What’s the Law: Shipping firearms non-FFL to an out-of-State FFL — revisited

WHAT’S THE LAW?

BY DARRYL CHOY

Topic: Shipping firearms non-FFL to an out-of-State FFL — revisited

Question: I read “What’s the Law” in the May 2013 HHAA Newsletter and sent my registered handgun to a mainland FFL when I sold it on an internet gun auction. I notified HPD of the transfer and got a call saying I violated the law by doing so. HPD said I have to transfer the handgun to a Hawaii FFL first and have that FFL send the handgun to the mainland FFL. They also said they can’t remove my registration unless I do that. HPD said that’s what ATF told them. However, they didn’t want me to do anything at this time.

Answer: There is nothing in federal or state law that requires you to ship a firearm to the mainland, FFL to FFL. Federal law allows you to ship a firearm to an out-of-State FFL. You do not need a FFL in Hawaii to ship. If you use a Hawaii FFL it has to be registered at HPD by the Hawaii dealer. So you will incur Hawaii FFL dealer fees. This can and should be avoided.

See BATF’s website’s (http://www.atf.gov/files/firearms/industry/0501-firearms-top-10-qas.pdf) Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Firearms Questions and Answers:

Question 7: “May I lawfully ship a firearm directly to an out-of-State licensee, or must I have a licensee in my State ship it to him?”

Answer: “Any person may ship firearms directly to a licensee in any State, with no requirement for another licensee to ship the firearm. However, handguns are not mailable through the United States Postal Service and must be shipped via common or contract carrier.(18 U.S.C. §§ 1715).”

Accordingly, you can ship via USPS or common carrier (UPS, FedEx, Purolator, or DHL). However, USPS will not allow a non-FFL to ship a handgun. You must use UPS, FedEx, etc. Be aware that the neighborhood UPS stores may not accept firearms due to security concerns, so you have to take your package to the main UPS or FedEx Customer Service Centers on Lagoon Drive. UPS and FedEx are right next door to each other. Go early in the day. UPS opens at 8:30 am. They want to get your package on the airplane as quickly as possible and not left on their premises overnight.

When you go to the counter, you must make an oral declaration, “This package contains an UNLOADED firearm”. Bring a hard copy of the FFL of the receiving dealer and show the counter person that the “Deliver To” address on the package matches the “Licensed Premises Address” on the FFL. Staple the shipping receipts to the FFL copy and keep it in your permanent records; you need to be able to show law enforcement if they later ask about your firearm. You will have documents that you shipped it to a mainland FFL dealer. You can also send a notice to HPD that the firearm was shipped out of State. HPD will not “unregister” your firearm and even incorrectly claim you did an illegal act. But you will have proof of the transfer of ownership. Keep this record. Do not discard it since HPD may ask many years later. And AFT may even do a firearms trace that ends with you.!

Thanks to “Big AL” for the tip on how to ship!

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