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December 1st, 2022

Montana AG Leads Effort to Investigate UPS and FedEx Sharing of Gun Owner Information with Federal Agencies

montana attorney general UPS FedEx firearms shipping tracking ATF investigation
Image from WikiHow Firearms Shipping Article, Creative Commons License.

Montana Attorney General Knudsen Leads 18-State Effort Calling On UPS And FedEx To Clarify Gun-Purchase Tracking Polices
Seventeen state Attorneys General joined Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen today in asking major shipping companies to clarify new policies that allow them to track firearm sales with unprecedented specificity and bypass warrant requirements to share that information with federal agencies.

Reports from Montana federal firearm license (FFL) holders made to Attorney General Knudsen’s office indicate that UPS and FedEx are now burdening them by requiring them to ship separately and track firearms, firearms parts, and firearm products so gun purchases can be tracked and retain documents about what specific items those shipments contain and make that information available to the companies upon request.

Knudsen and the coalition of attorneys general sent letters on November 29, 2022 to leadership at both companies requesting additional information on their new policies and the possibility that the effort was coordinated in part with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“These demands, in tandem, allow [UPS/FedEx] to create a database of American gun purchasers and determine exactly what items they purchased… In doing so you, perhaps inadvertently, give federal agencies a workaround to normal warrant requirements. This allows [UPS/FedEx] to provide information at will or upon request to federal agencies—information detailing which Americans are buying what guns,” Attorney General Knudsen’s letters state. “Additionally, we recommend that you consider taking actions to limit potential liability moving forward, including the immediate cessation of any existing warrantless information sharing with federal agencies about gun shipments.”

In addition to requesting updated FFL-related shipping policies from the two companies, Attorney General Knudsen asked them to clarify the following:

Did UPS/FedEx enact these policies with the goal of information sharing with the ATF or any other federal agency;

Did UPS/FedEx enact these policies at the request of officials in ATF, a different federal agency, or on its own initiative;

If UPS/FedEx implemented these policies at the request of a federal agency, please identify that agency, the officials who made that request, the nature of that communication, and any legal authorization cited by those officials;

If UPS/FedEx changed its policies on its own initiative, please explain why it made those changes;

Did UPS/FedEx communicate or coordinate with each other in making these changes;

Did ATF or other federal agency employees help draft the updated shipping agreements?

montana attorney general UPS FedEx firearms shipping tracking ATF investigation

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the effort. In addition, Attorneys General from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming signed one or both letters.

CLICK HERE to read the letters delivered today.

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June 18th, 2022

Potential Action to Restrict Commercial Sales of Lake City Ammo

Winchester ammunition lake city missouri

Story based on report from NRA Institute for Legislative Action:

Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration seeks to limit the sales of Lake City-produced ammunition. Specifically, Biden’s team intends to prohibit commercial (public) sales of 5.56x45mm NATO ammo produced at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Missouri. The move could result in a reduction of the commercial production of 5.56×45 (.223 Rem) caliber ammunition by over 30 percent (30%).

The sales restriction would dramatically reduce availability of ammunition for America’s most popular centerfire rifle caliber, and the ammo most commonly used in AR-15 platform rifles. This could result in a significantly increased cost for all centerfire .223 Rem and 5.56×45 ammunition, because overall supply would be drastically reduced.

Lake City-produced ammo, which exceeds the U.S. government’s requirements, has long been made available to the private commercial market. Lake City’s output, according to some estimates, accounts for one-third of the 5.56×45 ammunition available to U.S. consumers.

News of the move was broken by Larry Keane, NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel. This past week, Keane published a tweet, which stated: “The U.S. Military is actively considering shutting down the sale [of] M855/SS109 ammo from Lake City to the commercial market”.

Winchester ammunition lake city missouri Biden ban ammo

Lake City Ammunition Plant Produces over 1 Billion Rounds Annually
Lake City is a sprawling ammunition plant in Independence, Missouri, originally established by Remington in 1941 to manufacture and test ammunition for the U.S. Army. It is currently owned by the government and operated by private contractors and produces well over a billion rounds of ammunition per year.

Commentary about the Potential Ammunition Sales Restrictions:
The Truth about Guns Blog commented: “The motivation here is obvious. The Biden administration is attempting to further spike the price of ammunition, squeezing the owners of America’s favorite rifles — the scary black ones that the president assures us are only good for killing people and taking down Kevlar vest-wearing deer. The hapless Biden administration [is] trying to make shooting most AR-15 rifles as expensive as possible for Americans who own between 20 and 25 million AR-platform guns.

