Postal Service Loses M1 Carbine, Declares It A ‘Prohibited’ Item

 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…”

You and I can’t ship firearms through the United States Postal Service, but FFLs ship long guns in the mail all the time because it’s usually cheaper than going FedEx or UPS. Sometimes the difference in shipping costs is big enough that I can save money by paying my FFL an extra $20 to run a rifle through his Bound Book and handle the USPS shipping for me. Either way, when you ship something through the USPS, you expect it to be delivered intact and on time. When you pay for insurance and your shipment disappears in transit, you expect the post office to pay the claim. When you’re an FFL and your collectible WWII-era M1 Carbine vanishes in transit and the USPS denies your insurance claim, it’s time to get on the phone and tell The Truth About Guns. Which is exactly what a Texas gun dealer did . . .

The Lost Shipment

ASE Consultants LLC is a Texas gun dealer that holds standard Type 01 and Type 03 licenses from the BATFE. In October of 2013, ASE shipped a standard World War II-era M1 Carbine Underwood, sans magazines, to a Type 03 FFL dealer in Redondo Beach, California using the United Stated Postal Service. This firearm was manufactured more than 50 years ago and is therefore listed and a “curio and relic.” It was re-arsenaled in 1948.

ASE insured the parcel for the market value (and price paid) of the carbine, which was $800.00. USPS tracking conformation shows that the package made it to its final destination, and that the USPS even attempted delivery. However, when the buyer tried to pick up the package, he was told that it had gone missing. The post office spent a considerable amount of time looking for the item, but eventually concluded that it was lost. OK, shit happens. ASE waited the mandatory 45 days and then promptly filed an insurance claim online.

The Denial

Here’s where things start to get, well, slimy. On December 4, 2013, the Supervisor of Domestic Claims, Accounting Services, sent both the buyer and the seller the following letter denying the claim for the lost rifle:

This letter is in response to the insurance claim referenced above. Based on our investigation, your claim has been denied because the parcel contained prohibited items. The US postal service prohibits mailing of certain types of items including, but not limited to, alcoholic beverages, certain firearms, and hazardous substances.

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on a person can only be mailed between authorized dealers as stated in 18 USC 1715. The responsibility for mailability rests with the mailer, not the US Postal Service.

[Explains appeal process, and cites to Section 601 of the Domestic Mail Manual]

Now let’s take a look at Section 609 of the Domestic Mail Manual. Entitled “Filing Indemnity Claims for Loss or Damage,” this section states that the USPS will not pay out an insurance claim for prohibited items:

4.3 Nonpayable Claims

Indemnity is not paid for insured mail, Registered Mail, COD, or Priority Mail Express in these situations:

>Nonmailable items, prohibited items, or restricted items not prepared and mailed according to postal standards, or any item packaged in such a manner that it could not have reached its destination undamaged in the normal course of the mail. [Emphasis added.]

So the USPS lost a valuable insured firearm in shipment (probably to employee theft) and now they’re telling the FFL shipper that they won’t pay the insurance claim because the firearm was a ‘prohibited item.’ Not so fast there, USPS. The applicable federal statute (cited by the USPS) is 18 U.S.C. 1715, which provides as follows:

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such articles may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe, for use in connection with their official duty, to officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps; to officers of the National Guard or Militia of a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District; to officers of the United States or of a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitments; to employees of the Postal Service; to officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States; and to watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District. Such articles also may be conveyed in the mails to manufacturers of firearms or bona fide dealers therein in customary trade shipments, including such articles for repairs or replacement of parts, from one to the other, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe.

Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any pistol, revolver, or firearm declared nonmailable by this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. [Emphasis added.]

The key language that apparently formed the basis for denial is “other firearms capable of being concealed on the person.” That’s a pretty subjective term, but fortunately the USPS has fairly clear definitions of concealable. The post office’s Publication 52, entitled Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, sets forth the applicable definitions of “handgun” and “rifle,” as follows:

431.2 Handgun

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (for example, short–barreled shotguns and short–barreled rifles) are defined as handguns. The following definitions apply:

  1. Pistol or Revolver. A pistol or revolver is a handgun designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.
  2. Short–Barreled Rifle. A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches long is defined as a short–barreled rifle. This includes any weapon made from a rifle (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.
  3. Short–Barreled Shotgun. A shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches long is defined as a short–barreled shotgun. This includes any weapon made from a shotgun (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.

431.4 Rifles and Shotguns

A rifle is a shoulder weapon having a barrel that is 16 inches or more in length. A shotgun is a shoulder weapon having a barrel that is 18 inches or more in length. Rifles and shotguns have an overall length of 26 inches or greater and cannot be concealed on a person.

