So you want to ship ammo? In this guide we’re gonna walk you through the basics on how to properly package, label, and ship ammunition.
What is Ammunition?
Ammunition is the material fired, scattered, dropped, or detonated from any weapon or weapon system.
Can You Ship Ammo?
Yes, it's possible for both FFL holders and private individuals to ship ammo within the U.S. The trick is to be aware of the laws at both federal and state levels, as well as the policies of your chosen shipping carrier. Please note that this guide may not cover all specific rules for every carrier and situation. Always conduct your own research and consult carrier policies to ensure you're shipping ammo legally and safely.
What Ammunition Can I ship?
The type of ammunition you can ship is different from carrier to carrier. For UPS here are the regulations:
- Ammunition cannot exceed 12.7 mm (50 caliber or 0.5 inch) for rifle or pistol cartridges or 8-gauge for shotgun shells
- Ammunition can be inert projectiles (blank ammunition)
- The package may not exceed 66 lb. (30 kg)
Is an FFL Required to Receive or Send Ammo?
While an FFL is often needed for shipping firearms, most states allow ammunition to be shipped directly to the buyer. But be wary; some states, like California, have stricter requirements.
Do You Need Special Paperwork?
Generally, no special paperwork is needed, but proper labeling is crucial. (See Image)
You must use a "limited quantity" label on two opposite sides of your package to indicate that it contains hazardous materials.
How to Package Ammo
Step 1: Box Up Your Ammunition
Shipping ammo is just like packaging any fragile good. You need to ensure it is properly protected and secured snugly. Make sure that your ammo is in a separate box from firearms.
If you remember our lesson on cardboard you will know that you will likely need a double walled or even triple walled cardboard box to ensure there is no breakage. Ammunition can be heavy so ensure that your ammo is secured before moving onto the next step.
Step 2: Tape Up Your Box
To ensure you box doesn't break open during transit, securely tape your box with the H-Taping Method. Use Acrylic Packing Tape to ensure that heat or other elements don’t damage the seal.
Step 3: Label Your Box as Hazardous and Limited Quantity
You will need to print out Diamond Shaped “Limited Quantity” Labels. (Shown Above). These labels should be no smaller than 4”x4” to ensure that carriers can visibly see these markings.
Print out at least two labels
Place these labels on opposite sides of the box. Make sure that each of these labels is flat against the box and isnt wrinkled.
DO NOT label the box as ammunition. Unlike some other hazardous materials, you should NOT label the box as containing ammunition explicitly, as per federal law.
Step 4: Apply Shipping Label/Additional Markings
- Clearly print out the shipping and return addresses.
- Place these labels on the top of the box and make sure they're securely attached.
- Use strong packing tape over the labels to ensure they don't come off during shipping but make sure the tape doesn't obscure any labels.
- It's a good idea to add labels like "Handle with Care" or "Fragile," although these aren't legally required for ammo.
Step 5: Deliver Package to an Official Carrier Location
Now that you have wrapped your package and are ready to ship, drive to your nearest carrier center to ship your package. Once you arrive notify them that you are shipping ammunition. You may have to pay for ground transportation and insurance. Once you ship receive the tracking number and share this with the receiving party.
Now that you've got a handle on the basics of shipping ammo, make sure you follow this checklist. It'll help you stay on the right side of federal and state laws.
In summary, shipping ammunition involves a lot of legal nuances and details, but keeping a checklist handy can help you navigate through it. Remember, this guide isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Do your own research to ensure you're fully compliant with all regulations. Ready to get started?