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Discussion Starter #1
So, I recently received my C&R license and I have a question about shipping.

Shippers such as FedEx & UPS policies require non licensees to ship handguns to FFL recipient
by the fastest and most expensive methods.

Since I now am a FFL holder, even though it's C&R, can I use the cheaper shipping options to ship
a modern handgun that I know I can't transfer on my license to an 001 FFL who will then do the 4473
and associated local checks to complete the transfer, or am I still stuck shipping at the high rates?

TIA
 

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Since I now am a FFL holder, even though it's C&R, can I use the cheaper shipping options to ship
a modern handgun

Basically, yes, you can ship it ground service with UPS or FEDEX to save money. There is no law against it.

HOWEVER. If the gun is lost or damaged and you file a claim, they likely will not honor the claim as you did not abide by their policy.

John Gross
 

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So, I recently received my C&R license and I have a question about shipping.

Shippers such as FedEx & UPS policies require non licensees to ship handguns to FFL recipient
by the fastest and most expensive methods.

Since I now am a FFL holder, even though it's C&R, can I use the cheaper shipping options to ship
a modern handgun that I know I can't transfer on my license to an 001 FFL who will then do the 4473
and associated local checks to complete the transfer...............NO...........

..... or am I still stuck shipping at the high rates.........YES..........

TIA
What it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Basically, yes, you can ship it ground service with UPS or FEDEX to save money. There is no law against it.

HOWEVER. If the gun is lost or damaged and you file a claim, they likely will not honor the claim as you did not abide by their policy.

John Gross
What it is.

Thanks for the explanation.

I was mainly wondering if the shippers policies allowed lower rates for C&R holders as well

I'd be glad to use the lower rate if it was available without my being deceptive and/or losing insurance coverage.
 

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The next day air, and various high cost shipping mandates are set by the carrier and not federal law or regulation. The klinker is that federal law DOES mandate that you inform ANY carrier that the parcel contains a firearm, so bottom line is that you cannot avoid the carriers high cost mandates without violating the federal law requiring the firearm notification.
 

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FedEx and UPS do not have a different policy for shipping for FFLs (C&R or 01s). Some may get lower prices based upon volumes of shipping, but their policy about having to use expedited shipping for handguns applies the same to everyone.

The 01 FFL does have the option of using the Post Office -- which, particularly if it will fit in a Flat Rate box -- can be substantially lower in price than FedEx or UPS. Of course the C&R license does not allow you to ship through the USPS, so you are still stuck with high shipping rates.

The reasoning behind FedEx and UPS having their policy is really quite sad. They cannot trust their own employees to not steal packages, so they feel the need to require customers to use the expedited services, which are not only faster, but offer better security (from employee theft) for the packages in that route.
 

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If you check with the NRA, I believe they have struck a deal with Fedex for lower prices for NRA Members. I saw it posted somewhere. But I'm not sure of what the actual deal is.

Also I believe if you open an online accout with Fedex and/or UPS you get a price break. You can also pay on line and print your own shipping labels then. I also do this with USPS - Do it on line and you can pay and print your Priority Mail and get a small discount. Also with USPS Priority on line, check out their region A & B shipping. It is sometimes much cheaper, but you need to order the boxes on line. The good part is you can order all the Priority Mail boxes you want on line and they're free.
 

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Since you are a C&R FFL, you may not use USPS for handgun shipment. But, you can take your handgun to a local Class 1 or Class 3 FFL and have them ship it for you. Their cost for the service should be in the twenty buck range. I do it all the time.
 

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Congrats on getting your FFL. I, too, hold a 003 FFL and the rules and regs are in your ATF Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide, 5300.4 or later. BUT they are not easily understandable.

The above responses are a great resource! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the informative responses.

Turns out that my friendly LGS with 001 FFL will charge me $15 + actual freight to ship to another 001 FFL so that seems easiest...

Trying to squeeze the bennies out of my 003...
 

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If I am shipping a handgun, I pay my FFL $30 plus about $12 for shipping...much less than the $80 FedEx and UPS wants. Where I have saved a LOT of money is when a C&R item is shipped direct to me.
 

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The next day air, and various high cost shipping mandates are set by the carrier and not federal law or regulation. The klinker is that federal law DOES mandate that you inform ANY carrier that the parcel contains a firearm, so bottom line is that you cannot avoid the carriers high cost mandates without violating the federal law requiring the firearm notification.
That's a popular misconception but untrue. The online ATF FAQ is misleading, you have to read the actual statute. If requested, the ATF will provide a letter clarifying that there is no federal law requiring you to notify the shipper that the package contains a firearm. So if you ship UPS Ground to an FFL holder and don't tell them there is a handgun inside, you have NOT violated the law, only UPS policy.

 

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This is all very informative and beneficial to anyone who has or will have to ship a firearm. In the current market many of us are buying guns in other parts of the country or shipping them to gunsmiths to have work completed on them. I too paid the heavy price of shipping a handgun to a smith and I about fell over when I heard the cost. When I waled away I thought I should have shipped both of the guns I had done as the cost would have been the same. Lessons learned.

I like others want to stay away from any activity that will cause me to answer my door to a couple of guys wearing ATF jackets but at the same time can't afford $100 every time I want to ship a handgun. This is all good information.

Byt the way what is the C&R designation as opposed to class 1 FFL?