An M1 Carbine has an overall length of 35.6 inches and a barrel length of 18 inches. For this reason, the M1 Carbine is properly classified as a “rifle” for purposes of both USPS regulations and 18 USC 1715. As such, an M1 Carbine cannot be “concealed on a person” for purposes of 18 USC 1715.

The Cover-Up

By claiming that an M1 Carbine is ‘unmailable’, the USPS is clearly ignoring its own policy and pertinent Federal law. But it’s a lot easier to ignore the law and send out an F-U letter than it is to investigate employee theft, particularly when their employees are part of the 330,000-member American Postal Workers Union. The USPS is hoping that ASE doesn’t appeal this denial and just eats the loss. But it’s too late for that: ASE has already appealed.

ASE will certainly win its appeal, but why can’t the mandarins of the USPS just honor their insurance contract and pay the claim in the first place? And why are they so squeamish about investigating employee theft, especially when such theft constitutes a federal felony? And finally, how would it look if some ‘disgruntled postal worker’ tools up with ASE’s stolen M1 and goes on a killing spree at the office?

Epilogue

USPS’s “too bad, so sad” letter to the mailer ends with the following:

The US Postal Service values your business. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of this matter.

Sincerely;

Supervisor, Domestic Claims
Accounting Services
PO Box 80143
St Louis MO 63180-0143.

Inconvenience? WTF? First, the USPS loses a highly collectable rifle and then it wrongfully denies the insurance claim, and all it has to say is “sorry!” That’s pretty damn sorry. To add insult to injury, the USPS is essentially accusing the mailer of committing a felony by mailing a prohibited item. Of course, they are full of shit as far as that claim goes. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a felony really had been committed: to date (two months later) there has been no follow up by the USPS to have the mailer investigated, arrested or charged.

It’s too bad the USPS doesn’t have the balls to find the real felons in this case. They probably wouldn’t have to look any farther than their own employees, but that’s probably what they’re afraid of.

comments

  1. avatar RKBA says:

    USPS and TSA: Hard to tell them apart from a distance. Or up close.

    1. avatar Panzercat says:

      Yeah, about that. A TSA employee will/should never handle your firearm should it be found on your person or in your bag at a checkpoint. That’s the PD’s job and they take it right on the spot. While I feel your burning, incessant, rabid, eye-blinding hatred for all things TSA, it’s pretty out of context here.

      1. avatar brian says:

        Please cite your source.

  2. avatar William Burke says:

    Here’s what I want to say today. My daughter asked for 4 specific things, and I ordered them as soon as she asked, on the twelfth of this month.

    And NOT ONE THING ARRIVED; nor did they offer any apologies for the fail-fail-fail-fail.

    I don’t like Amazon. However, if I’d ordered from them, they would have been here a week ago. I have nothing to give on Christmas Day.

    This sort of customer-flippant-disregard leaves me with the vague taste of poop in my mouth. The indifference is palpable. Also disgusting.

    1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      In the paraphrased words of my soon to be father-in-law, “In all my years of banking [late 80s thru early 00s], the only things we mailed through the postal service were things we didn’t give a fvck about our clients receiving.”

    2. avatar Totenglocke says:

      That sucks, but you state that you’re aware that you’d have received better service if you’d bought from Amazon. Lesson learned, I hope.

    3. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

      Do you not like amazon because they don’t sell guns and don’t allow people to use their website to sell guns?

    4. avatar JT says:

      I wouldn’t have counted on stuff from Amazon making it on time either. UPS and FedEx had just as many problems.

      http://www.chron.com/news/article/Santa-s-sleigh-delayed-after-snags-at-UPS-FedEx-5092472.php

      1. avatar Duke says:

        Not for nothing, but I ordered tons of stuff through Amazon. Up to the 19th of December and received everything on time and intact. Some came USPS, some Fed-Ex, some UPS.

        That being said, I have Amazon Prime. YMMV.

    5. avatar Josh Liter says:

      Careful with Amazon these days, Amazon has agreed to let UPS and Fedex facilitate the smail mail USPS dept.
      If the item fits in a mailbox, USPS gets the delivery and WILL Fk it up.. … GO FIGURE

  3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    “Either way, when you ship something through the USPS, you expect it to be delivered intact and on time.”

    Do you believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Mr. Hanky and the viability of the Underpants Gnomes’ business model too?

