How to Pack and Ship Firearms -

How to Pack and Ship Firearms

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Are you moving firearms with you? Here's a brief tutorial on how to pack and ship firearms. With enough safety information, you can assure all parties who are sending and receiving the weapons are protected from both physical and legal harm.

Pack and Ship Firearms

Firearm licenses and insurance

You do not necessarily have to be licensed to ship or receive a gun. Licensing depends on the type of firearm you are shifting or obtaining and the origin and destination of the transport.

  • As a "non-licensed" individual who is sending or receiving a weapon, you can ship guns within the same state as long as there is no currency concerned and it is not a modern or antique handgun. However, if you are unlicensed and there is money involved while shipping a handgun out of state, you must go through a Federal Firearm License, FFL, dealer. Instead of shipping the gun directly to an individual, you can ship it to the dealer, who will complete the transfer by filling out the required forms and performing a background check.
  • As an FFL dealer, who buys and sells firearms to make a profit, you must have the proper credentials to legally ship and receive any weapons. To obtain your FFL license you must go through the United States Department of Justice, and to check on the authenticity of an FFL dealer's license you must visit the FFL E-Z Check System.

No matter whether you are licensed or not, the weapon that is being shipped should be insured in the case it is lost, stolen or damaged during transport. Your present insurance carrier will most likely cover the firearm you are shipping.

Packing firearms

According to the National Firearms Museum, the easiest and the safest way to pack firearms is by using a thick cardboard box, bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts. Before using the packing materials, it is important to remove all ammunition and set the safety on the gun. After you have done so, then you can begin to wrap the gun. Below are some simple steps for packing guns.

  • Lay down the bubble wrap on a table or floor and place the gun at one end of the wrap. Slowly roll the gun with the bubble wrap and begin covering the entire gun, making sure no part of the firearm is showing. After it is entirely covered, tape the wrap securely around the gun.
  • Place the wrapped weapon in a thick cardboard box that is a bit larger than the gun itself. Fill any empty space with Styrofoam peanuts to limit the weapon movement during transit.
  • Once the gun is secured in the box, pour packing peanuts into the package until the gun becomes completely covered so all you see is white foam. After doing so, tape the box securely, assuring there is no way the tape will come undone during transport.

Since firearms come in many shapes and sizes, the preceding packing methods may not be best for long guns like rifles. In that case, it would be wise to purchase a plastic gun or rifle case to pack rifles for shipping. This will assure any fragile parts of the firearm, like the wrist, will remain intact and not break during transport. After you carefully place the gun in the case and cover the plastic with cardboard so that it will not be obvious the elongated package has a gun in it.

Shipping firearms

Now that you have obtained the legal paperwork surrounding the specific gun shipment and packed it properly, you can send it off. To get the gun to its destination, you must physically bring any needed paperwork and the package to the United States Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. It is illegal for a gun to be sent or received in a mailbox or to be sent from packing and moving company.

According to the law, you must declare the contents of a gun shipment before you send it. However, never label the exterior of the package the weapon is being sent in. If the firearm is a handgun, modern or antique, it must be shipped overnight via UPS or FedEx and cannot be shipped through the United States Post Office. Since it is better to be safe than sorry, it is shrewd to ship a rifle special express even though it can be mailed through a local post office.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on May 21, 2013

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