Southwest Firearms Forum
Landhawk Arms
J&B Firearm Sales
Gun Deals
Defensive Arts
Sporting Systems
Low Price Guns
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Oregon Rifleworks
Oregon Arms & Ammunition

Experience Shipping a Rifle via USPS

This applies ONLY to long guns (rifles). Handguns MUST be shipped by FFL. Period.

Shipped a firearm to another member here via USPS.
It was easy.

USPS Regs Here

What legal sites tell you is incorrect. They state you MUST use Priority Mail Express. Nope.
I will say, walking up to the clerks and saying, "I want to mail a firearm" produces a clear 'deer in the headlights' response.
Steps:
  1. Reach out to the FFL you are mailing it to and get a copy of their FFL certificate to present to the USPS clerk.
  2. Pack your gun properly, ensuring it is not loaded and no ammunition is in the box. You will need to include a front/back photocopy of your ID in with the firearm.
  3. Bring it in, boxed and sealed. There are no forms to fill out at the Post Office. They may ask to inspect, but that was not necessary for me today.
  4. Use Priority Mail, insure the firearm and pay for signature delivery.
  5. Get your receipt, notify the FFL and the party you are sending to.
All in all, it's easier to use a FFL to ship. In this instance, I saved $20 and it will get to the recipient in two days rather than a week.
 

User 1234

Messages
2,662
Reactions
6,922
I always take a printed copy of the section 432 regs with me. I have received some very angry refusals to mail a long gun in the past by postal employees who were completely naive. Now it is easy, I just hand them the printed reg and point out the appropriate section. Quick and cheap.
 

flashpan

Messages
918
Reactions
867
I have shipped many long guns using only UPS...USPS and Fedex were bad experiencees years ago. I only go to a "customer service center" Tualatin or Swan Island. I most always use Tualatin. I also have the FFL copy from the buyer in the box and carry another to show the counter folks. Always gone smooth....never asked to open the box. I also ship ammo, declare it sho they can put the special sticker on the box. Just shipped a shotgun to ND last week...Shiped Friday....arrived on time Wed. Easy Peasy stuff.
 
Last edited:

Reno

Messages
9,097
Reactions
19,943
UPS service center is the only way I’ll ship a gun these days. Unless I am having an FFL ship the gun, which then I don’t care how they ship it as long as it has tracking. UPS stores are not UPS, sounds weird, but they are franchises and they can make up whatever dumb rules they want. FedEx is usually more expensive for ground shipping.
 

bikemutt

Messages
599
Reactions
812
I learned a lesson shipping long guns USPS about 5 years ago. The "postmaster" had it in for me once I disclosed it was a rifle. She said she was calling the FBI to come arrest me, I told her I'll wait. She finally backed off after I called her bluff.

Anyway, I no longer disclose jack, I answer asked questions truthfully and have not had a problem since.

As an aside, a gun bud of mine who happened to be a letter carrier at that same PO told me the witch was "reassigned" to another location.
 
I remember when getting setup to be an FFL, I interfaced with local government (business license), state (my LLC filings and OSP NICS setup), and Federal (ATF, etc.). Locals were characteristically slow and incompetent, but nothing terrible, state was a breeze, and ATF was professional and easy to work. The bureau approved my application with little issue (minor paperwork fixes) and were helpful with regulatory questions after issuing said license.

The local USPS, on the other hand, was easily the biggest pain in the butt to deal with. They didn't know their own regulations, wasn't even aware of the form I needed to ship that I located myself with a two second Google search, starting out by telling me I couldn't ship at all, then when I showed them their own regulations, came up with a litany of BS requirements, none of which were real. I finally had enough and went up the chain and got it straightened out, and have no more issues. But, yeesh.
 
Messages
2,065
Reactions
5,723
Are you saying you should tell USPS there’s a gun in the box? Because you don’t have to. I never do.



P
If you don't care about having insurance and are willing to eat the cost if the gun goes missing, then sure, keep your mouth shut.

But if you want insurance, you had better come clean. Otherwise you run the risk of them rejecting the claim if it goes missing and they figure out what you really shipped.
 

gmerkt

Messages
1,120
Reactions
2,331
Are you saying you should tell USPS there’s a gun in the box? Because you don’t have to. I never do.
"Sporting goods." A long box like that, could be golf clubs.

She said she was calling the FBI to come arrest me,
When random questions come up, all they have to do is look in the DMM. But like many other people, some postal workers don't want to read. A competent person who is asked a question they don't know the answer to might say, "I don't know but I'll find out." A sign that a former co-worker of mine had said, "We never guess, we always look it up." If you take copies of the pertinent boiler plate with you and show it to a worker who doesn't know, it makes it that much more difficult for them to refute and easier to cave.

I've mailed a number of long guns over the years, no problems, always insured. I've made a point of taking them to a cultivated contact who wouldn't question the shipment.
 
Messages
2,170
Reactions
5,992
If you don't care about having insurance and are willing to eat the cost if the gun goes missing, then sure, keep your mouth shut.

But if you want insurance, you had better come clean. Otherwise you run the risk of them rejecting the claim if it goes missing and they figure out what you really shipped.
Such has not been my experience.



P
 
Messages
2,065
Reactions
5,723
I insured the package without having to declare or expose the contents. Never had a loss.
Well yea, that whole process works really well as long as the rifle doesn't go missing.

So tell me...what do you think is going to happen if you do lose a gun...and then need to file a police report...and the police talk to USPS...because they will probably talk to USPS since it's a gun...and USPS learns that what you really shipped was a gun but didn't declare it?

Do you think they're going to pay your claim...or tell you to pound sand?

Personally I don't know why you would risk this. You're not doing anything illegal. I'd rather deal with a little bit of a hassle up front getting an ignorant postal worker to follow their own policies and ship my gun vs. a nightmare on the back end if the gun goes missing and they deny my claim because I didn't declare it.
 
Messages
2,065
Reactions
5,723
Am I required to disclose the contents, no matter what they are, prior to shipping in order to file a claim if it goes missing?
That's an interesting point. The only reference in their policy says this...

The mailer may be required by the USPS to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the rifle or shotgun is unloaded and not ineligible for mailing. The following conditions also apply:
That obviously can't happen unless you declare the item. But there is nothing specifically saying you must.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun - Pistol April 4th
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun - Rifle April 5th
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Skill Builder - April 25-26th
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Adaptive Firing Solutions
    5.00 star(s)
    Steve is great. Easy to deal with, super low prices on his transfers.
    • DizzyJ
  • Adaptive Firing Solutions
    5.00 star(s)
    Had my first transaction with Steve and will be recommending him to anyone in my circle. Good guy with a really helpful attitude and goes the...
    • SonnyJim
  • Supporting Vendor Oregon Arms & Ammunition
    5.00 star(s)
    This is the closest gun close to my house and they have always been super nice. I have bought two guns off them and sold one of mine to them.
    • storminnorm44
  • Supporting Vendor Oregon Arms & Ammunition
    5.00 star(s)
    Went in to pick up some parts for an AR style 10/22 and to start my journey into building an AR by picking up a lower. Staff was super helpful and...
    • Hueco
  • Tri-County Gun Club
    5.00 star(s)
    I've been a member for 6 years, been shooting there (as a guest) for three years before that. I found the Ladies League and was hooked. It's the...
    • PacwestDefense

SUPPORT NORTHWEST FIREARMS