    As a FFL, I won’t use USPS for anything other than non-numbered parts, bulk bullets and documentation/books. Everything else goes by UPS, and handguns by second day air. Even then, in rural areas of the west, some non-USPS common carriers will dump their packages into the USPS, which results in “prohibited” items (eg, loaded ammo, handguns) occasionally being shipped via USPS for the last 100 miles or so. Saw this happen several times in central Nevada with packages that originated with FedEx and DHL.

    1. avatar C says:

      I will not have Mr. Hanky’s name sullied on this thread, good sir!

    2. avatar JohnnyMac says:

      You clearly are having different experiences with UPS than I am. For example, at the moment I have some airsoft guns that should have been 2nd Day Air’d from CA to Boston for delivery today but for some reason were sitting in Philadelphia (which is not the UPS hub; that is in Kentucky) this morning.

      I don’t ship guns, but for everything else where I can control the shipper, I only use FedEx.

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        My condolences on the delay of your airsoft products… but I just had to chuckle at the irony. I’ve had multiple airgun and airsoft products shipped to CA over the last several weeks. The shipments all originated in Ohio, meaning sometime-next-week delivery if I want to keep the shipping costs down.

        Perhaps we should swap vendors!

    3. avatar Josh Liter says:

      Its all about profit, If it costs less for the USPS to deliver, FED EX and UPS dumps the package to the idiots at the USPS

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Honest mistake. They thought Holder was sending another gun to the Mexican cartels.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      That there’s a winner.

    2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      So you’re saying it’s in Sinaloa by now?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        It’s probably already got a couple of bodies on it. Not counting the ones it may have gotten honestly during its first usage in the war.

  5. avatar Christl says:

    I would sue to fill the void of not having my rifle.

    1. avatar Mark D. Aul-Professional Gun-Smith says:

      good luck with sueing them 1 they have deep pockets 2 they have a room full of lawyers that tell them what to do how to do it and when to do it 3 they can tie it up that you run out of money to pay your lawyer 4 find a lawyer that would even attempt to take them on without alot of retainer money many wont because they are ant-gun them selves. 5. they will claim souverin ammunity cant sue the us government since the usps is considered a government agency the judge will throw out your suit then ur right back to where you statred from.

  6. avatar Allbaniaaaaa says:

    And that’s why USPS is goin down the shitter.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I’ve found them extremely variable. When I lived in Culpeper the Legendary, they were excellent. When in Taos, the business was contracted out. It was not just horrible, it was reprehensible. My mail was undelivered and oft-stolen. I filed at least four complaints with the Postmaster General. Each one resulted in a temporary improvement. So someone got chewed out, but not fired. When the heat disappeared, the same shit, over and over. Spanish descendants in northern New Mexico are not sincere, most despise “Anglos” as some sort of inferior “race”; ever the ones that hobnob with “Anglos” secretly disdain them.

      It’s like a little, failure-through-disdain-ridden Final Solution. But unlike Hitler, they have no idea how to run the place, so corruption and government walk hand-in-hand. And they f*cked it up royally, because the Spanish there respect MANIPULATION, not accomplishment or good government.

      “Getting over” is cause for celebration; they could give two shits how badly they impacts them.

      And they rear their children into the same mindset of violence and destruction. Shootings over petty drug disputes; one happened about two blocks from me: they overdosed the guy, put him in his car, and set it on fire!

      However, I must say, I never experienced any trouble. One New Years Day, heavy snowfall, I saw, near my postal boxes, an imprint of an Owl’s wings. He probably tracked a field mouse under the snow, and swooped down, made a cave in the snow, and got ‘im.

      And the cops came in. Four cars. I brought my camera, and put on a heavy coat over sweat pants; an officer asked for my ID. “I left it at home. I just came to take photos in the specific light!”

      Even showed it to him. Four squad cars. He radioed the station: “This is not the guy.”

      They had a call-in of a “suspicious person” in somebody’s yard wearing “camo”. It wasn’t me, and the officer quickly made that determination. To his credit.

      That might be a rambling thing. I apologize. It’s Christmas.

      1. avatar Allbaniaaaaa says:

        The rambling kept my attention so it was good lol merry christmas.

      2. avatar Stinkeye says:

        You might want to ease up on the ol’ egg nog, William…

  7. avatar Hannibal says:

    Might want to try filing a police report as well, and contacting the postal inspector.

  8. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    only the government can run a monopoly at $16billlion loss in 2012.

    1. avatar Tiks895 says:

      Actually they turned a $500 million dollar profit if they weren’t required to prefund retirement for employees that are not even born yet. And they don’t receive a single cent of taxpayers money

  9. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You may have just discovered WHY the USPS is cheaper than the competition. (That and the annual taxpayer bailouts.)