The NRA-ILA states: “Gun prohibition advocates have a long-standing desire to ban the AR-15 and other types of semiautomatic long guns outright. Joe Biden in particular loves to brag of authoring the so-called ‘assault weapons’ ban that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. Congress, however, allowed the ban to expire 10 years later, after a Department of Justice-sponsored study was unable to substantiate any significant crime reduction benefit from it.

Close followers of Second Amendment issues will remember that these same [5.56×45] rounds were targeted by the Obama/Biden administration under the guise of relabeling them ‘armor piercing ammunition’, which is banned from commercial sale by federal law. The resulting … furor from the Second Amendment community was so intense that it culminated in Obama’s ATF director, B. Todd Jones, quitting his job.”

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April 15th, 2022

Biden Nominates Radical Anti-Gunner for ATF Director Job

Steven Dettelbach nomination BATFE ATF director corrupt biden anti-gun candidate

On April 11, the Biden Administration nominated Steven Dettelbach as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), subject to Senate confirmation. With Dettelbach’s nomination, President Biden revealed his intent to put an aggressive gun control advocate in charge of the agency responsible for regulating America’s firearms industry.

David Chipman, Biden’s first ATF Director nominee, failed to achieve enough support in the Senate to be confirmed. After Chipman’s shortcomings were exposed in Senate hearings, the Biden Administration withdrew Chipman’s nomination. Chipman had worked for anti-gun lobbying groups and advocated widespread banning of popular current firearms types and even supported confiscation of modern sporting rifles. When it was clear Chipman would not win Senate confirmation, Biden withdrew the nomination.

Now Biden has nominated a second ATF Director candidate who is equally objectionable.

Steven Dettelbach nomination BATFE ATF director corrupt biden anti-gun candidate

NRA-ILA Says Dettlebach Supports Radical Restrictions on Gun Rights
The NRA-ILA states: “Like Chipman, Dettelbach is a dedicated gun controller with a background that proves he would be neither fair nor objective as head of ATF. When running for Ohio Attorney General in 2018, Dettelbach endorsed gun bans, restrictions on lawful firearm transfers, and further expansion of prohibitions on who can lawfully possess a firearm. In short, it’s unclear what gun control measures Dettelbach doesn’t support.

This led NRA-PVF to award Dettelbach an ‘F’ for his positions on the right to keep and bear arms. Notably, Michael Bloomberg’s … gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety (David Chipman’s former employer) endorsed Dettelbach in his bid to become Ohio’s Attorney General.

Ohio voters wisely rejected Dettelbach and his gun control promises in 2018. But, Dettelbach’s unpopular views on the Second Amendment put him in line with the most anti-gun presidential administration in American history.

It will once again be up to gun owners to make clear that a failed anti-gun politician has no more place at the head of the ATF than a failed anti-gun lobbyist. Please contact your U.S. Senators… and respectfully encourage them to oppose Dettelbach’s nomination.”

Dettlebach Supports Ban on Modern Sporting Rifles
The National Shooting Sports Foundation added: “NSSF is committed to a thorough examination of Dettelbach’s record and qualifications. Dettelbach has previously stated support for bans on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), or AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, universal background checks, which are unworkable without a national firearm registry that is already forbidden by federal law, and extreme-risk protection orders, or so-called ‘red flag’ laws, without protections for Due Process considerations.

Dettelbach … a recent partisan candidate for public office, supported gun control during his campaign [and was] endorsed by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, for his support for policies restricting Second Amendment rights.”

COMMENTARY: Dettlebach is a Staunch Enemy of the Second Amendment
We concur that Dettlebach is not a candidate who respects the Second Amendment. If appointed to head the ATF, Dettlebach can be expected to push for policies that will negatively affect the rights of all American gun owners. Dettlebach will likely seek to impose a de facto national gun registry (a digital database of gun owners), make background checks more difficult, and put more restrictions on semi-auto pistols and rifles.

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April 13th, 2022

ATF Announces New Biden Orders Banning 80% Receivers

Biden ATF ghost guns 80% receivers Second Amendment

Through Executive action, without new Federal legislation, the Biden Administration, acting through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is moving to ban the direct sale of unfinished firearm frames and receivers which could be built into functional guns with some additional work and components. (Top photo from GunsAmerica Digest.)

This week, the Biden administration announced the final ruling for ATF 2021R-05, “Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms”. Among its provisions, the ruling will effectively eliminate the distribution of “80% Kits” and require FFLs and gunsmiths to serialize such kits upon acquisition. The rule will go into effect 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

“This ruling will have significant regulatory and operational impacts on FFLs, gun owners and the entire firearms industry,” said Phil Milks, Orchid LLC VP and FFL Law Lead Attorney. “It’s imperative firearm manufacturers and retailers review the ruling in detail and evaluate their manufacturing, serialization and recordkeeping processes to ensure compliance when the new regulations go into effect. We urge FFLs to contact Orchid to learn more about this ruling and how it may affect their firearms business.”

