Shipping BP pistols and revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by jdn262, Aug 1, 2019.

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  1. Aug 1, 2019 #1

    jdn262

    jdn262

    jdn262

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    Hi guys,

    I would like to get forum members thoughts on a subject from several years past in the forum where policies have changed since then regarding personal shipment of BP pistols and revolvers by shipping carriers. I’ve checked with my local USPS post office, UPS and Fedex and I’ve gotten mixed answers from every one as to the legality and their policy of a non-licensed individual shipping BP firearms to another person either interstate or out of state. My local postmaster told me under no circumstance can any firearm of any type be mailed unless you have a FFL even when I explained the BATFE law regarding antique firearms and their own postal regulations. She did exclaim some personal bias towards firearms by her demeanor, which may be the reason I was given that answer. Checking with my local UPS/Fedex franchised store, they said that they absolutely do not ship any type of firearm due to corporate policy even when I discussed the federal and state laws regarding antique and reproduction BP firearms. I was given advice that I could ship a BP firearm at either a UPS or Fedex hub location. Calling UPS on the phone I was told I had to have a C&R to ship BP firearms from their hubs. Called Fedex, the gal on the phone didn’t even understand what a BP firearm was and informed me I had to have a FFL. With these mixed answers from all these shipping carriers, I’ve conclude that either these people are personally biased towards firearms, don't know what their talking about or don’t even know their own organizational laws regarding the shipping of BP firearms. I could simply pay the fee to a local gun store and have them ship it but their fee is outrageous. Only alternatives that I can think of would be to brake down the BP firearm and ship it in pieces to an individual to re-assemble like parts sold on ebay. The problem I see is shipping a serialized frame which could get me in some legal trouble if the carrier discovered it. This brings up my question to the forum. What has been your experience as of late in shipping BP firearms that you have sold to a non-licensed individual? Please do not give me answers of simply disguising the package and shipping it USPS Priority, etc. as I do obey our stupid state and federal gun laws even though I despise those laws.
     
  2. Aug 1, 2019 #2

    Phil Coffins

    Phil Coffins

    Phil Coffins

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    I have shipped a number of bp guns from our locale post office. Their rules state that no hazardous materials can be shipped, no mention of fire arms. The people at the desk are often aware that a muzzle loader going to a private person. This is neither against the law (depending on state) or USPS rules. I have also shipped modern guns to ffl holders with no issues threw the same office. Your postal workers are trying to inforce their own ignorance on you.
     
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  3. Aug 1, 2019 #3

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    "BP pistols" I don't know about, by USPS but USPS does ship long guns, of any type, never have been even asked "Is it a gun?", and I have shipped dozens of rifles via USPS. The receiving party must have a C&R/FFL, except for BP arms. BP arms are not even "guns" per the BATFE. USPS does not ship "handguns" but if a bp arm is not a "gun" per BATFE, ?
     
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  4. Aug 1, 2019 #4

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Recently shipped a cap and ball revolver to a private individual through the USPS. Bride took it in to the local Post Office and TOLD them it was C&B black powder revolver (she knew, as she had asked me what I was mailing). All the counter person wanted to know was if there were any hazardous materials in the package and what was it worth for insurance purposes.

    Others will chime in, but it seems to come down to who you deal with at the Post Office and their ‘interpretation’ of Postal rules and regulations. I have never needed to do it, but have heard of some people having to bring copies of the USPS rules with them and review them with the Post Master before being given the green light to ship.

    The other wild card may be where you live. California. I have no idea what sort of local regulations you may there. Often see comments in for sale postings that seller will ‘not ship to California’..... have never investigated why.
     
  5. Aug 1, 2019 #5

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    The Postal rules about firearms do not apply to muzzleloaders or cap & ball pistols if their design is based on something made before 1898.

    Check out this link to the USPS rules on firearms.
    https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2011/pb22321/html/updt_001.htm

    Notice in rule 12.1.1 a it says, "Firearm means...but the term shall not include an antique firearm."

    "12.1.1 h. Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shotgun/pistol that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute and that cannot use fixed ammunition (except those that incorporate a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof); or any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:

    1. Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.