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      There is something you need to factor into this subject. Congress wrote a bill that MANDATED that the USPS fund their retirement 75 years in advance. This is unique in our country’s history. Have understanding for the little thinkers they influenced.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I’m not sure what the details of their pensions are, but funding pensions that far in advance would mean you only need to put down pennies on the dollar with 75 years of interest. The other thing congress has mandated is that no private company is allowed to deliver first class mail and no other company is allowed to charge less than the USPS for parcel post. Nothing spells efficiency like a government operated monopoly.

  10. avatar Javier says:

    USPS is the only company I know of that routinely gets away with selling a “two-day” service that takes four business days every time.

  11. avatar Cubby123 says:

    The first thing you do is report it stolen to both local police and ATF since it is on a C and R license,then you notify FBI that some “terrorist ” employee at the local post office has stolen an “assault” weapon( M1has been officially designated that by the Anti’s) .Then you let the local news media know of the possible danger of the local post office employee who has potentially stolen a firearm to do ” who ,knows what ‘locally”, then you call ABC,NBC,CBS, National in New York so it get’s National attention .Then you file a lawsuit in Federal court against the PostOffice and make sure the News media gets a wind of it ( It won’t go anywhere but the attention is great and the Bad press will force the PO to act( and hopefully roll some heads .
    You may not get the gun back ,you will get your money back and your gun store sales will soar!

    1. avatar user3369 says:

      THIS THIS THIS

    2. avatar rawmade says:

      He would just be crucified for sending GASP an assault rifle GASP through the mail. Then theyd tout how easy it is to order guns online and have them shipped to your house and anyone can just steal them and theres millions of missing assault rifles going into criminal jands because of dangerous people like this FFL…
      And you know it haha

      1. avatar RonC says:

        Yup, that’s exactly how it would be spun!

  12. avatar Roy says:

    Unless you suddenly get evidence to suggest a cover-up, why would you just assume that there is one and not just a mistake?
    See Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
    Or as the Brits say “Cock-up before conspiracy”

    1. avatar Steve says:

      It’s difficult to believe that a postal worker could “misplace” a 36″ long, 6 lb package (potentially with the names of two gun dealers on it). It’s not a letter, FFS…

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        You must not deal with them very often if you think that’s not something that happens.

    2. avatar Gadsd N. Flagg says:

      This experience duplicates almost exactly my own, except that it was a shipment of bullion from Gainesville Coins in Florida. I got a delivery notice, but when I went to pick it up from the main post office in town, it was “missing.” Too bad, so sad. They said give them three days, but no callback. I started calling everyone, including the postmaster and the local postal inspector, but they were only concerned to find out how I got their phone number. They seriously didn’t give a (feces) about my missing package.

      Gainesville Coins, however, was fantastic about it. They explained about the necessary 45-day wait, and then at the end of that they sent me a letter to sign in which I promised that if the missing shipment ever arrived that I swore to send it back to them. Sounded fair to me! Once I returned that signed letter, they re-shipped a duplicate order via UPS and I got it in three days. First-class outfit.

      But yeah, I do think USPS has a major theft problem whenever one of their droids figures out that a package might be valuable. Gainesville Coins told me this happens to them frequently enough that they know the USPS “missing package” drill by heart. And I can only assume that they’re (somewhat) successful in getting reimbursed for their insured shipments, but that’s up to them. Either way, my experience fully supports the “cover-up” hypothesis, since NO ONE at USPS made any effort to actually help me, much less to launch an investigation into the theft.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        In the future, try and contact your local postmaster.

      2. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

        Is Gadsd N. Flagg your given name or is that an expertly veiled refence to the famous “gadsen flag” so often used as symbol of our community!

        1. avatar Gadsd N. Flagg says:

          LOL! I thought my reference was about as overt as possible. I’m not a subtle guy; just ask my wife of 30 years…

  13. avatar Dogman says:

    Bureaucrats believe the law states whatever they want it to state.

  14. avatar Peter says:

    Has the BATFE been notified about the theft?

  15. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    It may just be my perception, but whenever the .gov and an M1 carbine is involved there is a lot of hate. I would think by the way they react to the M1 carbine that it was an extremely dangerous uber killy weapon.

