I read further per your comments Lumpy, it appears you are correct. I cannot mail a handgun per USPS rules, but an FFL can mail to an FFL See section 432.23 below. What I can save shipping a handgun via USPS thru an FFL will pay for the FFL transfer fee in the future. I guess my FFL did not realize non FFLL's cannot use USPS services for handguns, while he can. Thanks for the heads up, I completely missed that section.
Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in this section, after the filing of an affidavit or statement described in 432.22 or 432.24, and are subject to the following:
Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 431.2 and the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 may be mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm under 431.3.
Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 431.2, which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest, may be accepted for mailing between governmental museums without regard to the restrictions provided for handguns in 432.21 through 432.24 and Exhibit 432.25.
Air guns (see 431.6) that do not fall within the definition of firearms under 431.1 and are capable of being concealed on a person are mailable, but must include Adult Signature service under DMM 503.8. Mailers must comply with all applicable state and local regulations.
Parts of handguns are mailable, except for handgun frames, receivers or other parts or components regulated under Chapter 44, Title 18, U.S.C.
Mailers are also subject to applicable restrictions by governments of a state, territory, or district.
432.21 Authorized Persons
Subject to 432.22, handguns may be mailed by a licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, a licensed importer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government or the government of a state, territory, or district, only when addressed to a person in one of the following categories for use in the person’s official duties, and upon filing the required affidavit or certificate:
Officers of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps.
Officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, or district.
Officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district, whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.
USPS employees authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector.
Officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States.
Watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, or district.
Purchasing agent or other designated member of agencies employing officers and employees included in 432.21c through e.
432.22 Affidavit of Addressee
Any person proposing to mail a handgun under 432.21 must file with the Postmaster, at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the addressee setting forth that the addressee is qualified to receive the firearm under a particular category of 432.21a through 432.21g, and that the firearm is intended for the addressee’s official use. The affidavit must also bear a certificate stating that the firearm is for the official duty use of the addressee, signed by one of the following, as appropriate:
For officers of Armed Forces, by the commanding officer.
For officers and employees of enforcement agencies, by the head of the agency employing the addressee to perform the official duty with which the firearm is to be used.
For watchmen, by the chief clerk of the department, bureau, or independent branch of the government of the United States, the state, the territory, or the district by which the watchman is employed.
For the purchasing agent or other designated member of enforcement agencies, by the head of such agency, that the firearm is to be used by an officer or employee included in 432.21c through 432.21e.
432.23 Manufacturers, Dealers, and Importers
Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms, licensed dealers of firearms, and licensed importers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts.
432.24 Certificate of Manufacturers, Dealers, and Importers
A federal firearms licensee manufacturer, dealer, or importer need not file the affidavit under 432.22, but must file with the Postmaster a statement on PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms, signed by the mailer that he or she is a licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms. The mailer must also state that the parcels containing handguns, or parts and components of handguns under 432.2d, are being mailed in customary trade shipments or contain such articles for repairing or replacing parts, and that to the best of their knowledge the addressees are licensed manufacturers, dealers, or importers of firearms. Registered Mail service is recommended.
Postmasters may forward an unsatisfactory mailer statement to the PCSC for a ruling.