Shipping Firearms Within California

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Shipping Firearms Within California

In some cases no FFL is required for a transfer of firearms, so shipping may be done between two unlicensed individuals

Transfers of firearms between a father and son are exempt from California's FFL transfer requirements. Transfers of firearms between two unlicensed residents of the same State are exempt from Federal FFL transfer requirements.

Handguns need to be shipped via UPS or FedEx. Unlicensed people can not ship handguns via the U.S. Post Office. UPS and FedEx both require that handguns be shipped via their "next day/overnight" services. This might cost you around $60.

As of July 11, 2011, UPS company policy does not allow an unlicensed person to ship a firearm to another (or, presumably, that same) unlicensed person.

3.6	Firearms and Ammunition
UPS accepts packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18, 
Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code), only
(a) between licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed
dealers, and licensed collectors (as defined in Title 18, Chapter 44
of the United States Code), and government agencies,; and 
(b) where not otherwise prohibited by federal, state, or local law
from (i) an individual 
a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer or
licensed collector; and 
(ii) from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer,
or licensed collector 
to an individual. 
The shipper shall comply with and shall ensure that each shipment
containing firearms complies with all federal, state, and local laws
applicable to the shipper, recipient, and package.

Note that the older UPS tariff is still on line here and does not have the FFL imposed in that version. Which one a particular UPS office will operate under is hard to predict.

FedEx company policy does not allow an unlicensed person to ship a firearm to another unlicensed person. You might get lucky and have the FedEx employees not know this.

You have to ship firearms either from your daily pick up account or by going to an actual UPS or FedEx customer counter. "UPS Store" and "FedEx Kinko's" franchises are not allowed to accept firearms shipments.

USPS changes documents, February, 2015

Mailability of firearms has moved to Publication 52. See here

Non-FFLs may still mail rifles and shotguns:

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:

   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:
   Bear a “Return Service Requested” endorsement.
   Be sent by Priority Mail Express (“signature required” must
be used at delivery) or Registered Mail.
   Include either insured mail service (for more than $200)
requiring a signature at delivery or Signature Confirmation
   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:
       Be addressed to the owner.
       Include the “in the care of” endorsement immediately
preceding the name of the applicable temporary custodian.
       Be opened by the rifle or shotgun owner only.
       Be mailed using services described in 432.3a.
   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.
   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.
   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.
   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.
   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.

Notifying the carrier

Federal law does not require you to notify the carrier that the package contains a firearm if the firearm is being shipped within the State.

However, both UPS and FedEx company policies require that you notify them that you are shipping a firearm. Failure to notify is a violation of their terms of service and they would be within their right to deny claims of loss on shipments that do not follow their terms.

A note on Interstate

If the shipment is interstate, AND to a non-FFL, the contents must be declared in writing to the shipper. 27 CFR 478.31

§ 478.31 Delivery by common or contract carrier.

(a) No person shall knowingly deliver or cause to be delivered to any
common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in
interstate or foreign commerce to any person other than a licensed
importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed
collector, any package or other container in which there is any
firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such
firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped: 

With a grateful hat-tip to Mssr. Eleganté at Calguns.