  16. avatar Tom Cannon says:

    1. The postal service has recently hired a large number of new employees without the usual testing and background checks and at a very low wage.
    2. If this was theft (likely) the perpetrator WILL be caught but your rifle is probably gone forever. The inspection service takes employee theft very seriously. You can bet they are all over the theft of a firearm.
    3. The postal service deficit is entirely due to an act Congress passed requiring the USPS, and no other agency or business, to pay $5,000,000,000 per annum for I forget how many years to fund the USPS portion of future (we’re talking decades in the future) retirerees’ health insurance premiums. In other words, an accounting trick. Nothing to do with postal pensions which are fully funded by employees contributions.
    4. The USPS receives and has not received any taxpayer money since 1971. It is a government owned corporation funded entirely by postage revenue. Congress doesn’t even fully allocate funds to pay for its own postage use.
    5. How do I know all this? I’ve worked there for 36 years and seen the congress steal money from the USPS for its own use many, many times. It’s only independent unless they want more easy readily available cash.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Excellent point, Tom; the burdens placed upon the USPS were not levied upon any other agency. It’s as if Congress set out to destroy the last (however poorly) agency of the Federal Government.

      These are burdens expressly designed to bring the USPS to its knees.

      An aside: I ordered four gifts for my daughter for Christmas on the twelfth of this month. Not one arrived. No email apologies, no concession to shittiness. Business in America has devolved into a state of “screw you; we’ll send it when we feel like it”.

      Amazon, to their credit, doesn’t operate on this model, nor do most cigar retailers, who do an admirable job.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    The headline for the following story is “Postal employee sentenced for stealing 11,000 packages.”

    And that’s just one guy. Multiply him by — lets be ultraconservative — a thousand of those thieving union assh0les and I’m surprised that anything actually gets delivered.

    http://www.9news.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=166896

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      $20 an hour, and they still steal. Okay… the Randists would say that the more you pay someone, the better they will perform. BULLSHIT. This is the political philosophy of thirteen-years old assholes, who understand nothing.

      It doesn’t matter how much you pay a thief; he will still steal.

  18. This is not unexpected. I sent an AR15 upper through the mail late last year. It was destroyed by the USPS. I filed a claim which was denied a couple of times. Finally on the last appeal, and after a letter I submitted from the FTB that an AR15 upper is not a firearm the USPS agreed and paid the $950 claim.
    http://www.kwikrnuarms.com/usps_18usc1715.htm

    I had a FFL, but I was sending some AR lowers and the USPS postmaster banned me from a post office because I argued with him. FFLs are allowed to send firearms with a filled out 1508.
    http://www.kwikrnuarms.com/franklin_tn_post_office.htm

    The USPS employees are idiots when it comes to firearms.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      “The USPS employees are idiots”

      I distilled it down for you. When you give halfwits the sense of empowerment, this is what happens.

      Back in Virginia, I have not encountered this reprehensible behavior. But in New Mexico, it was endemic. When they actually delivered something of value, it was a cause for celebration.

  19. avatar The Last Marine out says:

    Wake up call time . why are people still trusting in their false god the government, the government of today will not and does not stand by it’s own rules ….I have stuff left outside my door and no knock.. I got a package that not only the name and address was wrong but was only 10 states away…. I had returns lost several times , and you are out of luck.. Go to mail a package the first question from the mail jerk is what is inside … so much for 4A….We have no more rights.. GET REAL people……..

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      To be fair to the post office, I’ve had similar crappy experiences with UPS and FedEx, too. Seems there are no longer any quality choices in the package delivery game. Like most large service-based businesses in this country, they just do not give a crap once they have your money.

  20. I would like to know if the ffl filled out a USPS form 1508 when the rifle was initially shipped. If he did not, I understand why the claim was denied.

    1. avatar Sha-Zam says:

      Form 1508 is only for mailing handguns. A rifle or shotgun can be mailed by anyone without filling out a 1508.

  21. avatar Skyler says:

    So now the post office is being politicized? They know they will lose in court eventually, but they have deeper pockets than gun dealers. The more they drive small businesses down the better they like it.

  22. avatar supergrover says:

    stereotypical, bureaucratic pass-the-buck and/or run around; makes me mad. what happened to personal responsibility? i mean, it’s not even personal!

    also, doesn’t he realize that he is better off to pay the insurance and take the heat than so much as risk a lawsuit? AND he can blame the thief (whether he exists or not) for the ‘theft’– eliminating the risk of unemployment; but now ‘they’ can fire him for wrongly denying an insurance claim. is he stupid or just too lazy to figure this out himself?

  23. avatar Joe Grine says:

    And Just think! These same dumb government mother**kers want to control your health insurance!

    1. avatar John says:

      ^^^Want to…… they already are 🙁

  24. avatar John in Ohio says:

    USPS is an agency of the federal government and is therefore constrained by the Second Amendment. Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution created the postal service so it defies logic to believe that a prohibition in the same document wouldn’t apply to it. Their restrictions on the shipping of arms is an infringement; unconstitutional.