New ATF Ruling Covered at Upcoming 2022 Firearm Industry Conference
The ATF’s new policies on unfinished receivers will be the focus of a seminar at the 2022 Firearms Industry Conference (FIC), April 26-27 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the FIC seminar/discussion, ATF executives will review the new ruling and take questions. Agency personnel will also be available during scheduled breakout sessions and private FFL/ATF meetings. The seminar/discussion will be hosted by Orchid LLC and the Williams Mullen Firearms Industry Group.

Biden ATF ghost guns 80% receivers Second Amendment

“With ATF executives in attendance, we believed it was important for attendees to have an opportunity to hear from and engage with their leadership in open dialogue,” said Orchid CEO, Jon Rydberg.

Over 20 ATF executives will attend FIC 2022, including:

– Marvin Richardson, Acting Director, ATF
– Tom Chittum, Acting Associate Deputy Director, ATF
– Alphonso Hughes, Asst. Director, Office of Enforcement Programs & Services
– Andy Graham, Deputy Asst. Director, Office of Enforcement Programs & Services
– Marianna Mitchem, Chief, Firearms & Explosive Industry Division
– Curtis Gilbert, Deputy Asst. Director (Industry Operations), Office of Field Operations
– Andrew Lange, Chief, Office of Regulatory Affairs

“The Firearms Industry Conference is critically important, especially this year, to the firearms industry”, said Chuck James of the Williams Mullen Firearms Industry Group. Held April 21–27, FIC 2022 features virtual and in-person sessions led by Federal agency personnel, firearms industry leaders, and subject matter experts. Sessions are broken intro three tracks: Firearms Industry Law & Finance, FFL Compliance, and FFL Technology. FIC On-Air™ will be held online April 21–22, followed by FIC Workshops on April 25, with the main FIC event on April 26–27 in Atlanta. To register for FIC 2022, visit orchidadvisors.com/FIC.


This article is based on a news release by Orchid Advisors and FFL Law consultants.

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December 8th, 2021

ATF Will Offer New eForms System for NFA Transfers

ATF BATFE eform suppressor silencer nfa transfer application form 1 form 4

This report comes from the American Suppressor Association (ASA).
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced the imminent launch of a new electronic system for NFA transfers. Known as the eForms system, this overdue modernization will allow consumers to submit both ATF Forms 1 and 4 electronically, hopefully resulting in a significant decrease in transfer times when compared to traditional paper Forms. This should speed up acquisition of firearm suppressors, since these require a Form 4.

According to ATF, the transition to the new system will occur sometime after December 15th, but before Christmas. The new eForms system will handle all existing NFA transfer forms, including the ATF Form 4, which is used for transfers of suppressors.

What is the NFA?
The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) requires the Federal registration of fully-automatic firearms, of short-barreled rifles and shotguns, of rifles over .50 caliber, and of firearms sound suppressors (termed “silencers” under the NFA).

Do NOT Withdraw an Existing Form 4 Submission
If you recently submitted an NFA application, keep it in the queue. The ASA cannot stress this enough. Withdrawing your Form 4 and re-submitting electronically will take longer than allowing your Form 4 to make its way through the approval process. Withdrawing and re-submitting electronically will add months to your overall application process.

That’s because ATF isn’t going to dig through the tens of thousands of forms being processed to find your application. They’re going to wait until your Form 4 reaches an NFA examiner’s desk – the exact point at which it would normally be approved – to process your withdrawal. Instead of approving it though, they will acknowledge your withdrawal and release your serial number. You will not be able to re-submit an eForm 4 with the same serial number until ATF acknowledges your withdrawal and puts it back into your dealers’ inventory.

While traditional paper-based applications will remain a viable option, ASA recommends that suppressor buyers submit new NFA applications electronically. That’s because, if the new eForms system works as promised, it will increase efficiencies by reducing form submission and payment processing times, eliminating weeks of delays in data processing, and all but eradicating data entry errors.

The ASA plans to provide updated information about eForms as soon the ATF officially launches the new program for submitting ATF Forms 1 and 4 electronically. In the meantime, stay tuned by following the American Suppressor Association on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Once the transition to the new eForms system begins, ATF estimates that the transition will take between two to four days to complete, at which point the new eForms system will go live. ATF has indicated that it will notify the industry 24 to 48 hours prior to the transition, and the ASA will post information as soon as it receives this notifice.

