Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How To Mail A Firearm


Mailing potentially dangerous items like firearms can be a tricky business. Many laws and regulations govern this type of transport. This article is intended as general advice for an unlicensed person (a person not holding a valid Federal Firearms License, e.g., not a gun dealer) mailing within the U.S. (importing and exporting add an extra level of complexity, which will not be addressed here).

1. Knowing The Rules

(i) Know that you can ship in-state to anyone. If you are shipping within a state, you can ship to anyone legally allowed to possess a firearm, including a non-licensee.

(ii) Be aware you can also ship a firearm to yourself in a different state—for instance, if you are going on a hunting trip in that state. However, only you may open and take possession of the package.


(iii) Do not ship handguns through the United States Postal Service (USPS). USPS does not accept handguns for shipment from non-licensees.
  • If you want to ship a handgun as a non-licensee, you will have to use a contract carrier like FedEx or UPS.
  • As a non-licensee, you may only ship rifles or shotguns through the USPS
2. Shipping The Package


(i) Do not label. Make sure the package is NOT labeled as containing a firearm, but it is a good idea to notify the carrier of the contents.
  • You may be required to open your package for inspection (to verify that there is no ammunition packed with the firearm).
  • The ban against labeling includes preprinted areas on your box, your business return address, and the shipping address. If words like “gun,” “firearm,” or “boom-stick” are on anything, take them off.
(ii) Include your details. Insert a photocopy of your driver’s license into the package if you are shipping to a FFL (a licensed dealer). They are required to keep a record of who shipped the firearm, and it is an appreciated courtesy to include your driver’s license details.


(iii) Pack it well. Use bubble wrap or other high-quality padding. Wadded up newspaper, plastic wrap, or baby diapers won’t cut it. If the firearm is damaged in shipping, claims against the carrier may be denied if your packaging was substandard.
  • Consider visiting gun stores to find used boxes and packaging materials (rather than cobbling together your own custom boxes).
(iv) Ditch the ammo. Ammunition must be shipped in a separate package from any firearms. Also, you must clearly label the package as containing ammunition.
  • Ammunition cannot be mailed by the USPS at all; you must use an alternative carrier.
  • Most carriers will treat a package with ammunition as containing a “highly dangerous material.”
(v) Register your shipment.
  • Ask for signature confirmation by an adult.
(vi) Notify the carrier of the contents. You should tell the carrier that the package you’re asking them to deliver contains a firearm.
  • Dealers shipping handguns through the USPS must notify the carrier and complete a form. Private carriers (like FedEx and UPS) will usually, but not always, require notification.
  • Unlike ammunition, which must be labeled, DO NOT label the package as containing a firearm.
  • Print out a copy of the recipient’s FFL license to show the mail carrier should they require it.

How To Recover A Package Lost In The Mail

Having a package lost in the mail is frustrating, especially since there is no guarantee the item will ever be found. Recovering a mail may require you to contact several companies and people like your local post office, mail delivery service, or the sender if you are receiving mail. A claim may also need to be filed with your postal service before they can begin to attempt to recover your package or refund you for the lost package. In the end, unfortunately, you may not be able to find your package or even receive money to cover the loss.

1. Searching For Your Package

(i) Use your tracking number to check the status of your package. These days, everything ordered online will have a tracking order. Check the order confirmation email to find the one for your package. Your order may have run into some problems and will be delivered later than the expected delivery date, but this should be noted online.
  • If you're looking for a package sent by a friend, ask them for the tracking number -- it should have been given to them when they sent the goods.
  • Print out the receipt for any online orders. This lets you easily point to the item's value in case of a dispute.
(ii) Check your house and yard for the package, or a missed delivery notice. If you miss the mail courier, often times they will place a delivery notice or your package at your door. Depending on the weather, however, they might try to place it somewhere where it won't blow away or get wet. This delivery notice is usually your best chance to get the package recovered, so you should check:
  • Under your welcome mat and front steps
  • Your back and side doors
  • Your mailbox
  • Behind or on any fences
  • Your neighbor's house
(iii) Check in with your building superintendent, secretary, or other "gatekeeper." Make sure that your package didn't end up at the front desk instead of your apartment or office. While this doesn't apply to everyone, many mail carriers will deposit packages in the front of the building, where they may be taken in for safe-keeping by your building manager.
  • If you’re expecting the package to arrive in an institution like a school or business building, there may be a time delay between the arrival of your package and the time it takes for the mailroom to notify you to pick it up.
  • Check your building’s mailroom. Usually, a notice will be placed in your usual mail locker to notify you that you have a package in another locker.
(iv) Contact your local post office to file a claim about the package. Call, e-mail, or go visit the local post office of the sender or the intended receiver of the package. Let them know about the missing mail package as well as the package’s tracking information and description so they can look within their building for it. The earlier you file a claim (a 1510 form in the US[1]), the better your chances of getting your package.
 (v) Contact the original seller or sender and ask them to file a claim. Most websites will offer a simple button to handle disputes or missing packages, and the added pressure of the sender may help the post office find your package. Be sure to attach any relevant information, like tracking number and your claim number with the post office, to speed things along.
  • If a friend or family member sent the package, they too can call the post office and file a claim. There is a chance the issue was with the sending post office.
  • Ask the sending post office if they have any undeliverable packages. There is a chance yours never left.
(vi) File an Insurance Claim if you've already purchased insurance. In the event your package is not found and you purchased insurance on it, you can file a claim to recover the value of the items in the package. You will need to provide proof of mailing and damage or loss to make the claim along with a description of the items. You can contact your local post office to file an insurance claim. Before your file your claim:[4]
  • Locate your package’s tracking number.
  • Check that the items in your package are insurable. Each post office will have a list of non-insurable items.
  • Verify that your item was mailed within the timeframe your post office allows. For Canada Post, claims can be filed within 90 days of delivery while for the USPS, claims can be filed within 60 days of the package’s mailing date.
  • Locate the receiver or sender's name, address and contact information.
  • Prepare a description of the contents, including the value and insured amount.

(vii) Check in on your claim regularly. Most post offices will require you to file a claim or create a service ticket until they can help you find your lost package. You can then check the status of your claim periodically until both you and the post office come to a resolution. If you don't see any effort being made to help recover your package, call again and let them know your concerns.
  • Unfortunately, filing a claim does not guarantee that you will be able to recover your lost package. However, they are so busy with other requests that you must be your own advocate.
  • You can usually file and check a claim or report your problem online on your post office’s website. Canada Post asks customers to fill out an online service ticket that describes their problem.[5] While the United States Postal Service (USPS) will ask customers to fill out a Claim Form 1000 from the post office or online to start a search for a pack at the Mail Recovery Center (MRC).
(viii) Check in on your claim regularly. Most post offices will require you to file a claim or create a service ticket until they can help you find your lost package. You can then check the status of your claim periodically until both you and the post office come to a resolution. If you don't see any effort being made to help recover your package, call again and let them know your concerns.
  • Unfortunately, filing a claim does not guarantee that you will be able to recover your lost package. However, they are so busy with other requests that you must be your own advocate.
  • You can usually file and check a claim or report your problem online on your post office’s website. Canada Post asks customers to fill out an online service ticket that describes their problem.[7] While the United States Postal Service (USPS) will ask customers to fill out a Claim Form 1000 from the post office or online to start a search for a pack at the Mail Recovery Center (MRC).