This is my personal review of the best practices when posting air rifles in the UK.
To be clear:
I didn’t speak to a few people and then call it a day .
In fact, I spent a full week evaluating every single option when it comes to posting an air gun in the UK including:
- Can you ship air rifles
- Differences in the Rules the law that affect you when it comes to posting air rifles
- The right services and the wrong services to use when posting an air gun
- Registered Firearms Dealers (RFD) to ship your gun:
The first option is the best, if you can do it.
The RFD route is next safest but probably the most expensive (because you have to pay the RFDs’ fees and the shipping cost between them, as well as get the gun to/from the RFDs at the start and finish).
As account holders, RFDs have special concessions that allow them to send guns between each other using Parcelforce and other couriers, backed by full insurance for loss or damage.
It is legal for private individuals to post air rifles via certain services of Royal Mail and Parcel Force.
For full details of the right services and specific policies and guidelines, check out this:
How to send an airgun by Royal Mail/Parcelforce
Take care to wrap air rifles very securely, in bubble wrap, stout boxes and with lots of parcel tape, to minimise the chances of the contents spilling out when being rough-handled and causing a “firearms incident”.
If you are sending air rifles over long distances where air transport may be used, such as England to and from Scotland, it would make sense to specify “Do not fly” since there have been reports of air rifles being declared “suspicious objects” and routed to Northern Ireland for investigation.
In 2012 Royal Mail (which owns Parcelforce) received Ofcom approval to leave posted items with a neighbour unless instructed otherwise by sender or recipient.
So when sending an airgun it makes sense to write “Strictly addressee only” clearly on your package unless you know the recipient is on good terms with all his neighbours.
That’s how we’re shipping Air Rifles in 2020. You now have everything you need to help you should you decide to post your air rifle in the UK.