Post office regulations to ship a firearm

Written by lisa roberts
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Post office regulations to ship a firearm
Concealable handguns. (gun image by dinostock from

The United States Postal Service has strict regulations regarding the shipping of firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms can review guns to determine their mailability. Postmasters are not allowed to advise patrons in regards to shipping guns.

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Concealable Handguns

No concealable handguns, such as pistols, revolvers, short-barrelled shotguns or starter guns, may be mailed unless both parties (sending and receiving) meet the handgun exception regulation. Disassembled handguns may not be shipped through the USPS.

Post office regulations to ship a firearm
Concealable handguns. (gun image by dinostock from

Handgun Exception

Licensed (FFL) manufacturers, dealers or government agents may ship a handgun to an officer in the United States military or National Guard for use within their official job duties. An Affidavit of Addressee must accompany the package.

Affidavit of Addressee

An affidavit proving the handgun will be used only in an official job capacity must be completed by the receiving person and submitted to the postmaster at the time of mailing. A signature from the receiver's commanding officer is mandatory.


Licensed manufacturers and dealers may ship handguns between themselves for the purpose of repair or trade shipments.

Antique Guns

Unloaded museum pieces may be shipped without needing to meet handgun regulations. Antique firearms are weapons manufactured in or before 1898.

Post office regulations to ship a firearm
Antique Handgun (retro gun image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Long-Barreled Guns

Unloaded rifles and shotguns with an overall length of more than 26 inches may be shipped in accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968. Check state and local laws for possible additional regulations.

Post office regulations to ship a firearm
Long-barrelled shotgun. (less lethal shotgun and shells. image by Kevin Chesson from

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