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September 10th, 2021

David Chipman Withdrawn as Nominee for ATF Director

ATF David Chipman Nomination BATFE Second Amendment Foundation

Recognizing that a confirmation vote was likely to fail, the Biden White House has retracted the nomination of David Chipman to head the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). An aggressive anti-gunner, Chipman has advocated the banning of AR-15s and other popular semi-auto rifles. There were concerns about the handling of his own, issued firearms when he worked for the ATF, and his statements as a paid anti-gun activist were extreme and worrisome. Chipman is currently a paid gun control lobbyist who has worked for Bloomberg’s Everytown, as well as the gun control groups Brady United and Giffords Law Center.

Sen. Mitch McConnell was pleased that the Biden Administration retracted the “terrible nomination of David Chipman”. McConnell noted that it was “absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ Constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”

Sen. Steve Daines concurred: “I’ve been opposed to David Chipman leading the ATF from the start. He’s an anti-Second Amendment, gun-grabbing radical that should not lead the agency that regulates firearms.”

“The defeat of David Chipman is a victory for all Americans who value the right of self-defense,” said Young Americans for Liberty spokesman Eric Brakey, who added: “Chipman has called for a total ban on private ownership of commonly-owned firearms — like the AR-15[.] President Biden should have never nominated this rabid activist on the payroll of Bloomberg-funded anti-gun groups to lead the ATF in the first place.” And the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb stated: “This is a great grassroots victory for the Second Amendment.”

Immediately following Chipman’s nomination, Gottlieb said it had the smell of political patronage to the Giffords Law Center gun control lobbying group. He also accurately portrayed the nomination as a declaration of war on gun owners’ rights. “We predicted Joe Biden’s pick would ignite a political firestorm, and it did”, Gottlieb recalled. “The President has been so wrong on so many issues, and the Chipman nomination ranks right up there[.]”

Gottlieb continued: “We’re proud of the grassroots effort to defeat this foolish Biden scheme to put an acknowledged extremist gun ban advocate in charge of ATF[.] This is a major defeat for the billionaire elitists who bankroll the gun prohibition movement.”

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms declared that the withdrawal of anti-gun lobbyist David Chipman’s nomination to head the ATF is “a much-deserved defeat for the gun prohibition lobby and Joe Biden”.

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September 6th, 2021

Suppressors for Hunting — What You Need to Know

There is an informative article on the NRA’s American Hunter website regarding suppressor use for hunting. The article, What Hunters Need to Know About Suppressors, answers common questions about licensing, tax stamps, and suppressor types. The article explains the history of the $200 tax stamp which must be paid when acquiring a suppressor:

“Why the Tax? In 1934 … the federal government, while battling gangsters such as Al Capone, heavily restricted silencers with passage of the first National Firearms Act. Hoping to gain an advantage on criminals that often had better weapons than cops, the Feds placed a mandatory ‘sin’ tax on silencers that was so high it would effectively ban their purchase by all but the wealthiest individuals. In 1934, $200 was the equivalent of $3,500 today. The $200 tax still stands despite no evidence that a simple metal tube is capable of causing crime.” — American Hunter

The American Hunter article also discusses how well suppressors actually reduce noise. User should be aware that the sound level of a large, centerfire hunting cartridge will still exceed 130 decibels (dB) on average, even with a typical suppressor (silencer) in place. For that reason, we recommend that hunters continue to wear ear protection even when they shoot suppressed.

For example, Thunder Beast Arms says its latest Ultra 9 Suppressor will reduce the report of a .308 Win to 132-134 dB: “The ULTRA 9 will suppress a typical .308 bolt-action rifle down to approx. 132-134 dB. It also has very little or no ‘first round pop’ (FRP) in most applications.” NOTE: These dB levels are measured in accordance with MIL-STD-1474D using BK 2209 SLM offset one meter from muzzle.

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. Audiology group ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. The American Hunter article explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

Choosing a Suppressor for Hunting Use
The American Hunter article explains that there are many types of suppressors on the market. Bigger suppressors are heavier, but they normally are more effective. You also have a choice in muzzle attachments:

“For most hunting applications, direct thread is the best choice. If you intend to buy only one suppressor yet you have multiple guns, it’s advantageous to buy a model sized and rated for the largest caliber you intend to use. While a suppressor made specifically for a .223 Rem. will reduce the sound of that round slightly better than a model made for .30 caliber, for example, you can use a .30-caliber can for smaller calibers — but not vice-versa. In general, the bigger the can, the more it reduces sound. Smaller suppressors, however, are easier to carry in the woods.” — American Hunter


Chart from American Suppressor Association.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
Currently, the following 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY. NOTE: Suppressors are legal in Connecticut and Vermont, but hunting with silencers is not allowed in those states.

