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432 Mailability

432.1 General

Mailers must comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968, all of the provisions of postal law in 18 U.S.C. 1715, and all other all federal and state regulations and local ordinances affecting the movement of firearms. The following also applies:

  1. The Postal Service may require the mailer to open parcels containing firearms or air guns or give written certification that the weapon is unloaded and not concealable.
  2. Short-barreled rifles or shotguns that can be concealed on the person are nonmailable.
  3. No markings of any kind that indicate the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside wrapper or container of any mailpiece containing firearms.
  4. Mailable matter must be properly and securely packaged within the general packaging requirements in DMM 601.1-7.

432.2 Handguns

Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section, after the filing of an affidavit or statement described in 432.22 or 432.24, and are subject to the following:

  1. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 431.2 and the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 may be mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm under 431.3.
  2. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 431.2, which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest, may be accepted for mailing without regard to the restrictions provided for handguns in Exhibit 432.25 and in 432.21 through 432.24.
  3. Air guns that do not fall within the definition of firearms under 431.1 that are capable of being concealed on a person are mailable, but must include adult signature service under DMM 503.9.0. Mailers must comply with all applicable state and local regulations.
  4. Parts of handguns are mailable, except for handgun frames, receivers or other parts or components regulated under Chapter 44, Title 18, U.S.C.
  5. Mailers are also subject to applicable restrictions by governments of a state, territory, or district.
432.21 Authorized Persons

Subject to 432.22, handguns may be mailed by a licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, a licensed importer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government or the government of a state, territory, or district, only when addressed to a person in one of the following categories for use in the person’s official duties, and upon filing the required affidavit or certificate:

  1. Officers of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps.
  2. Officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, or district.
  3. Officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district, whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.
  4. USPS employees authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector.
  5. Officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States.
  6. Watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, or district.
  7. Purchasing agent or other designated member of agencies employing officers and employees included in 432.21c through e.
432.22 Affidavit of Addressee

Any person proposing to mail a handgun under 432.21 must file with the Postmaster, at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the addressee setting forth that the addressee is qualified to receive the firearm under a particular category of 432.21a through 432.21g, and that the firearm is intended for the addressee’s official use. The affidavit must also bear a certificate stating that the firearm is for the official duty use of the addressee, signed by one of the following, as appropriate:

  1. For officers of Armed Forces, by the commanding officer.
  2. For officers and employees of enforcement agencies, by the head of the agency employing the addressee to perform the official duty with which the firearm is to be used.
  3. For watchmen, by the chief clerk of the department, bureau, or independent branch of the government of the United States, the state, the territory, or the district by which the watchman is employed.
  4. For the purchasing agent or other designated member of enforcement agencies, by the head of such agency, that the firearm is to be used by an officer or employee included in 432.21c through 432.21e.
432.23 Manufacturers, Dealers, and Importers

Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms, licensed dealers of firearms, and licensed importers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts.

432.24 Certificate of Manufacturers, Dealers, and Importers

A federal firearms licensee manufacturer, dealer, or importer need not file the affidavit under 432.22, but must file with the Postmaster a statement on PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms, signed by the mailer that he or she is a licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms. The mailer must also state that the parcels containing handguns, or parts and components of handguns under 432.2d, are being mailed in customary trade shipments or contain such articles for repairing or replacing parts, and that to the best of their knowledge the addressees are licensed manufacturers, dealers, or importers of firearms. Registered Mail service is recommended.

Postmasters may forward an unsatisfactory mailer statement to the PCSC for a ruling.

432.25 Federal and Other Law Enforcement Agencies

Handguns may be mailed without regard to 432.21 through 432.24 if the item is:

  1. Addressed to a scientific laboratory or crime detection bureau of any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency whose members are authorized to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.
  2. Sent by an authorized agent of the federal government as an official shipment to any qualified addressee in 432.21, or to a licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms, or to a federal agency.

Exhibit 432.25 

Mailability Requirements for Handguns

 

Addressee

Affidavit or Certificate Requirements

Officer of Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, or Organized Reserve Corps.

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the commanding officer.

Officer of National Guard or militia of a state, territory, or district.

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the commanding officer.

Officer of the federal government or a state, district, or territory whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.*

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the head of the agency employing the addressee.

Postal Service employees specifically authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector.*

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the head of the agency employing the addressee.

Officer or employee of a U.S. enforcement agency.*

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the head of the agency employing the addressee.

Purchasing agent or other designated member of an enforcement agency employing officers and personnel included in (*) above.

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by the head of agency stating the firearm is to be used by an officer or employee included in addressee column marked with an (*).

Watchman engaged in guarding federal, state, district, or territory property.

Affidavit signed by the addressee and certificate signed by chief clerk of department, bureau, or independent branch of the government agency employing the addressee.

Licensed manufacturers, importers, and dealers of firearms.

Signed statement on PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms. The mailer must be a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer mailing to another licensed manufacturer, importer, or firearms dealer.

432.3 Rifles and Shotguns

Except under 431.2, unloaded rifles and shotguns are mailable. Mailers must comply with the rules and regulations under 27 CFR, Part 478, as well as state and local laws. 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:

  1. Subject to state, territory, or district regulations, rifles and shotguns may be mailed without restriction when sent within the same state of mailing. These items must:
  2. Bear a “Return Service Requested” endorsement.
  3. Be sent by Priority Mail Express (“signature required” must be used at delivery) or Registered Mail.
  4. Include either insured mail service (for more than $200) requiring a signature at delivery or Signature Confirmation service.
  5. A shotgun or rifle owned by a non-FFL may be mailed outside the owner's state of residence by the owner to himself or herself, in care of another person in the other state where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. These mailpieces must:
    1. Be addressed to the owner.
    2. Include the “in the care of” endorsement immediately preceding the name of the applicable temporary custodian.
    3. Be opened by the rifle or shotgun owner only.
    4. Be mailed using services described in 432.3a.
  6. Mailing of rifles and shotguns between licensed FFL dealers, manufacturers, or importers are not restricted. USPS recommends these items be mailed using those services described in 432.3a.
  7. Rifles and shotguns may be mailed by a non-FFL owner domestically to a FFL dealer, manufacturer, or importer in any state. USPS recommends these items be mailed using those services described in 432.3a.
  8. Except as described in 432.2a, licensed curio and relic collectors may mail firearms meeting the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 domestically to licensed FFL curio and relic collectors in any state. USPS recommends these items be mailed using those services described in 432.3a.
  9. Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest may be accepted for mailing without restriction.
  10. Air guns that do not fall within the definition of firearms under 431.1a are mailable. A shipment containing an air gun with a muzzle velocity of 400 or more feet per second (fps) must include an Adult Signature service under DMM 503.9.0. Mailers must additionally comply with all applicable state and local regulations.