  25. avatar Dermott says:

    It’s unfortunate or more, but we’ve had good luck with the postal service. They ARE losing money because Congress made them prefund their pension . . . too bad the A**HOLES didn’t do that for Detroit or the other major public pensions failures. And why do you say they picked the USPS? Well UPS and FedEx may have had something to do with that in an attempt to run the USPS into the ground. UPS and FedEx routinely hand over the final delivery to the USPS because they do not service every address in the country, which the USPS has to deliver to every address. One might consider delivering to a mountain top or desert somewhat of a money loser.
    FedEx and UPS cherry pick what they want.
    Agreed USPS is inefficient but as an FFL, we get advice from UPS and FedEx guys to add address labels to all sides of the box, that way crooked FedEx and UPS employees cannot quickly slap on a new label with a new address (routed to their friends home), it cuts down on theft.
    It’s crony capitalism, private companies cherry pick the profits and leave government entities like USPS to take the hit.
    Just like DOD let the Google execs fly their private jets out of a small NASA airport close to their headquarters so they didn’t have to be bothered with busy commercial airport and they got cheap aviation fuel and hangars to boot (their “savings” are estimated in the millions). You don’t think some General or Admiral or political appointee got season tickets or something else? If you don’t think that you are an idiot.

    Some UPS and FedEx employees use our shipments packages to test packages dropped from 500 feet onto concrete.

    And I DO NOT work for the USPS nor have any friends or family or business acquaintances who do.

  26. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    I trust Shannon Watts won’t go and protest in front of the STL post office when she comes back into Missouri to visit her family here for the holidays. . . .

  27. I recently sent a package to
    “AUSTRIA
    EUROPE”
    with barcoding from their system to make sure.
    It went to Australia.

    Two months back I sent something to Springfield, IL, from here in Indy. It went to MO distro, then to SPI, got marked as UNDELIVERABLE, another zip in SPI, back to the first, back to MO distro, back to SPI, back to MO, here to IN distro, back to MO, back to SPI, the other SPI, MO, sat in MO for a week, went to ATL. ATL sent it to MO, to SPI and it was delivered. Yes, the address was correct.

  28. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

    Wait…you can’t ship guns through USPS without an FFL!??

    News to me….I do it all the time. The drive to Nashville from Chattanooga costs a lot more than shipping.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      How far is that? Over 300 miles?

  29. avatar Aragorn says:

    Report it stolen…because that’s what happened. You left it with USPS who would do the job of transporting it and you bought insurance. They failed to do this and an employee of theirs STOLE IT.

    My friend had someone mail them cash for their kids…they found the envelope opened, card and cash gone. Some USPS scumbag in the bowels of the gov’t stole from them. They sent an apology letter but personally, I’d demand they replace the money. I hope my friend does this.

    1. avatar Will says:

      It has been told for a very long time now to NEVER EVER EVER send cash through the mail. First, some thief in employment of the postal service could intercept and steal it (breaking federal laws) or the recipient could easily become dishonest about getting it. Do we need a reminder planted in everyone’s life about not sending cash through the mail?

  30. avatar Southerner says:

    If this was a Folding Stock aka “Paratrooper” version, then the postal service could be relying on their interpretation of the 26″ or longer rule. This in spite of long standing Federal regulations that only measure OAL in the extended position for legality – assuming a barrel length of 16″ or longer.

  31. avatar squashpup says:

    I always found it ironic that the P.0. and other carriers offer insurance. It’s as if you should know they’ll screw up and give them more money to protect yourself from their screwup. You’re paying for a service, but if you don’t give them extra money to ensure that you get that service, it’s your own fault. If you applied that philosophy to other businesses, it’d be laughable.

    “Okay, sir, I have your order as a steak hoagie and fries. Would you like to buy food poisoning insurance with that?”

    “Okay, ma’am, we’ll have your car fixed by Wednesday. Would you like to buy insurance in case we render your car into an undriveable piece of crap?”

    “We understand that the shirt we sold you had a hole in it and two missing buttons. But since you didn’t buy shirt insurance, there’s nothing we can do.”

    Ridiculous.

