The Myth of Higher Handgun Shipping Costs

Note:  The following information applies to shipping handguns from dealer to dealer.  If you aren't a dealer it still may help you decide if your local dealer is charging you properly.  For information on non-dealer firearm shipping please see the BATF Site and my Interstate Firearms and Transfers page.

There are a lot of people writing and talking about how it now costs more to ship handguns.  Vendors at gun shows are even trying to jack up prices for "the new shipping costs."  One article in the NAFLD publication even called the higher costs a "tax" upon the industry.

Anyone who tells you it now costs more to ship handguns is either lying to you, trying to rip you off, or is just buying all this nonsense without complaint and passing on his/her lack of interest as a cost to you.

Yes, it's true, UPS does now insist on next day air for handguns and some of the others like Fedex either have such a policy or likely will follow along.  But there are still excellent alternatives to paying for UPS next day air:

No one is forcing any dealer or distributor to ship UPS.  If your distributor, or the distributor your dealer uses still wants to ship your order UPS and wants to charge you for next day air, ask them just what is their problem??  "Oh, we would have to drive to the Post Office!"  Gee, that would be awful, well worth another $30 per gun.  And USPS would be glad to pick up Priority and  Express Mail packages for free.

And let's identify what UPS is really saying to us. They will take explosives and dangerous chemicals and poisons -- but they restrict pistols, which pose no risk to their personnel.  What they are really saying is that handguns are evil and they want them out of their system in a day so that none of our bad karma rubs off on them.  I suggest we all stop using UPS for handguns, long guns, Christmas presents -- anything.  If they don't want us, we can live without them.  Even if you want next day air -- call FedEx.

Shipping Handguns Via USPS From Dealer to Dealer

Yes, but if I ship a handgun via USPS I need a form 1508 and they can't be found and are so hard to fill out.  Bull!!  Want one?  Click right here and you'll have it in a few seconds.  Print it, cut on the marks, take about 30 seconds to fill it out, and you are all set.  (You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF files  -- if you don't have it, click here.)

It's really just that simple.  A simple form, you don't have to show anyone's FFL.  Oh no, all the gun "experts" have written about having your license and a copy of the receivers license and filling out these two other forms -- Bullshit!  And if you think I'm wrong, just show me it in the USPS Domestic Mail Manual, you can get a copy below.  Have any of these "experts" read it?  I doubt so.  I have, I've shipped many guns via USPS, and all an FFL holder needs is a 1508 that you certify all is well, and not one thing else (other than the gun and your money).

If the clerk is puzzled, just get him or her to open their Domestic Mail Manual to chapter C024.  Or even better -- take along your own copy by clicking here (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required).   I just shipped a pistol from a branch that had never seen a form 1508 before, and it only took about 2 minutes.  And note I mailed it on 11/24, the day before Thanksgiving, and they delivered it on the other coast on 11/26.  That is when UPS Next Day Air would have delivered, but I only paid $3.20 plus insurance!

So don't put up with the "now it costs more" crap.  And tell UPS where they can stick all their packages.

The links one more time:

USPS Form 1508
USPS Domestic Mail Manual Chapter C024
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Another Link for the Adobe Acrobat Reader

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Current Policies of some shippers as of 11/25/99 (OUT OF DATE).  I have added highlights.

BTW, note that UPS requires a "Firearms" label (I.e. "Steal Me"), while USPS and federal law prohibits it.

RPS:  When I contacted them they had no restrictions.  A reader has written me and said they do not accept them, so I am unsure as to their status.

Emery Worldwide :
U. Firearms must be shipped from or consigned to a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, licensed dealer or licensed collector who is not prohibited from such shipments by federal, state or local regulations.

NOTE: The Shipper is required to comply with all applicable government regulations, laws, etc., including regulatory compliance by the Consignee. The local Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Divisional Office will supply the Shipper with needed assistance. Upon presenting the package for shipment, the Shipper is required to inform Emery Worldwide personnel that the package contains firearms
or ammunition.


The local divisional office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) will supply the shipper with needed assistance. Upon presenting the package for shipment, the sender is required to inform our employee accepting the shipment that the package contains firearms.

Firearms and ammunition may not be shipped in the same package. Firearms must be shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight. Ammunition is always an explosive and must be separately shipped as dangerous goods.

    Date:           Mon, 29 Nov 1999 09:53:00 -0800

Thank you for your inquiry.  Unfortunately,
Airborne does not ship firearms.

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