or somthing or other. Is there a chance there is another UPS chain you could frequent?

My last experience in one of the UPS chanin stores in sending a 1911 back to Kimber was not so great either. I was already pissed due to returning the thing for warranty repair for a 3rd time, but I damn near had a shaking, slobbering fit when the pimple faced kid at the counter gave me the 20 questions:

Clerk: Yonkers New York, wheres Yonkers? Yonkers, cool

Me: I say nothing. I request $1000 of insurance.

Clerk: Wow, $1000, huh. Hey, whats in the box?

Me: Parts

Clerk: What kind of parts? Like, computer parts?

Me: Yea!

Clerk: Is it fragile?

Me: That is what I marked on the form, yea.

Clerk: Like how fragile? Can I drop it from 10- feet? What about 4-feet?

I agree, UPS does seem to have gotten worse from my other experiences. Previous to this, I shipped an AR to Colt sereral times. The manger/owner of the Mail Boxes Plus shop ask questions based on interest and gave a wink when I said it was a rifle - he was cool. I wonder if the rules are changing, and Big Daddy is cracking down on these services due to the Patriot Act etc
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Old 12-16-2005, 08:10 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2005
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These guys have the right to determine if you are shipping a hazardous material. They can ask you to open the package, remember its their airplane/truck. They must also be professional and know their job. I have good luck with FedEx, lesser results with UPS.
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Old 12-16-2005, 08:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by M14

I wonder if the rules are changing, and Big Daddy is cracking down on these services due to the Patriot Act etc
I studied the Patriot Act fairly intensively since I wrote my senior thesis on parts of it. So far as I know, there is nothing in the Patriot Act which directly concerns firearms, much less shipping them. Also, it was passed over 4 years ago and these changes appear to only be happening now. However, I have not read all 300+ pages of it so if someone does know of something please correct me.

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Old 12-16-2005, 10:05 AM   #12
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UPS and FedEx are really uptight about shipping firearms, and the clerks are all clueless or worse. They all seem to think that it's flat out illegal to ship firearms, and their regs are more restrictive than the law requires so "that's what the ATF says" doesn't cut it.

If you have to ship something, make sure you read the companies tariffs before heading out to do so. UPS doesn't allow you to ship from a MailBox Etc. store, it has to be a depot. FedEx requires that both sender and recipient have an FFL. DHL is gun free, they won't even ship parts!

I'd go with USPS. I've found that they'll look up the regs and follow them if they're not familiar.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:24 AM   #13
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[quote="FishInABarrel"] UPS doesn't allow you to ship from a MailBox Etc. store, it has to be a depot.

Your right! - I just checked the UPS site regarding Firearms. You apparently need to be specific that it is a firearm being shipped, and as for handguns it needs to be declared as such - even to the driver As for handguns, can't use the 3rd Party UPS Store (Mail Boxes Plus).

Beyond these declarations, it says it is OK to ship - not sure why they would give ya an earfull when it is clearly OK per their website.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:31 AM   #14
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One of the many reasons I got my C&R FFL (in addition to buying C&R firearms as well as the great discounts offered by Midway, Brownells and Graf & Sons to C&R licensees) was to make shipping firearms easier. I have found at my UPS, USPS or FedEx offices that if I tell them what in the package and say "from a Federal Firearms licensee to a Federal Firearms licensee" and offer to show them copies of the licenses, things go pretty smoothly from there on.

Most of the time I take my firearm package to a UPS Center/Depot (not a UPS Store) which fortunately is less than a mile from my home. The first time I shipped a firearm with UPS using my C&R license I took a copy of their Tariff No. 425 which covers shipping firearms. You can talk BATF regulations and U.S. statutes all you want, buy the counter folks live by their company's tariffs (you can find them on their respective web sites). Almost all of the UPS counter folks now know me and it runs a smooth as silk.

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Old 12-16-2005, 12:28 PM   #15
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Hi- A while back I had to ship a rifle that I had sold via the Internet. I went to FedEx and was told that it couldn't be shipped ground and had to go regular FedEx for some outrageous amount. Went to the local Post Office and was asked if it was going to a FFL- yes. Was it labeled on the outside as a rifle- No.Good to go as is -cost less than$20 with insurance. Send it to a FFL with out labeling the outside as it being a firearm- no problem and no flack from the clerk. Rich
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:16 PM   #16
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I'd hate to be the guy that says that he's shipping "machine parts" or some other deceptive/outright lie about the contents when shipping a firearm. BATF *REQUIRES* that a firearm be declared to the carrier when it's shipped. It says that in regards to shipment by contract or common carrier. That's *FEDERAL LAW*. Now, whether the USPS is either a Common or Contract Carrier by their definition, I can't be sure as they seem to separate shipments through the USPS and "common or contract carriers" iinto two different paragraphs, but I sure wouldn't not declare them at the USPS on a bet. I haven't searched the latest DMM for the USPS, so they may in fact state something about declaring a firearm being shipped at the counter. Even if it's only their rule and not the Government's they can make their own rules about that and all you can require them to do at the counter is to follow their own published policies.

From the Extensive BATF Faq:

(B May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U. S. Postal Service? [Back]

A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own state or to a licensee in any state. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. A nonlicensee may not transfer any firearm to a nonlicensed resident of another state. The Postal Service recommends that longguns 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.

(B9) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by carrier? [Back]

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by 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) and 922( e), 27 CFR 178.31]

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Old 12-16-2005, 05:00 PM   #17
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I boxed up the Garand that I raffled off last week and took it to Fedex. No problems anywhere. I had the recipients C&R; they didn't even want to look at it. 22.35 from Central SC to Middle Connecticut, insured at $1500.00. It went out on Friday Morning and was received Tuesday Afternoon. Again, NO Problemo!
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:02 PM   #18
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 332
Here's a short encounter I had recently.

The UPS depot we use hired a new girl.
New girl shipped out about 20 rifles for us.
One day she says "we need to see ID".
We said "now after all this time".
I said no ya don't, ya need to see a FFL.
This was after other girls (who know us) said we were O.K. on shipping guns.
Well, the next time, we showed her a copy of the FFL and all was fine since we told her that we ship back to the same person we got it from.
If not, we show them the FFL copy it's going to.

The only suggestion I can give for folks who have a bad time with any shipping carrier is get back at them.

You ever thought about tying up cooperate office phone lines ?
Yeah, have 1000 people call cooperate office all day and make your point to top people in charge.
I'd be glad to help ya out on that.
Maybe they'll get the message when they loose business for a day.
Of course, there's other ways to but, I'm trying to keep it civil O.K. ?
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Old 12-18-2005, 11:41 AM   #19
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I have no problem with UPS. I got so lazy that I set up an on-line account with them. Go on line, print the labels and signature sheet on my home computer, and UPS comes to the house and picks up the rifles. I only do C&R's though, and have never had an issue or problem.

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