  32. avatar rawmade says:

    I actually prefer to use USPS over FedEx or UPS (except next day)
    They are cheap, and their 2-3 day shipping is so cheap amd luckily for me ive never really had an issue with them…yet. its always gotten here in 2 or 3 days, while FedEx or UPS takes up to a week depending on where the weekend is for similar priced or even more expensive service.
    I will say UPS is SHEISTY about late packages. They screw up and they will put “adverse weather conditions” for however long they want. Spend $100 on next day? They screw up they WILL put adverse weather conditions and that cancels out any claim against not being on time even though it’s guaranteed.
    Had a next day shipment held in southern California for 6 days due to Adverse weather conditions. …clear and sunny all week haha.
    Just google UPS adverse weather conditions and youll see.
    All of the shippers are liars. Ill keep using USPS until I have a bad experience

  33. avatar niceguns says:

    Maybe someone at the post office is just going to go postal. no big deal, Postal servose not worried to much about that. Besides It would make for more great theater.

  34. avatar Will says:

    But hey! You saved money on shipping! This is why UPS charges more.

  35. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    This USPS is the same outfit whose severe volume decreases in the last five years continue to pile up annual operating losses; $5 billion with a “b” last fiscal year alone. Sooo…..what’s a bloated, inept, anti-customer service, government monopoly to do? Why, raise prices, that’s what! Your first class stamps are going up another three cents to 49 cents on 1-26-14. No mention at this time as to how many firearms they plan to steal and deny insurance claims for in the coming year.

    Save yourselves the headache and, in the long run, the money, and just work with real logistics professionals such as UPS or FedEx. UPS was actually out there with golf carts and UHaul trucks to supplement their heavily burdened fleet and deliver packages in icy north Texas on Christmas Eve! Where’s your mailman during all of this? Nowhere to be found, unless you look possibly down at the range with his new rifle.

  36. avatar Jeff says:

    I suggest that folks take a very careful reading of 432.1 of the postal regs: http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_009.htm

    The part that just about every dealer *forgets* to do is this one:

    ” 432.2 PS Form 1508

    PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms, must be completed by each firearm manufacturer or dealer who deposits firearms for mailing. The form must be filed with the postmaster of the post office of mailing.”

    Without that statement, the firearm *is* prohibited. This is what the USPS hangs their hat on just about every time they deny a claim for shipped firearms of any kind. As an aside, concealable weapons *can* be shipped as long as it is FFL to FFL… as long as there is a 1508 filed EVERY time.

  37. avatar louringe says:

    Him having shipped firearms over three decades I have had as much trouble with FedEx and UPS then I’ve had with the United States post office. Some of the things that I have questions about that were in the additional story being is the gun was going to California I would be interested to know whether or not the shipping party had gotten a letter to ship a firearm to California and what size magazines they shipped along with the M1 carbine.

    The problem with shipping guns to California as a lot of people are unaware that you must have a letter from the California Department of Justice in order to ship a firearm into California and it must be shipped to a dealer that’s California state law.

    I’ve had FedEx lose guns I have had UPS lose guns and they were not especially quick on paying and in one particular instance in the 80s with UPS their inspectors came out and came just short of calling me a thief because the company that I ordered the gun from had not been paid but yet I had received the gun delivered the gun to a customer and somehow UPS didn’t get the money what a shock

    I have found one particular advantage of shipping guns through the post office is the fact that you have tracking info should you wish to go to the expense you can send the firearm registered mail and in the seven years I have been doing this since moving from California to Texas I have yet to have a problem with any firearm that I have shipped by USPS.

  38. avatar Jay E. Simkin says:

    Per 18 USC 1715, a non-licensed person may not mail a handgun (or a “concealable” firearm). A non-licensed person may lawfully mail rifles and shotguns.

    The signatory of the letter denying the claim is simply wrong. I’d not argue with someone, who cannot read the Domestic Mail Manual.

    Rather, I’d report the missing parcel to the US Postal Inspectors (USPIS). The USPIS is the Postal Service’s police force. Postal Inspectors have arrest powers. They will assign the matter top priority.

    Thefts from the mail – even of “junk mail” – usually are prosecuted as felonies. Understandably, most USPS employees do not want to have contact with the USPIS.

    You can contact the USPIS via a link on the USPS Home, on the lower right corner (Other USPS sites – Postal Inspectors).

    The duty to report the loss/theft is on the party, who mailed the firearm.

    For collectible/heirloom/high-value items, it is best to send them USPS Priority Mail, Registered. A registered item is signed-for, by each USPS employee, who has charge of the item.

    Using Registered Mail for high-value items actually is cheaper than ordinary Priority Mail. The reason: once the $11 Registry fee is paid, the insurance premium is about one-fourth that payable, for an item sent via Priority Mail. Thus, a $2,000 handgun sent via Priority Mail, Insured, will require $24.65 for the insurance premium. If that same handgun is sent Registered, the Registry fee is $11, to which will be added the insurance premium of $5.85 ($16.85 for Registry fee and insurance). It is thus nearly $8.00 less to mail a Registered parcel – which is far more secure – than it is to send that same parcel by ordinary Priority Mail. Key difference: a Registered parcel must be sealed with paper – not plastic – tape.

