From AI member No Caliban: I’m in a quandary. I have several nonresident CCL permits from all over the country as I travel regularly. In the past, I could ship a handgun to myself via UPS and DHL wherever I was going. Since I wasn’t a local resident, I couldn’t ship to a FFL at my destination (Florida for example) because they could not transfer to me as a nonresident. But DHL is no more and UPS tells me that, regardless of legality, they will no longer ship to a non-FFL address. The BATF help line says it’s perfectly legal for me to ship to myself but since no one is willing to do so, I’m stuck unless I want to drive or fly with it. Since my local airports are in NY, that’s not an option. Any suggestions?


  1. Is there a reason you feel compelled to disclose the contents of your package to the carrier?

  2. Perhaps: Tear down the gun and ship in two separate packages – then you’re just shipping parts.

        • Nick,You did say my’ ideal carry gun so you’re covered. I still find it ciuuors that this gun could be anywhere near ideal for regular carry.For one thing, is it IWB or OWB? Either way, do you ever sit down, drive or do anything but walk around upright? Although smaller than the full-size 1911, it’s still fairly big compared to a PM9 or even a G26.Furthermore, it’s a hand-fitted 1911. If a part breaks, you can’t just swap for a new off-the-shelf part. Say the link-pinbreaks for example. Maybe rare but you won’t be able to get the gun back in action quickly.Also, does cost not factor into ideal? This thing is intended to get knocked around and not cause a conniption if you geta scratch. Could you ever treat a 5k pistol like that?This is just so far from MY ideal carry pistol that I find it hard to believe that it could meet anyone’s ideal criteria. I understand it’s way better than your Springfield and I could understand best 1911 style CCW. But to state that it’s yourideal in general leaves me confused.Jason

    • Nope: The serialized part (usually the frame) is still a ‘Firearm’ for federal purposes.

      • Yes, but lying about the contents to the shipper isn’t a federal issue. You’re just ignoring the shippers policy.

        And you’re screwed if something happens to the package.

        They take pretty good care of next day shipments though in my experience (not shipping guns).

        • Good idea. Still, I wouldn’t put it past UPS to call the police if they discover somehow it’s a gun and the cops come and arrest you even if you didn’t break any law. Cops can’t wait to arrest anyone for anything and it doesnt’ have to be about a real law. They CAN arrest you for anything they dream up with no repercussions to them at all. But to you, the arrest will stay on your record forever even if charges are dropped.

    • Didn’t take this thread quickly to skip happily into illegality. Not that I agree with the myriad of laws related to shipping firearms; I don’t. But still. Sigh.

      • While I’m as willing as the next guy to “skip happily into illegality,” you need to take a deep breath and read this again. Did you miss the part where it’s perfectly legal to ship a firearm to yourself (or to yourself in care of another person) in another state? I refer you to the ATF’s own words, as reproduced here in a post way back on May 2:

        Any person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in the care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner “in the care of” the out-of-State resident. Upon reaching its destination, persons other than the owner must not open the package or take possession of the firearm.

        That’s the point of this post’s question… The ATF says it’s OK, but UPS is refusing to ship a firearm to a non-FFL address. benjohnson isn’t advocating breaking the law, he’s advocating lying to UPS about the contents of the package.

    • Because people checking firearms in NYC have been arrested. Apparently the airline employeess will call the port authority police, and thsoe police do not recognize the federal “safe harbor” transport law. You will probably get the possession charge reduced to an infraction, but say good bye to your pistola. Thus the only way to get through is to have a NYC resident permit.

      • Actually, I believe you have that backwards. It’s been argued that NYC permits aren’t really permits and will run you into trouble at the airport. However, plenty of folks with NY (not NYC) licenses travel through the airports with varying amounts of tsuris. They do so, however, successfully.

        • That’s good to know… my NYS pistol permit, which is magically invalidated in the Five Boroughs, is by extension invalid in the area airports, but this is a ray of hope… mostly I just borrow guns when I travel.

      • I have never had any problems with FTE on my Milspec even after puntitg 200 rounds through it in a session. I keep hearing about the lack of reliability on 1911s but I have never experienced it. I think most fail events are driven by poor maintanence. I have only had one FTF event in several thousand rounds but I am pretty sure that the magazine was the problem and not the gun.

