This ain’t legal advice. That said, here’s my best understanding of a confusing topic.
- Shipping guns to Kull’s Old Town Station
- Packing Tips
- Shipping Requirements
- General info on how to ship guns
At Kull’s Old Town Station, Ltd., (KOTS) we ship and receive thousands of antique and modern firearms. We send guns to our customers from our mail order catalog and 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 KOTS. Some general information on shipping guns appears at the bottom of this page.
Shipping Guns to KOTS
… 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, and ship in a cardboard box tightly packed with 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 and 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.
- CARRIERS – 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 Steve or Chance, (785) 862-8800. 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:
Kull’s Old Town Station, Ltd.
201 SE 59th St
Topeka, KS 66619
- 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 and charge you a transfer fee. You will have to complete your 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 with us 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 and other antique long guns with long slender stocks are especially vulnerable to breakage at the wrist (the area just behind the hammer and 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 and pack the case and gun/accessories separately. If you don’t, the gun may well rattle around & damage the box or case. Old cardboard boxes should be filled with styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap to prevent crushing. Box/case and gun can be sent in the same shipping container, so long as they are both well padded.
As an FFL, we’ve found the following to be our best options to combine legal compliance, security of shipment, and cost effectiveness:
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.
LONG GUNS go via UPS 3rd Day. In the continental US, we charge $50 for the first one, $25 each additional.
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 $40 for the first handgun, $25 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 with orders and 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 us away from processing the orders and getting them out the door. Our goal is to ship within three week of receipt of all payment and paperwork. I’d suggest allowing 3 weeks after you’re sure we’ve received all needed material before calling to check.
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 and 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