    In short, the mailer should call the USPIS and report the theft.

  39. avatar FedUp says:

    So, what’s the basis for claiming a M-1 Carbine is concealable, other than the apparent fact that an employee in the delivery post office managed to conceal it?

    It’s also possible that some very lucky (and dishonest) resident went up to the counter to claim a package, and the idiot handed him the carbine instead of his own package.

    1. avatar Jay E. Simkin says:

      I’ve held a Federal Firearms License for 30+ years. An M-1 Carbine is NOT a “concealable” firearm. The USPS employee, who so claimed, is simply wrong. This is a “red herring”. Waste no time analyzing the views of morons!

      When a firearm entrusted to the USPS is not delivered, the sender should notify the Postal Inspectors, as soon as possible after it is clear, that the parcel has “gone missing”.

      The sooner the Postal Inspectors are notified, the more likely it is they’ll find the missing parcel.

      To contact the Postal Inspectors, go to the USPS Homepage. In the lower right corner, you’ll see: USPS – Other Websites – Postal Inspectors. Click on the link. You’ll see the contact phone numbers.

  40. avatar Rick says:

    according to the regulation, the rifle would only be a prohibited item if it was NOT being shipped between FFl’s. Since it’s travelling between FFLs in the article, by the letter of the law it is no longer “prohibited”.

    here in CA, the M1 carbine does not get C&R exemption because of semiauto status and removeable box magazine. original M1’s used to get it, but not sure if they still do. I wouldn’t ship one USPS anyway as they’re all increasingly rare heirlooms and need to be shipped like priceless art nowadays.

    The insurance claim is because someone knows what a M1 is worth LOL. Or they don’t want to investigate and then the political sh*tstorm that would ensue should it’s loss be proven to be internal theft.

    1. avatar Jay E. Simkin says:

      The firearm’s format – and opinions on that matter – are simply not relevant.

      What is relevant: a firearm in the care of the USPS did not reach its destination. That requires the US Postal Inspectors to be alerted.

      Even were an unlawfully-mailed firearm to go missing – NOT the case here – the USPS needs to find out what happened to it.

      The USPS official – who did not alert the Postal Inspectors – was seriously negligent. Even so, the burden is on the shipper, to notify law enforcement (the US Postal Inspectors) that the shipment had not reached its destination.

  41. avatar creeper says:

    Three of my packages went astray this year…a record number. All of them were shipped United Parcel Service. The Post Office delivered everything in their care on time and intact.

    What you have here is one rogue USPS facility and an upper-level bureaucrat who doesn’t give a damn about performing his job. Don’t discontinue reporting on this incident. The individuals responsible for this mess need to pay a price for their perfidy. But please don’t tar an entire organization because of the malfeasance of a few.

  42. avatar FirearmConcierge says:

    This smells fishy for a number of reasons, and I am reticent to take a TTAG writer to task but wrong – is wrong.

    First things….

    ” but FFLs ship long guns in the mail all the time because it’s usually cheaper than going FedEx or UPS. ”

    Wrong. FFL’s RARELY use USPS for long guns. It is the most expensive way to ship a long gun CONUS, but it can be cost effective to Alaska/Hawaii.

    “ASE Consultants LLC is a Texas gun dealer that holds standard Type 01 and Type 03 licenses from the BATFE.”

    Wrong again. A business cannot hold an 03 license. 03’s are C&R, not for business or commercial operations.

    “ASE shipped a standard World War II-era M1 Carbine Underwood, sans magazines, to a Type 03 FFL dealer in Redondo Beach, California using the United Stated Postal Service.”

    Wrong again. 03’s are not dealers. I suspect this is an individual with an 03, a fact that the author did not verify as C&R FFL’s are not verifiable under ATF EZ Check.

    The rest of the information – seems correct, as firearms are mailable items and this is a paperwork snafu, and an insurance claim is most certainly not the easiest thing to navigate – but based on my knowledge of the DMM and the USPS claims process, this should get approved with the proper rebuttal and navigation of paperwork hell.

  43. avatar Jeremy says:

    “You and I can’t ship firearms through the United States Postal Service, but FFLs ship long guns in the mail all the time ”
    Wrong. You and I can ship long guns through the United States Postal Service. You can verify this by reading USPS’s manual. Of course USPS employees rarely understand this though so in practice you may not be able to ship a long gun.

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