How to Apply for a Suppressor
To acquire a quality suppressor, you’ll first need to shop around, comparing verified performance. Unfortunately some manufacturer’s dB claims are exaggerated. Give due consideration to size, weight, and durability. When you’ve selected a brand and model, find a Class 3 dealer authorized by the ATF to sell suppressors. You must fill out ATF Form 4, get fingerprinted, and pass a background check. Along with two completed copies of Form 4, submit your fingerprint card, passport photo and a check for $200 to the ATF. Then you wait for the ATF to process your application. American Hunter says the average ATF suppressor processing wait time is now nine months.

BENEFITS OF SILENCERS

NOISE REDUCTION
According to OSHA, the threshold for a hearing safe impulse noise is 140 dB. Without hearing protection, exposure to any impulse noise over 140 dB causes varying degrees of permanent noise-induced hearing loss, which can also lead to tinnitus. Most well-engineered silencers take the dB level of their host firearm well below 140 dB, making those silencers effective primary hearing safety devices. You should always still wear hearing protection (muffs or plugs) when using suppressors.

RECOIL REDUCTION
By containing the explosion at the muzzle, suppressors significantly reduce perceived recoil energy, reduce the rifle’s rearward movement on recoil, and reduce rifle torquing and muzzle flip. The reduction of recoil (and rifle torquing/hopping) lessens shooter fatigue and helps the shooter get his sight picture back on target rapidly after firing. With smaller calibers, a suppressor may enable the shooter to maintain a nearly-continuous sight picture, following the shot into the target. In addition, by reducing felt recoil (and muzzle blast), a suppressor can help inexperienced shooters avoid flinching.

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April 23rd, 2021

Don’t Get Caught Short — Make Sure Your Barrels Are Legal Length

short barrel barreled rifle shotgun NSA tax stamp ATF legal brief guncollective.com

The Legal Brief is a feature of TheGuncollective.com that focuses on firearms rules and regulations. In this Legal Brief video, Attorney Adam Kraut explains key State and Federal regulations governing firearms, and explains how to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

This five-minute video explains barrel length rules for rifles and shotguns, and also explains the best (and most fool-proof) methods to measure your barrel. In addition, the video explains how to measure firearm overall length. A rifle or shotgun which is less than 26 inches overall can also be classified as a “Short-barreled” rifle/shotgun subject to the NFA. NOTE: Under federal law “If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock EXTENDED”.

Highlights of LEGAL BRIEF Discussion of Barrel Length and Firearm Overall Length

The ATF procedure to measure the length of a barrel is to measure from the closed bolt or breech face to the furthest end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. ATF considers a muzzle device that has been permanently attached to be part of the barrel and therefore counts towards the length.

How to Measure Barrel Length: Drop [a] dowel or rod into the barrel until it touches the bolt or breech face, which has to be closed. Mark the outside of the rod at the end of the muzzle crown (if you don’t have a permanently attached muzzle device) or at the end of the muzzle device if it is permanently attached. Remove the rod and measure from the mark to the end of the rod. That is your barrel length[.]

Remember, if the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is possible that the firearm could be a short barrel rifle (if you are building a rifle or it is already on a rifle) and if the barrel length is less than 18 inches, it is possible the firearm could be a short barrel shotgun (again if you are building a shotgun or it is already a shotgun). Both of these firearms would be subject to the purview of the National Firearms Act and would require the firearm to be registered accordingly.

How to Measure Overall Length:The overall length of your rifle or shotgun may also classify it as a Short Barrel Rifle or Short Barrel Shotgun. The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore. … If the rifle has a permanently attached muzzle device, that is part of the overall length. … If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock extended.

READ FULL ARTICLE on Ammoland.com.

Links for this episode:

ATF Method for Measuring Barrel Length and Overall Length:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-chapter-2/download
Firearm – 26 USC § 5845: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
Firearm – 27 CFR § 479.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.11
Short Barrel Rifle – 18 USC § 921(a)(8): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Rifle – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11
Short Barrel Shotgun – 18 USC § 921(a)(6): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Shotgun – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11

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April 10th, 2021

Gun Talk Sunday — Threats to Second Amendment Examined

Gun Talk Radio Tom Gresham

With the aggressive anti-gun stance of the Biden administration, and the President’s demonstrated willingness to rule via authoritarian Executive Orders, bypassing the legislative process, all gun owners should be concerned about serious attacks on their Second Amendment rights.

The latest gun control actions from the White House and the Democratic-party controlled Congress are the key focal points of Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk® Radio show this Sunday, April 11, 2021. In its 26th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk show airs live on Sundays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations every week. Listen on a radio station near you or via live streaming on your computer or mobile device.

