Many service members are collectors of weapons or weapon enthusiasts. And sometimes, family and friends might want to send weapons to their loved ones.
Let’s get to the questions that I get frequently from would-be care package creators. And yes, I’ve had folks wonder if sending weapons is permissible in a care package… and if so, what the rules are. Please note that everything I’m writing about here can be found on the USPS website. However, please also remember, this is not legal advice in any sense; I am not a lawyer. If you have legal questions, contact a professional.
Sending weapons of any kind through the mail can be a recipe for disaster, especially if you don’t follow the strict rules and guidelines. Always, always check with USPS if you are confused, unsure, or have more questions. And never, ever flout the law.
Can I send weapons in the mail?
Short answer? It depends on what you’re sending.
Firearms and ammunition: As a regular, ol’ person, you cannot send firearms or ammunition to someone else in the mail. Firearms are considered restricted, which means that there are some safe, legal ways to ship them; however, those safe, legal ways are for dealers and manufacturers… not average joes. (And chances are, you do not have the licensing and permissions to ship them.) Ammunition is completely prohibited– don’t even think about it.
Knives: Knives can be sent through the USPS mail to any destination where it is legal to receive knives in the mail, provided you take precautions to protect those who handle your mail along the way.
But I’m a licensed gun-owner
It doesn’t matter if you own no guns or a million, or if you’re a safe gun-owner. It’s about safety as well as state and national laws. When it comes to the mail and firearms, it doesn’t matter about your age: it matters if you’re a licensed manufacturer or dealer. (And chances are, you’re not.) Without being a licensed manufacturer or dealer, it is illegal for you to ship guns of any kind.
What precautions do I need to take?
If you’re sending knives, you need to figure out a few things:
Is it lawful for your recipient to receive knives in the mail? You cannot mail knives to locations or situations where your recipient cannot receive them. If you’re sending to someone in the military, you’ll want to check out your recipient’s installation’s rules, too.
How will you pack and ship the knives? USPS requires knives to be securely packed and packaged. It is recommended to have two layers of protection around the knives so that they cannot hurt the mail carriers or your recipient accidentally. When you ship your box, you cannot have markings on it indicating the contents.
Is it necessary to ship the knives? Is this the best time? If you can hold on and wait to give the knives in person, it might be the best choice.
Are the knives expensive or collectable? If these are collector’s items or expensive, it’s absolutely important to insure them properly. If you’re not sure how to do that or if you’re unsure whether or not you should, contact the USPS and an insurance agent.
Looking For More Care Package Ideas? Try These:
- Can I Ship Alcohol in a Care Package?
- Can I Send Hand Sanitizer in a Care Package?
- Here’s What Troops Really Want in a Care Package