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Thread: mailed a rifle yesterday

  1. #1
    TRX
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    Default mailed a rifle yesterday

    A friend of mine sold off his motorcycle and all of his guns to cover the deductibles and co-pays for some urgent family medical expenses.

    That was an unsatisfactory state of affairs, so I boxed up a nice 1946 Izhmash sidefolder Mosin carbine, checked the postal regulations, and went down to the post office.

    Five days before Christmas, I'm expecting an hour or more. Somehow, I was the only customer in the building. The clerk dropped the package on the scale and started the "animal, vegetable, mineral?" questions. I said, "this package contains a firearm," since the USPS web site says they need to be informed if a package contains one.

    The clerk very nearly panicked. He went in back to check with his supervisor. Half a dozen people peeked around the corner to look at the madman with a gun in the Post Office. A postal inspector eventually came out, multitasking two different telephone conversations with somewhere.

    I got the impression they don't handle many guns at my local post office...

    I went over what was in the package with the inspector, assured her it was going to an 07 FFL and that it was not loaded, she relayed it to one of the phones, got a reply, and told the clerk I was good to go. He tapped on his keyboard, shipping and insurance came to sixteen dollars. Take *that*, Feral Express!

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    If ever I mail one again I would print out the instructions off the website and take them with me.

    I seem to recall you don't need to tell them what it is... going from memory... but you should insure it. I know we've discussed this on different threads before. My standby description - combustion engine parts - is technically accurate, AND it gets you where you need to be without being "the madman"
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    Hang them high Judge. jimmy t's Avatar
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    Talked to the local post office supervisor about shipping a rifle.
    He said that in his 14 years at this place, he has not shipped
    a pistol ,or a rifle, and this is a very big store. He gave me some
    forms to fill out, but I never tried to ship from a USPO
    Your in my Mind, and in my Sights

  4. #4
    TRX
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    The ATF regs are clear. The USPS regs are buried in a bunch of other stuff. I informed them of what was in the package, the supervisor looked it up (hopefully they have an internal web site that's less impenetrable than the public one), she decided everything was okay, asked for a written assurance that the rifle was unloaded and no ammunition was in the package, and off went the package. I'm not sure if that was a requirement or just CYA, no big deal either way. Maybe 10 minutes altogether.

    I expected to have to provide some sort of proof that the rifle was going to an FFL. I'm assuming they verified that behind the scenes. The ATF has a web page for that, I think.

    Basically, my best-guess interpretation of the regs was that it was OK to ship. Putting any more effort than that into it would have been a waste of time; they were going to have to look it up and make their own interpretation at the office, and had they said "no", arguing would have been futile. I thought they handled things pretty well even though they were obviously flustered.

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    When I do ship one USPS ,, you'll need to give them a copy of your FFL, or at least that's what I was told, mine is on file at the local PO and I have no issues shipping one,, but this is Vt after all, could be different in your areas.

  6. #6
    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Only an FFL can ship handguns through the mail, rifles and shotguns anyone can. It even states in the postal regs that postal employees are not to interpret the ATF regs, if presented with a rifle or shotgun they must accept and ship it, legality of recipient and shipper to do so are not their area of expertise. In state transfers are just like face to face, no FFL needed on either end. Out of state, receiver has to be an FFL. If an FFL ships a handgun, he has a form to fill out. Joe Sixpack ships a Mosin, nothing required except postage $$$.

    Went through all this with my locol PO, took an email complaint to the district supervisor before "everyone at both your branches has been schooled in the regs now, you should have no further problems shipping in the future". of course, three weeks later I got the same "you can't mail a gun" speech from the satellite branch until they called the main office downtown and they told her the procedures. It seems most have the actual reg printed out in the "book of no-nos" they keep behind the counter and it starts out with only an FFL can ship guns, a paragraph or so below it lists the exception for long guns. They read to "must have FFL to ship" and quit reading.

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    I Know,,,, I went through this with my sister a couple years ago, she's a post master in a mid sized sight. She argued up and down you couldn't till I pulled it up on her puter from the ATF and Post Office sights regs. Of course if you knew my sister you'd know she's a bit argumenitive most of the time anyhow!!! Our family is all a bit stubborn,,,, all but me of course!!!

    I must addmit it took a bit of searching to find the info, it was well barried in a cluster fuck of sub sections, as usual. I think they just didn't want to take the time to look, they are stretched pretty thin now days, at least around here they are.

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    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    I thought you could mail a rifle to yourself for example if you were going on vacation on a hunting trip.

  9. #9
    Gunco Regular Shadow Walker's Avatar
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    You can.

    The little post office I use doesn't think twice about accepting long guns for shipment.

    I always include a copy of the FFL I am shipping the long gun to inside the package. That way, if the package gets broken open in shipping, the FFL can handle any problems with delivery.

  10. #10
    Gunco Regular Ken3030's Avatar
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    You should not even HAVE to tell them it's a gun. I've shipped thousands of packages with USPS and they only ask you if it's anything flammable or breakable or such. Never once was asked what the package contained.
    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference- they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” George Washington

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
    George Washington

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