SureFire SOCOM300-SPS Silencer (courtesy ammoland,com)

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) press release [via ammoland.com]:

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) this week learned that United Parcel Service (UPS) had changed its policy regarding the shipment of firearms suppressors. New policy states that UPS will no longer ship suppressors, even between licensees. NSSF is working with UPS executives to determine what prompted the enforcement of this unwarranted policy. We are unaware of any thefts or losses that would explain the shipping company’s sudden decision to enforce a prohibition against shipment. NSSF will keep you apprised of developments. Separately, NSSF is also working with the U.S. State Department to achieve a change policy to allow export of suppressors.

85 Responses to UPS Bans Suppressor Shipments

      • So riddle me this:
        How does UPS know what is in the bos? What is the statute that prohibits shipping firearms between manufacturer/gunsmith and owner? What would be the permissible ups response if they did learn what is in the box? Machined parts is machined parts.

        • The big problem is that you’d better hope there are no problems with the shipment, because they wont honor any insurance for prohibited items.

        • That might have been a reasonable risk, but the posting about only “hubs” having secure storage was bothersome. The local UPS store (yes, UPS branded) has secure storage for shredding, but not for “valuables”. Kinda wonder why they don’t consider paper for shredding to be valuable. Anyway, have had great experience with FedEx re firearms shipping. No confusion over rules, not heartache over contents.

        • Well, they’re quite expensive, so you’d probably want to ship them with insurance, which means telling them what’s in the box and how much they cost…..

        • Shipped many a “household goods” pkg vis UPS, with insurance. Reckon the fun would begin when I tried to identify the lost items. BTW, pictures of lost items will not substitute for sales receipts/cancelled checks. All shipping companies require purchase documents to substantiate claims. My homeowners insurance will accept current sales information from Amazon or eBay and such. USPS doesn’t. Likely UPS/FedEx will not either. So….
          if the firearm gets lost there is probably nothing to be done.

        • In general they don’t however, unlike the USPS, their customer agreement gives UPS the right to open and inspect packages without a warrant. While it is highly unlikely that they would my guess is that if they discovered your shipment contained a suppressor (for example if the box broke open in transit) you would either never see it again or have to waste a lot of time proving that both you and the person you were shipping it to are legally entitled to posses it to whatever law enforcement agency UPS decided to turn it over to. Also, if it were lost or stolen you would be unable to collect on the shipping insurance.

        • It would be entertaining to see what would happen if a non-FFL tried to turn over a firearm. In my state, if you bring a non-owned firearm to the police, you would be arrested for unlawful possession and unlawful transfer. If you “find” a non-owned firearm, you are to leave the area, notify law enforcement of the location, and prepare for intense questioning. And oh, by the way, none of the policing agencies have an FFL, so firearms found or put in “custodial” possession of the police cannot be transferred back, nor can they be transferred to an FFL for return to the rightful owner. Catch-22, and all that.

  1. Send them USPS. Insurance is cheaper, you can track them, use 2 day…
    Screw UPS.
    Just as I tend to be a single issue voter, ups just lost any business of mine.

    • So what do I do when USPS refused to ship my Mosberg 590 to the factory for repair?

      UPS was the only one who took it no issue.

    • I don’t think a normal person can ship firearms via USPS. When looking at shipping options, I remember reading that USPS only accepts them from FFLs.

      @Tom: When I ship a firearm to an FFL, I list it as “machine parts”. It violates UPS’s policy, but it’s not illegal.

      • I had to send my Osprey back for a warranty repair and that was accomplished by me dropping it off at UPS and then me picking it up when it was fixed. No FFL involvement with that.

        I do agree with Tom though. Screw UPS. I’ve been saying that for years since they have managed to screw up so many of my shipments.

        • A non FFL can only ship a firearm to an FFL (if it crosses state lines), and then the FFL can ship it back to the originator. But when I was shipping stuff, I read that USPS will not accept a shipment unless it’s FFL to FFL. Also, it’s illegal to enter the post office with a firearm, which could create complications.

      • You can ship long guns through USPS if you’re not a dealer, but not handguns. You need an FFL for that. I wanted to ship a Mosin through the USPS, so I did all the necessary research. I even looked up what the ATF says about it, and they say anybody can ship long guns, just follow the USPS guidelines (must ship 2nd day or overnight, no labels that say “gun” on the box, must be unloaded etc.).