By the way what
 

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That's a popular misconception but untrue. The online ATF FAQ is misleading, you have to read the actual statute. If requested, the ATF will provide a letter clarifying that there is no federal law requiring you to notify the shipper that the package contains a firearm. So if you ship UPS Ground to an FFL holder and don't tell them there is a handgun inside, you have NOT violated the law, only UPS policy.
Interesting they would write individual letters and not simply update their web site, but then, government is not well known for using logic and common sense...:) ....Was there a signature on that letter or any indication of which level of the ATF hierarchy issued the letter?
 

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Ok....As I suspected. The letter posted above is highly questionable. There have been other threads over the years, where we have cussed and discussed how we interpret the GCA '68, using plain English, only to find that after ATF translates the legislation into their own regulations for day to day use, combined with subsequent follow up rulings, their translation does not match our "plain English" interpretation. I usually disagree, too, but that's how it is with the feds. That said, ATF posts a periodic newsletter to FFL holders, that contains updates, clarifications, rulings, form changes, etc., that us FFLs HAVE TO LIVE BY...it's gospel to the FFL, and anyone else involving firearms. I knew in the back of my mind that I had seen a fairly recent ATF clarification on firearms shipping notification, so I went looking back through the newsletters. Here is a link that will give anyone interested, access to the November 2012 newsletter that contains an ATF ruling contrary to the letter posted, with no reversals in any later publications. That's not to say that some lower lever agent did not issue such a letter, but if he did, it goes against the interpretation issued by the top dogs, which isn't uncommon. I hesitate to take the word of a single ATF agent on questionable issues and will pose the same question to supervision in another district, contact the Technology branch (real bunch of sour pusses...:), etc. I have found ATF field agents to be less than knowledgeable in some areas of their own regulations.
Bottom line is that ATF says federal law still requires anyone to notify the shipper a firearm is being shipped regardless of who the shipper or recipient may be. The ATF newsletter is a highly credible mandate, and the letter posted above is from an unconfirmed source. The letter lacking a signature waved a big red flag.

Here's the link https://www.atf.gov/publications/newsletters/index.html go to November 2012 page 5
 

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Don't know, wasn't my letter. They need to update the FAQ. If you read the actual statute, the discrepancy becomes pretty clear. Maybe they figured it was easier to have a misleading FAQ than to have to translate that lawyer-speak to English???
It's called FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It allows them to confuse us with ambiguous and misleading language, then nail us on a technicality.
 

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Ok....As I suspected. The letter posted above is highly questionable. There have been other threads over the years, where we have cussed and discussed how we interpret the GCA '68, using plain English, only to find that after ATF translates the legislation into their own regulations for day to day use, combined with subsequent follow up rulings, their translation does not match our "plain English" interpretation. I usually disagree, too, but that's how it is with the feds. That said, ATF posts a periodic newsletter to FFL holders, that contains updates, clarifications, rulings, form changes, etc., that us FFLs HAVE TO LIVE BY...it's gospel to the FFL, and anyone else involving firearms. I knew in the back of my mind that I had seen a fairly recent ATF clarification on firearms shipping notification, so I went looking back through the newsletters. Here is a link that will give anyone interested, access to the November 2012 newsletter that contains an ATF ruling contrary to the letter posted, with no reversals in any later publications. That's not to say that some lower lever agent did not issue such a letter, but if he did, it goes against the interpretation issued by the top dogs, which isn't uncommon. I hesitate to take the word of a single ATF agent on questionable issues and will pose the same question to supervision in another district, contact the Technology branch (real bunch of sour pusses...:), etc. I have found ATF field agents to be less than knowledgeable in some areas of their own regulations.
Bottom line is that ATF says federal law still requires anyone to notify the shipper a firearm is being shipped regardless of who the shipper or recipient may be. The ATF newsletter is a highly credible mandate, and the letter posted above is from an unconfirmed source. The letter lacking a signature waved a big red flag.

Here's the link https://www.atf.gov/publications/newsletters/index.html go to November 2012 page 5
The link you post (the Nov. 2012 publication) has the following on the subject:

ATF has received several questions pertaining to the
shipment of firearms. Under Federal law, any person
intending to ship a firearm or ammunition via contract
or common carrier must provide written notice to the
carrier that a firearm or ammunition is being shipped.
The common or contract carrier is prohibited from
requiring any label, tag, or other written notice to be
placed on the outside of any package indicating that
such package contains a firearm. Further, a common or
contract carrier is prohibited from delivering any firearm
or ammunition with knowledge or reasonable cause to
believe that the shipment or receipt thereof would be in
violation of any provision of Federal firearms law. Refer
to 27 CFR 478.31.


If you read the 27 CFR 478.31 you see that whoever wrote that 2012 article is clueless about the law they are referencing. 27 CFR 478.31 clearly states (I've added the bold to highlight the important point):

No person shall knowingly deliver
or cause to be delivered to any common
or contract carrier for transportation
or shipment in interstate or foreign
commerce to any person other than a
licensed importer, licensed manufac-
turer, licensed dealer, or licensed col-
lector,
any package or other container
in which there is any firearm or ammu-
nition without written notice to the
carrier that such firearm or ammuni-
tion is being transported or shipped...


The 2012 article writer, says "any person intending to ship a firearm" without including the rest of the subject in the actual law (that they reference) which includes the part about the recipient. Whoever wrote the 2012 ATF newsletter article is just flat wrong -- not that that would stop the ATF from trying to "enforce" laws they haven't bothered to read. (Of course, if you want to be extra safe, you had better not just "notify" the contract carrier, but had better follow the wrong interpretation to the "letter" and provide a written notice about the shipment.)
 
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