Shipping Firearms – by Jim Supica, Pres., Old Town Station, Ltd.
basic info on selling or consigning your guns to us
This ain’t legal advice. That said, here’s my best understanding of a confusing topic.
INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE:
BACKGROUND – At Old Town Station, Ltd., (OTS) we ship & receive thousands of antique & modern firearms. We send guns to our customers from our mail order catalog & this website, and receive guns from folks who need appraisals or want to sell us their guns or have us sell their guns for them on consignment. We’ll start discussing the specifics of shipping to or from OTS. Some general information on shipping guns appears at the bottom of this page.
SHIPPING GUNS TO OTS– assuming you do not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
* CALL FIRST to discuss selling or consigning your guns to us.
* UNLOAD – triple check to be sure the guns are unloaded.
* PACKING – when we ship, we wrap the gun in bubble wrap, & ship in a cardboard box tightly packed w/ styrofoam peanuts. You can sometimes hire a company like Mailboxes, Etc., to pack for you. They can also usually sell you packing supplies so you can pack it yourself. It’s good to pad hammer spurs & muzzles so they are less likely to poke through the packaging.
* INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE – on paper inside the box. If we’ve discussed price or consignment terms, it will help if you include a note mentioning those.
* HOW TO SHIP – I usually suggest UPS. Send handguns via "Next Day Saver". Send long guns via "3rd Day" or "Ground Track". UPS may refuse to pick up handguns for shipment from your home, and require you to bring them to a UPS shipping center. If you run into a UPS counter clerk who is nervous about accepting guns, explain that you are shipping to a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer. Occasionally, you will have to ask for a supervisor. If you are still stonewalled, have them call me or Jennifer, 913-492-3000. Full discussion of other shipping options below.
* INSURE for what you’re comfortable with if the guns are lost or damaged. (We’ve had very few losses or damaged shipments with UPS). It’s not a bad idea to take a photo of the gun(s) before shipping – could be helpful in the unlikely event you have to file a claim.
* SHIPPING ADDRESS:
Via UPS or FedEx, ship to Old Town Station, Ltd., 9300 Renner Blvd, Lenexa KS 66219. Please do not mail to this address!
Via Post Office, mail to Old Town Station, Ltd., PO Box 14040, Lenexa KS 66285.
* RETURNS TO YOU – if we can’t get together on a purchase price or consignment agreement for your gun(s), modern post-1898 guns may sometimes have to be returned to you via an FFL Firearms Dealer. Usually a local gun shop will receive these for you & charge you a transfer fee. You will have to complete you local state’s paperwork, just as if you were buying a new gun, in order to pick up your guns from your local dealer. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to discuss price w/ me before you ship your guns. (Also, I find that if we have a general agreement on price range before you ship, it’s very rare that we don’t consummate a deal.)
SPECIAL PACKING TIPS for shipping guns:
Long guns can be difficult to pack. You may want to invest $30 or so in a hard plastic gun case from K-Mart or WalMart or such, and use it for a shipping container.
Kentucky rifles & other antique long guns with long slender stocks are especially vulnerable to breakage at the wrist (the area just behind the hammer & trigger). To try to prevent this, you may want to first wrap the gun in a protective material such as bubble wrap, and then tightly tape a piece of scrap lumber (1" x 4" usually works) to the stock to re-enforce the wrist area.
Old wood cases or cardboard boxes – if the wood case or old original cardboard box has some value, remove the gun from the case or box & pack the case & gun / accessories separately. If you don’t, the gun may well rattle around & damage the box or case. Old cardboard boxes should be filled w/ styro peanuts or bubble wrap to prevent crushing. Box/case & gun can be sent in the same shipping container, so long as they are both well padded.
Ammunition MUST be shipped by common carrier (UPS or FedEx) ground service only, with the package marked "ORM-D" (for small arms ammo). Usually it’s best to ship ammo separately.
HOW WE SHIP GUNS FROM OTS:As an FFL, we’ve found the following to be our best options to combine legal compliance, security of shipment, and cost effectiveness:
LONG GUNS go via UPS 3rd Day. In continental US, we charge $20 for the first one, $10 ea. add’l
MODERN HANDGUNS TO FFL DEALERS and ANTIQUE HANDGUNS TO INDIVIDUALS – both go via USPS (post office), insured priority mail for packages valued under $600, registered mail for packages valued over $600. Inside the US, we charge $15 for the first large (or $10 for the first small) handgun, plus $7 large ($5 small) for each additional.
MODERN HANDGUNS TO C&R FFL COLLECTORS – go via UPS Next Day Saver, at extra cost which must be paid by the buyer. (Fed. law does not provide for mailing to FFL Collectors.)
* WHEN TO CHECK ON YOUR SHIPMENT – Please don’t be antsy about your shipment. When a catalog comes out or an auction is completed or the website is updated, we’re swamped w/ orders & shipments. Each call asking "did you get my FFL?" "did my order go out yet?" "what’s my tracking number" "did you get my check" keeps Jennifer away from processing the orders & getting them out the door. Our goal is to ship within a week of receipt of all payment & paperwork (usually it’s more like 2 business days). I’d suggest allowing 2 weeks after you’re sure we’ve received all needed material before calling to check.
* SHIPPING COSTS ON RETURNS – We want you to be happy with your purchase from OTS — you don’t need a specific reason to return an item within the inspection period, just call & let us know it’s coming back. You will have to pay the shipping cost both ways (i.e., your refund will be the item purchase price, not including shipping). Since the amounts we charge for shipping don’t quite cover our expenses, we still lose a bit on each return – this is our policy to discourage customers from "browsing" by mail at our expense.
GENERAL INFO ON SHIPPING FIREARMS:
* ANTIQUE FIREARMS (generally, any gun made prior to 1899) under federal law may be mailed or shipped to & from private individuals (non-FFL) by post office or common carrier.
* MODERN FIREARMS (generally, any gun after 1898) are subject to numerous restrictions on mailing & shipping. While there are exceptions, generally private individuals (non-FFL) may ship modern firearms by common carrier to Federally licensed dealers or collectors (FFL’s).
* MAILING MODERN HANDGUNS – Mailing of handguns is permitted between FFL Dealers. The wording of this permission does NOT include FFL Collectors. FFL Dealers mailing guns to other FFL Dealers are required to fill out a special post office form on each such mailing.
* UPS & FED-EX POLICIES ON HANDGUNS – both of the largest common carriers have unilaterally adopted policies that require handguns to be shipped only by the expensive overnight ("next-day") method. Although I have heard some UPS officials have varied on the subject, the UPS officials I have spoken to say that they do NOT differentiate between antique & modern handguns in this requirement.
Sales made only on the TERMS listed on this website. For orders or to check availability of an item, only (no general questions, please!) call 913-492-3000, 9am-4pm Central weekdays.
HOME SEARCH . Last updated 07/06/07.
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