Gun Talk Radio Tom Gresham

Authoritarianism: The principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. In government, authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law[.]
— Definition from Encyclopedia Brittanica

Gun Control and 2d Amendment Sanctuaries To Be Discussed

This week, Tom talks with BearingArms.com editor Cam Edwards about recent gun control actions at both the state and federal levels, including President Biden’s recently announced gun control executive orders. Plus, Noah Davis has put together an extensive list of counties and cities that are enacting laws to protect gun rights in 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries. And Brownell’s Roy Hill joins Tom to discuss building and upgrading firearms (particularly ARs) with products showcased in the new Brownells Armory.

Tom Gresham Gun Talk Radio

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts through the GunTalk Podcast Center or Apple iTunes. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube and GunTalk.com. As always, call 866-TALK-GUN with your comments, questions, and range reports.

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December 29th, 2020

ATF Rescinds Official Notice about Pistol Braces

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

The NSSF reports that on December 23, 2020 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rescinded its Notice of “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” that was published on December 18, 2020. One of the reasons for the change was the massive amount of comments on the proposed rule change. Over 48,000 comments were posted on the Federal Register, the overwhelming number of them critical of the ATF’s proposed policies on pistols with braces.

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

NRA Instructor and gunwriter John Crump noted:

“After tens of thousands of comments left by gun owners over the ATF’s proposed guidance over pistol braces, the agency pulled it from the [Federal Register].

The agency released the proposal and gave the public two weeks to respond. Many in the gun world believed that the ATF chose to release the document right before the Christmas holiday, hoping that the gun community wouldn’t notice it until it was too late. The American people did notice. Every firearms publication ran non stop coverage of the confusing and nonsensical proposal. YouTubers of all sizes encouraged people to write comments to the government about the new guidance.

Even the politicians got involved in rebuking the ATF’s power play. North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson and 89 other Congress members signed a letter urging the ATF to reverse course[.]”

What was the main problem with the ATF’s “guidance” firearms with braces? Fundamentally it was vague, confusing, and overly complex. With so many factors listed, the “guidance” would have permitted the ATF to require registration of virtually any brace-equipped pistol based on a complex collection of factors, some quite subjective. That wasn’t good policy and gun owners saw the problem. We need clear, definite, objective standards for what is allowed and what is not.

The NSSF concurred: “NSSF has long requested the ATF to publish objective criteria by which firearm manufacturers can readily produce firearms equipped with arm braces in compliance with the law. To date, the criteria is subjective and open to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. The guidance proposed by the ATF last week did little, unfortunately, to clear the ambiguity that exists with subjective criteria.”

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December 19th, 2020

ATF Issues Notice Regarding AR Pistols — Factors to Consider

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

Do you own an AR-platform pistol, or are you considering purchasing one? Then you should read the Special Notice issued on 12/18/2020 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) concerning features of these firearms. Basically, the ATF is considering reclassifying many of these guns as “short-barreled rifles” because the attached braces effectively function like a rifle buttstock. For decades short-barreled rifles have been a registered item under ATF rules requiring an application and tax stamp. The ATF is now looking at multiple factors to consider the status of AR Pistols. These factors are listed in the ATF’s recent Special Notice: Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces”.

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

Here is text taken from the ATF’s notice in the Federal Register. Take heed — this is only a partial section of the document. You should read the FULL DOCUMENT (PDF Version).

ATF has observed that the development and production of firearms with arm braces has become more prevalent in the firearms industry and, relatedly, that requests for classifications for this kind of firearm design have also increased. Therefore, ATF is publishing this notice to aid the firearms industry and public in understanding the objective design features that FATD (Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division) considers when evaluating firearm samples submitted with a stabilizing brace or similar attachment.

The objective design features ATF considers in determining whether a weapon with an attached “stabilizing brace” has been “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” include, but are not limited to:

Type and Caliber. The type and caliber of firearm to which the stabilizing brace or similar item is installed. A large caliber firearm that is impractical to fire with one hand because of recoil or other factors, even with an arm brace, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.
Weight and Length. The weight and length of the firearm used with the stabilizing brace. A firearm that is so heavy that it is impractical to fire or aim with one hand, or so long that it is difficult to balance the firearm to fire with one hand, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.
Length of Pull. The “length of pull” refers to the distance from the trigger to the point at which a stock meets the shoulder. This is a measurement for rifles and shotguns used to accommodate shooters of different sizes. Because an arm brace need only reach the forearm, the distance between the trigger and the back of the brace is generally expected to be shorter than the distance between the trigger and the back of a stock on a weapon designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder. This measurement is not necessarily determinative of the intent of the manufacturer but is used in making an evaluation of the firearm. If a brace is of a length that makes it impractical to attach to the shooter’s wrist or forearm, then that may demonstrate that it is not designed as brace but rather for shoulder fire.
Attachment Method. The method of attachment of the stabilizing brace, to include modified stock attachments, extended receiver extensions, and the use of spacers. These items extend the distance between the trigger and the part of the weapon that contacts the shooter, whether it is a stock or stabilizing brace. Use of these items indicates that the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder because they extend a stabilizing brace beyond a point that is useful for something other than shoulder support.
Stabilizing Brace Design Features. The objective design features of the attached stabilizing brace itself are relevant to the classification of the assembled weapon, and include:

