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Handgun Parts Via US Mail?

Wolf.Wolf. Member Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited May 2008 in Ask the Experts
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I need to send my customized Springfield 1911-A1 back to the shop that did the work.

I got the idea from them that I could dismantle the gun and ship it in two separate packages legally in order to avoid the complications of sending the completely assembled gun. Their thinking is that if it is not a completely assembled gun, and all the parts are not in one pot, then what you are sending is not legally a "gun".

This seems incorrect to me, since somewhere in the shipping of these parts is a handgun frame. upon which the burden of being a "gun" rests (I always thought, anyway).

Who knows about this send-in-two-packages US Mail thing?

Also, what is the best (legality, cost and security) way to avoid a high priced round-trip ticket for sending and receiving back my pistol?

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    RCrosbyRCrosby Member Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This seems incorrect to me, since somewhere in the shipping of these parts is a handgun frame. upon which the burden of being a "gun" rests (I always thought, anyway).
    Wolf,
    My understanding is the same as yours. The frames the thing. It's always been my understanding that you could ship the whole gun (intact, 1 pc, not loaded, obviously) back to the factory for work, no problem. Believe this would count for custom gun smithing as well but I wonder if the legal status of the person you'd be sending to could be a factor here? Is it enough for them to hold an FFL? Do they need to qualify as a manufacturer? Someone will doubtless be along shortly who knows all that stuff. The fact that the person you're dealing with doesn't seem to have a handle on this would make me wonder if I wanted to be sending anything of mine to him; parts or whole gun.
    Just my 2 cents.
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    HAIRYHAIRY Member Posts: 23,606
    edited November -1
    So long as you are not sending the receiver (the part the BATF considers to be a gun), you are okay. Otherwise, disassembled or not, it is a gun.
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    11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,584 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hairy is right. The reciever IS the gun. No other part is a gun. You may MAIL a long gun to a FFL holder. Only an 01 FFL (dealer) or a manufacturer can MAIL a handgun. And to another 01 FFL. Rest of us use UPS or Fedx AIR- and dern tooting its pricy. Low cost option- find on 01 FFL that you can pay to MAIL it for you. They can do that, and US Mail is a LOT cheaper than UPS Air, adult sig reqd. And anyone that tells you that a gun divided into two packages is not a gun is NOT doing you any favors.
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    JIM STARKJIM STARK Member Posts: 1,150 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A non-licensee may ship a firearm back to the manufacturer or to a licensee for repair or modification..That receipient may ship that firearm back to the original shipper...AT THE SAME ADDRESS FROM WHICH IT WAS SHIPPED... This transaction is NOT a transfer of ownership, and does not require a licensee on the owner's end of the transaction...
    YES the frame is "the firearm" shipping the thing in two differrent boxes is a waste of time... Read the regs..Don't go by word of mouth...
    JIM.......
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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have seen that recommendation from gunsmiths. It is not right. The receiver is a firearm, in law.

    Also bear in mind that the Post Office regulations are different from and in some cases, stricter than BATF.
    I had to mail a Walther pellet pistol to the only service center in North America, in Canada. UPS would not work it through Customs and and the Post Office would mail it only for my dealer because to them, a handgun is a handgun, and the ammunition does not matter.

    If you can get your dealer to sign off on the appropriate paperwork, mail is less expensive than Fed-Ups.
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    11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,584 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Jim- you are correct- but the issue is not shipping, it is MAILING- which has its own regs.
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    nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 36,042 ******
    edited November -1
    I think an examination of the Postal regulations may be in order here. For TRANSFER, and INVENTORY purposes, by BATFE definition, the RECEIVER is the FIREARM.

    Postal regulations may not consider it a firearm unless it is capable of being fired.
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    givettegivette Member Posts: 10,886
    edited November -1
    I've shipped many a handgun back to the factory, for this'n that...and I'm not an FFL, but read on:

    Assuming you're not an FFL, you're OK to ship UPS/Fedex, etc. provided the recepient is a licenced repair facility, or has a FFL for gunsmithing.

    That split-package scheme is bogus. Best, Joe
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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,879 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (ATF P5300.4) page 178, (B8):

    "May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the US Postal Service?

    ....Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun."

    Those who choose to interpret the law on their own risk a visit from the fellas with the bulges in the cheap suits.

    Neal
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    nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 36,042 ******
    edited November -1
    Yes, but how do the POSTAL REGULATIONS define "handgun?"
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    slingerslinger Member Posts: 1,373 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I tell customers the part(s) with the number is the gun.
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