Jacob Beckstead
November 16, 2022
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
All Moving

How to Move Firearms and Ammunition with Full-Service Movers 

Many who live in the United States choose to purchase and keep firearms. However, many firearm owners are unsure about the procedures full-service movers follow when transporting their guns to their new home.

Continue reading to gain insight into the process of moving firearms and ammunition through full-service movers. We’ve covered the dos and don’ts so you can prepare for your upcoming without concerns for your firearms or your safety.

Do Full-Service Movers Transport Guns?

Simple answer: Yes! Professional movers will transport your firearms. However, there are a couple of essential details to know and prepare before including them in your next move.

It's important to note that the mover must physically inspect all firearms before being loaded onto the truck. When your mover arrives on load day, the driver or crew performing the inventory of your items will need to see the guns. They'll inspect them to ensure they are safe for transport and then record the serial number of each weapon. The serial number tracking is for your protection and the mover. By matching serial numbers, it ensures that the guns loaded on one end are the same guns delivered on the other end of your move.  

Your mover must physically inspect all firearms before loading them on the truck

After the firearms are inspected and the serial numbers have been recorded, the guns get loaded onto the truck. At minimum, firearms are pad-wrapped to ensure they're protected, but you may consider putting each gun in a hard case to keep the weapon secure and unable to move around during transit. Some customers prefer to lock the cases as well. This is fine, provided they can be opened for inspection upon arrival; a hard case isn't required, but it is recommended.

What Happens If Guns Are Damaged During a Move?

Liability for goods damaged during transit is covered under the valuation level you chose when you set up the mover before load day. For more information on valuation, check out this article. Once you know how valuation works, you'll remember that if you release valuation, you'll only be able to reclaim approximately $.60 per pound of article weight on any damaged item.  

Consider firearms for a moment, remembering that small firearms like handguns can weigh less than a few pounds. Long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, don't typically weigh more than 10-15 pounds, except in rare cases. At $.60 per pound of released valuation compensation, handguns might only claim 60 cents if damaged, and long guns around $6.00. This isn't even close to the firearm's value. So, if you choose to release valuation, understand that any damage to firearms will not be compensated at the value of the gun.  

NOTE: Releasing valuation is a risk. Movers take every precaution to safeguard your items during a move, but even a move that’s executed flawlessly can be subject to damage from various factors outside the mover's control. The decision is yours, but understand the risk before load day.  

Releasing valuation is a risk.
Even a move that’s executed flawlessly can be subject to damage from various factors.

If you choose total/full valuation, your firearm will be compensated at its replacement value if it cannot be repaired - minus your deductible. This option gives your guns much better protection, but there is one more item to consider regarding total valuation.

Full valuation only compensates items up to $100 per pound of weight unless items whose value exceeds these criteria are disclosed explicitly on a high-value inventory form before being loaded. There are several firearms, especially antiques, whose value is greater than $100 per pound of weight.  

For example: If you have a 2lb handgun valued at $850, this equates to $425 per pound of weight. Because the gun is over $100 in value per pound of weight, you must disclose this item on a high-value inventory.

Talk to your estimator or coordinator for more details if you have guns like this to ensure they're appropriately listed before move day.

Do Full-Service Movers Transport Gun Ammunition?

In short, no. Movers will not transport ammunition because it falls under rules prohibiting any explosive materials inside the moving vans. The safety of the driver and your belongings is paramount in any move. To maintain it, no combustible materials are allowed. The inside of moving vans often reach high temperatures due to the moving process. There isn't good ventilation inside the vans, and as a result, temperatures can reach higher-than-comfortable levels. Consider that the truck often drives through hot areas on hot days without ventilation in the trailer.

Ammunition, especially those with hidden defects, has been known to react to these temperatures and cause fires inside moving vans. Even if your ammo has no defects, heat often leads to the degradation of ammunition. To prevent this, as well as to protect the safety of the driver, ammunition cannot be carried with your shipment.

How to Transport Live Ammunition During Your Move

You have various options to handle transportation of ammunition - but we recommend you take it with you when you drive to your new home, if possible. This is because you can control the temperature of the ammunition and keep it in safe conditions during the move. We recommend the same for any valuables or items that can't withstand higher temperatures or are the most subject to damage in moving.

Certain carriers will transport ammunition if you cannot transport it on your own. UPS and FedEx are examples of such carriers, but others also exist. Each carrier will have its requirements, limits, and proper paperwork. Visit their sites linked above for more information. We recommend thorough research before relying on these carriers, as limits and regulations may change at any time. Note that USPS will not ship any ammunition.

For more on what your moving company will and will not move, check out our blog on the subject.

Have a Move Coming Up? Obtain a Free Moving Quote

Bailey’s Moving & Storage has been the Rocky Mountain Area’s most trusted and valued full-service mover for over 70 years. Skip the hassle of rental trucks and DIY moves. Pick movers you can count on.

Interested in obtaining a moving quote? Use our free quote calculator to get an idea of how much your move will cost. And if you have any questions, you can always give us a call.