— The comparative function of the attachment when utilized as a stabilizing brace compared to its alternate use as a shouldering device;

— The design of the stabilizing brace compared to known shoulder stock designs;

— The amount of rear contact surface area of the stabilizing brace that can be used in shouldering the weapon as compared to the surface area necessary for use as a stabilizing brace;

— The material used to make the attachment that indicates whether the brace is designed and intended to be pressed against the shoulder for support, or actually used on the arm;

— Any shared or interchangeable parts with known shoulder stocks; and

— Any other feature of the brace that improves the weapon’s effectiveness from the shoulder-firing position without providing a corresponding benefit to the effectiveness of the stability and support provided by the brace’s use on the arm.

Aim Point. Appropriate aim point when utilizing the attachment as a stabilizing brace. If the aim point when using the arm brace attachment results in an upward or downward trajectory that could not accurately hit a target, this may indicate the attachment was not designed as a stabilizing brace.
Secondary Grip. The presence of a secondary grip may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because it is not designed to be held and fired by one hand.
Sights and Scopes. Incorporation of sights or scopes that possess eye relief incompatible with one-handed firing may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because they are designed to be used from a shoulder-fire position and are incompatible for the single-handed shooting that arm braces are designed and intended.
Peripheral Accessories. Installation of peripheral accessories commonly found on rifles or shotguns that may indicate that the firearm is not designed and intended to be held and fired with one hand. This includes, but is not limited to, the installation of bipods/monopods that improve the accuracy of heavy weapons designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder; or the inclusion of a magazine or drum that accepts so many cartridges that it increases the overall weight of the firearm to a degree that it is impractical to fire the weapon with one hand even with the assistance of a stabilizing brace.

The ATF concludes: “These factors are based on known stabilizing braces and similar attachments. No single factor or combination of factors is necessarily dispositive, and FATD examines each weapon holistically on a case-by-case basis. …. Moreover, in addition to the objective design features of a submitted sample, FATD also considers the marketing of both the item and the firearm to which it is attached, compared to the manufacturer’s stated intent when submitting an item.”

CLICK HERE for BATFE General Notice in Federal Register Regarding AR Pistols

AR-Platform Pistols — Current Options on the Market

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

If you are interested in learning more about AR-platform pistols with short barrels, PewPewTactical.com has published a useful article entitled: Six Best AR-15 Pistols [2020 Complete & Build List]. That article quickly covers the legal status of such firearms, at least before the recent ATF Guidance document:

So, what exactly is an AR pistol? If you want the complex legal definition of a pistol Check ATF’s Website.

“The short version is: An AR Pistol is an AR-15 that was built from the start to be a pistol — it also has a barrel less than 16 inches in length and does not have a stock. Generally, an AR-15 Pistol will have a stabilizing brace instead of a stock, but that isn’t required.”

ATF Changes May be Coming — And You Must Consider State Laws As Well
However, PewPewTActical notes that: “The ATF is reevaluating its stance on stabilizing braces. Pew Pew Tactical is monitoring the situation and will update our readers if there are any legal changes in the future.” And… the article further cautions: “Double check your state law before embarking on this kind of build, what federally qualifies as a ‘firearm’ or ‘pistol’ might be an ‘assault pistol’ in your state.” SOURCE: PewPewTactical.com

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May 22nd, 2020

ATF Approves Updated Form 4473 for Background Checks

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is set to release its newest version of the Form 4473. The Updated Form 4473 is used by all Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders to record pertinent information from persons seeking to purchase a firearm or firearms prior to the FFL performing a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) or state-approved point-of-contact law enforcement agency. FFLs may start using the new Form 4473 immediately. The FBI intends to start shipping these new forms in July 2020.

CLICK HERE to View Draft May 2020 Revised Form 4473 »

IMPORTANT: Use of the updated Forum 4473 becomes MANDATORY as of November 1, 2020, for paper applications (not using the FBI E-Check system).

The May 2020 Form 4473 includes several changes from the previous version, including:

— The warning at the top of the form includes information about illegal exportation.

— Information on the firearm/s to be transferred is now Section A, which must be completed before the transferee completes Section B.

