What Are the Rules for PCSing With Guns?

PCSing With Guns
(Caleb Vance/DVIDS)

My husband owns several handguns, and we are going to be moving soon. We want the packers to move the guns. I was told every military mover has different rules about moving guns. How can we find out what the rules are?

Luckily, the information you were given is wrong. The truth is that moving firearms is covered under the same rule for everyone as part of the defense transportation regulations. And, just so that you don't have to look up that regulation yourself, we'll break it down for you. Quick note, though: if you're moving overseas (OCONUS), you'll want to double-check with your base transportation office.

Your movers can and will move your personal firearms, provided they aren't on the excluded list. That list includes semi-automatic assault weapons, machine guns, short barrel shotguns, short barrel rifles and silencers. The movers also will not ship any ammunition, which we suppose makes sense considering that they aren't supposed to pack batteries or candles.

So what will they ship? Pretty much everything else. That includes conventional firearms, antique firearms and surplus military firearms -- as long as you have the correct licenses and permits required by law.

The only things you need to do before shipping your guns with the mover is to have those documents handy in case the movers ask for them and make sure the firearms aren't loaded.

Of course, allowing your movers to take any item is a risk. Stuff, especially high-value items, can sometimes go missing. And if your firearms don't show up on the other side of your move, it's not quite as simple as claiming missing bread pans.

According to the regulation, if they go missing you have to immediately notify your commander, your branch's investigative service and the military's Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), which oversees military moves.

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Benefits PCS Family and Spouse