    2. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  6. Aug 1, 2019 #6

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    You are under no obligation to tell the USPS what is in your package nor can they ask. The only questions they are allowed to ask are the ones regarding hazardous contents and there should be a poster on the wall telling what they are. It is quite legal to ship an antique, reproduction or modern muzzleloader by mail though you may get a hassle from a anti gun postal worker or one ignorant of the rules if you voluntairly disclose the contents. If you should ship it to a person who cannot own a BP firearm or ownership is prohibited where he lives you are not in violation of any USPS regulations and it's very doubtful they would be involved. However if that should happen you might be liable to prosecution by the authorities in his local but that might be unlikely. It wouldn't be unreasonable to ask the buyer to enclose, with payment, a letter to the effect that he can own the gun and it's legal to receive it at his address just for your protection. I have shipped and received pistols and long arms via the mail and even when handing over what is obviously a rifle the Postmaster has never even commented though I am well known to them. I have found USPS to be the cheapest and best to use. I buy all my shipping labels online and simply hand the package across the counter or drop it in the box.

    I have shipped by UPS though I don't care for it as it is more expensive, it requires a drive of an additional 30 miles to the UPS drop off store and it's a 90 mile round trip to the hub. If you go with UPS buy the label online and drop it off at the store without volunteering any info. To the best of my knowledge UPS has no rules against it.

    If the firearm uses self contained ammunition (a cartridge including primer) then everything changes, specially with the USPS, even if it is a curio or relic but that doesn't enter into this conversation.

    If you describe the contents you may run into a worker(s) with no knowledge of the rules, a personal anti-gun bias, someone who is paranoid about their job or is afraid to make a decision without getting an OK from somebody up the chain which might cause you endless headaches. I believe you have already seen some of those things while just asking. You are not breaking any rules or laws by not telling what the contents of the package are.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  7. Aug 1, 2019 #7

    bubba.50

    bubba.50

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    Pack it well in a medium flat rate box & answer ‘no’ to all the P.O. questions on if it’s anything restricted.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2019 #8

    8 BORE

    8 BORE

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    Yout local usps person is stupid. She should abide by the usps rules, and not make up her own.
    HAWKEYE 2 is correct
    Dont volunteer any information.
    Just check NO then ship it
     
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  9. Aug 1, 2019 #9

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    The one point of confusion some have is with some antique firearms at the edge of the period we discuss here, but believe it should be mentioned. Hope I don’t get in to much trouble for bringing it up... carefully read 12.1.1.h, sections 1 and 2 of what Zonie posted. You can ship cartridge style pre 1898 design and manufactured guns, but not replicas of those guns manufactured post 1898, unless certain ammunition requirments are meet, at least according to what I understood when explained to me. You can ship an original 1873, but not a replica made after 1898. An original 1851 with an original, pre 1898 conversation cylinder is ok to ship, but not a later made replica. Anyone shipping items like this needs to fully understand and have copies of the regulations. Always a chance the government representative you are speaking with could be in the dark on the topic, possibly getting you an invitation to a government run bed and breakfast.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  10. Aug 1, 2019 #10

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    I wonder if we wouldn't be better served by eliminating all conversation regarding any gun that uses fixed ammo regardless of exeptions such as conversions, curio & relics, guns taking obsolete ammo and reproductioons and stay only with muzzleloaders since that's the focus of the OP's question.
     
  11. Aug 1, 2019 #11

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Hawkeye, my first thoughts were as yours, but once the topic of legal ‘antique firearms deffiniton’ was brought up, and with a new member asking about ‘personal shipment of BP pistols and revolvers by shipping carriers‘ in the OP, figured in made sense to mention those things that we typically don’t discuss. Editing and cherry picking when talk about laws and such is never a good idea in my opinion. Can only assume that the OP was limiting the question to muzzleloaders, as I can not read minds. There are a lot of BP revolvers out there, many cap and ball, but none really muzzleloaders.... some are just discussed here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  12. Aug 1, 2019 #12

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    Understood and I almost went down that road myself in my post. You and I and a lot of the members here understand what we are talking about but I'm always afraid there are newbies who don't have much knowledge about guns in general and might be confused by the introduction of anything that isn't directly related. I grew up in a state where everyone knew how to swim and shoot and you can't imagine my shock when I found out there people out there that can't tell a Colt from a quadruped. :)
     
  13. Aug 2, 2019 #13

    8 BORE

    8 BORE

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    Again some are thinking between the lines. There are no lines to think between.
     
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  14. Aug 2, 2019 #14

    nhmoose

    nhmoose

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    Make a formal complaint to the Post Master General. She will be sent for remedial training for delaying of the mail and commerce.

    She takes the paycheck and befits including the retirement package the least she can do is the job correctly. Cut them no slack.
     
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