  3. I believe Hi-Point recommends you ship your gun as “machined parts” to them for warranty purposes. No reason you couldn’t do the same for your gun.

    Whether or not UPS policy bars firearms you can still lock the serialized part in a locked box and make it “not readily convertible” into a functioning firearm or whatever and place the rest of your precious toy in another box, if that would assuage your nerves.

    Either way, you aren’t breaking the law, no matter how strange you might feel about doing the deed.

  4. Guessing moving from NY is not an option just for me as leaving CA is not at this time.
    With in the past year I shipped 2 hand guns to smiths for modifications FEDEX overnight.
    CA to GA $200 round trip, AZ was $100 round trip.
    Chris Dumm is correct, thought about breaking down but if packade was lost I would not be compensated for not declaring it was a firearm.
    Need to find competent gunsmith in CA for future work.
    Checked with American Pistolsmith Guild and none in CA.

    • Thanks for the review. I’ve never owned a Wilson Combat 1911, but I’ve caiternly admired them. This Bill Wilson Carry model is quite attractive and the subtle miniaturization efforts seem to pay greater dividends than expected, with respect to CC. My CCW is a full sized Springfield Operator (the Marine Corps version with black slide and OD green frame with Pachy grip and night sights by Trijicon). Other than its’ size, it is darned near perfection with regards to accuracy, reliability, shoot-ability, overall fit and finish. I don’t find recoil to be an issue in the slightest. Certainly more recoil than my Hk Mark 23 (which is the softest shooting .45 ACP on the planet) but my 12 year old son can rapid fire an entire magazine in under 10 seconds and keep every shot on paper or better. While the cost is caiternly high, I may have to try out this Bill Wilson Carry. Every one should have a boss like yours. Thanks again for the review and carry in good health.

  5. When did UPS change its policy? The website still shows that UPS permits shipping firearms “from and between persons not otherwise prohibited from shipping firearms by federal, state or local law, and when such shipment complies with all federal, state and local laws applicable to the shipper, recipient, and package.”

  6. Did you take it to a UPS depot or other official facility or a UPS store? I have never had a problem taking guns to my local UPS depot… and some of the guns I have shipped, it’s very obvious what it is (large box with branding, logos, etc.). I don’t take it to the UPS store because they are usually run by morons, and seem like a complete ripoff.

    • I asked at a large UPS hub. They told me flat out no handguns shipped to non FFLs. I called UPS customer service where Michelle told me regardless of what their policy said on web site about legality they would not deliver a handgun to a non FFL. We had quite a spirited discussion about difference between their written policy and their actual practice, and she got a bit snarky. But no exception.

      • More completely, Michelle told me they would not accept a handgun for shipment from a non FFL. And the depot said that if I wanted to ship a handgun I needed to show an FFL. This was in last couple of weeks.

        • Seems simple. I’ve never had anyone ask me what I was shipping and I’ve never been inclined to tell them.

  7. This does not make sense… this person says that they travel frequently but they do not drive or fly.

    • Sorry Gabe, I should have been clearer. I have CCLs in among others, CT, MA and FL. None from any NY authority. I have flown from Bradley in Springfield MA to FL checking my handgun on my MA and FL permits. I have checked my handgun at RI airport to fly to AZ. (And though I am not an RI CCL holder the RI state police were very accommodating when I called them in advance to see if they had any problem with this. None at all.). Southwest Airlines both times by the way. But when I must fly from Westchester Airport to FL, I’m stuck unless I can ship it. Westchester Airport police told me this a while back. I may try them again, but they were pretty clear. And when I drive nonstop to VA and some other points south, I do sometimes take with me legally secured in car.

  8. @No Caliban Still does not make sense – unless you have a permit for a gun in NY (which only grants you permission to have one in your home/business) then I doubt the authorities would be keen on you shipping guns into the state. Knowing NY it’s probably illegal regardless.

  9. Drive to PA, fly from there. I live in NY. My “usual range” is ~120 miles away in PA. Sometimes it’s just easier to be somewhere else when dealing with such issues.

Comments are closed.