BATF - Shipping
Conditions - Firearms
Firearm Shipping Regulations
[18 U.S.C. 921(a)(32), 922(g)(8) and 925(a)(1)]
(B7) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?
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.
[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]
(B8) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?
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
(B9) 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.
(F14) Who may ship handguns
through the U.S. Postal Service?
Federal firearm licensees
may send an unloaded handgun in the mail to another FFL in customary trade
shipments. Handguns also may be mailed to any officer, employee, agent, or
watchman who is eligible under 18 U.S.C. 1715 to receive pistols, revolvers, and
other firearms capable of being concealed on the person for use in connection
with his or her official duties.
However, postal service
regulations must be followed. Any person proposing to mail a handgun must file
with the postmaster, at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the
addressee stating that the addressee is qualified to receive the firearm, and
the affidavit must bear a certificate stating that the firearm is for the
official use of the addressee. See the current Postal Manual for details.
The Postal Service
recommends that all firearms 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. (See also Questions B7 and