— The Citizenship information (Country of Citizenship and US-issued alien or admission number) has been moved to precede the prohibitor questions.

— The “County” block has been changed to “County/Parish/Borough” to accommodate Louisiana and Alaska, respectively.

— The “Sex” box has been revised to include a third option of “Non-Binary”. [Comment: Really? And how does this prevent crime? Thank you SJWs.]

— Item 26b, which previously applied to situations in which the identification document did not show the current residence address of the transferee, has been updated to include situations in which the identification document does not include the full legal name of the transferee.

— New item 26c has been included for the recording of official military orders establishing permanent change of station.

OTHER Changes: A detailed summary of ALL Form 4473 changes has been prepared by Orchid Advisers, which provides ATF and ITAR compliance services to manufacturing, distribution, and retail FFLs.

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

Expected Delivery Dates and Pre-Order Links
Use of the May 2020-approved Form 4473 will be mandatory for all FFLs beginning November 1, 2020. FFLs may use supplies of their current Form 4473s (October 2016 version) until that date. The new Form 4473 and continuation sheets are available for preorder in both English and Spanish. FFLs can expect their preorders to begin shipping in late July 2020. In addition, ATF expects to ship 50-quantity starter packs of the new Form 4473 to all FFLs in late July 2020, and the agency intends to have an updated eForm 4473 up and running during that same time period for those FFLs utilizing the FBI’s NICS E-Check system instead of the paper Form 4473.

CLICK HERE to Pre-Order Revised FBI Form 4473 »

NSSF has ordered both Spanish and English overlays for the new Form 4473 and we will notify our members when they are in stock and available through the member portal. These overlays, which complement an FFL’s compliance best practices, help improve accuracy and completion of this critical form and are available free to NSSF members.

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June 23rd, 2019

Don’t Get Barrel-Busted! Federal Barrel Length Requirements

short barrel barreled rifle shotgun NSA tax stamp ATF legal brief guncollective.com

The Legal Brief is a feature of TheGuncollective.com that focuses on firearms rules and regulations. In this Legal Brief video, Attorney Adam Kraut explains key State and Federal regulations governing firearms, and explains how to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

This five-minute video explains barrel length rules for rifles and shotguns, and also explains the best (and most fool-proof) methods to measure your barrel. In addition, the video explains how to measure firearm overall length. A rifle or shotgun which is less than 26 inches overall can also be classified as a “Short-barreled” rifle/shotgun subject to the NFA. NOTE: Under federal law “If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock EXTENDED”.

Highlights of LEGAL BRIEF Discussion of Barrel Length and Firearm Overall Length

The ATF procedure to measure the length of a barrel is to measure from the closed bolt or breech face to the furthest end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. ATF considers a muzzle device that has been permanently attached to be part of the barrel and therefore counts towards the length.

How to Measure Barrel Length: Drop [a] dowel or rod into the barrel until it touches the bolt or breech face, which has to be closed. Mark the outside of the rod at the end of the muzzle crown (if you don’t have a permanently attached muzzle device) or at the end of the muzzle device if it is permanently attached. Remove the rod and measure from the mark to the end of the rod. That is your barrel length[.]

Remember, if the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is possible that the firearm could be a short barrel rifle (if you are building a rifle or it is already on a rifle) and if the barrel length is less than 18 inches, it is possible the firearm could be a short barrel shotgun (again if you are building a shotgun or it is already a shotgun). Both of these firearms would be subject to the purview of the National Firearms Act and would require the firearm to be registered accordingly.

How to Measure Overall Length:The overall length of your rifle or shotgun may also classify it as a Short Barrel Rifle or Short Barrel Shotgun. The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore. … If the rifle has a permanently attached muzzle device, that is part of the overall length. … If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock extended.

READ FULL ARTICLE on Ammoland.com.

Links for this episode:

ATF Method for Measuring Barrel Length and Overall Length:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-chapter-2/download
Firearm – 26 USC § 5845: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
Firearm – 27 CFR § 479.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.11
Short Barrel Rifle – 18 USC § 921(a)(8): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Rifle – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11
Short Barrel Shotgun – 18 USC § 921(a)(6): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Shotgun – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11

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May 10th, 2019

Rules of Firearms Gift Transfers — How to Stay Out of Trouble

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th, and Father’s Day is just a month away. Perhaps you’re thinking about giving your parent(s) a firearm for sporting use or self-protection. While gifting a gun is allowed in most jurisdictions, there are important state and Federal laws with which you must comply. And while Federal laws cover the whole country, the rules on firearms gift transfers vary significantly from state to state.

Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

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December 23rd, 2018

What You Need to Know about Firearms Gift Transfers

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary from state to state. Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

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