        Well, funny story. Since all of this took place in New Jersey, the first post office I went to refused to ship it because I’m not a dealer. I tried explaining that I don’t have to be a dealer to ship a rifle, I even had their own guidelines printed, in hand, and offered the clerk to take a look. Nope, she was not having it. She didn’t look into any official rule book either, she just went to the USPS website on her phone and stopped at the section which specifies that only dealers can ship handguns. I said that’s true, but if you scroll down you’ll see that a non-dealer can ship rifles or shotguns. Nope, she was having none of it. Just flat out refused to accept it because I was not a dealer (she kept emphasizing that, in a very stereotypical Jersey accent).

        So I left and went to a different post office, where the post master didn’t give me any problems, albeit it took him and another person about 10 minutes to double and triple check their own rules to make sure it was a legal item to ship. They wanted me to sign a piece of paper saying that it was unloaded, which I was happy to oblige. They have the right to open the package and verify everything. I said go ahead, but I want it to be repacked exactly like it was, with tons of bubble wrap (and I’m not paying for that). They decided not to do that. So I paid for postage and was on my way out. It didn’t have to be so difficult on the first try.

    • If it is a handgun you are shipping, you are stuck with UPS. USPS ships long guns but not handguns. Your other choice is Fed-Ex, with whom I had not issues when shipping a handgun out of state.

  2. And the cost of self righteousness continues to mount in this country. UPS turning its back on revenue from one of the fastest growing most lucrative segments of the firearms industry.

    I’m sure the shareholders will be pleased to hear this… Not!

    • It’s a drop in the bucket… a BIG bucket… for UPS. The shareholders will never hear about it and wouldn’t care if they do.

      That said, it’s still stupid. Folks could just write “muffler” or ‘machine parts’ on the shipping labels but I guess it’s better not to do business with them at all.

  3. This makes no business sense. Refusing to ship a specifically government approved item in a rapidly growing market is asinine.

    • Another chapter and continuation of “Operation Chokepoint”.

      With, coming from this Admin, asinine is the norm.

    • Seriously. Categorically refusing to ship suppressors, even between licensees, is crazy. It makes no sense at all. No business sense or other sense. If it wants to make some sort of “statement,” UPS could ban firearm and ammo shipments entirely. I suspect that accounts for too much actual business, though. Suppressors wouldn’t account for much but they’re also inert tubes that are no more dangerous than any other short piece of plumbing. I hope the firearms market (manufacturers, dealers, retailers) responds by dropping UPS for all shipment services. FedEx, DHL, etc, can handle moving all of the guns, ammo, and other inventory then (e.g. from Cabela’s and Bass to local FFLs drop UPS for everything = a massive revenue stream gone).

  4. UPS does not want to ship suppressors but out of the last dozen or so packages I have received shipped via UPS, 4 showed damage to the box and the contents were greatly damaged. I am not saying the would or could damage suppressors, but I would ship via Fed Ex Ground or some other method, based upon my recent experience.

  5. UPS now has a policy of refusing to ship any firearm from any of its satellite UPS Stores or contractors, like Parcels Plus, even between FFLs. You have to go to a “UPS Hub” to ship a firearm. Screw ’em.

  6. Why would UPS care about losing .000000001% of their business.

    The market will make an adjustment.

  7. I’d guess offhand it has to do with their logistics hubs being in suppressor-banned states.

    The last package I received through UPS went through Minnesota and Iowa before arriving at my door. In the former state, suppressor possession is illegal. Hence any UPS employee who handles a package at a sorting building containing a suppressor is breaking the law-whether they know it contains a suppressor or not.

    Either UPS spends business capital building NFA specific distribution centers in places where suppressor possession isnt outlawed, or they just ban the practice and have done with it. That way a paying customer who demands two day delivery isnt throwing a fit because their suppressor package got delayed from being routed around the country .Considering most states which ban them also are major transit hubs, I can see why UPS from a business viewpoint pulled the plug.

    • I work for UPS…

      Theft is a huge problem…..

      They decide what they handle for monetary reasons, not political ones.

      • Now that is interesting. UPS and FedEx claim to be highly secure; going after high-end businesses for shipment. If theft is a big problem, why are we only hearing it in this forum? UPS wants to cover-up their inefficiency and lack of security. If theft is significant, then USPS should be making that an issue, an added feature to convince the public to ship USPS (outside of actual firearms and ammunition)? Of course, with the incestuous relationship between UPS and USPS, maybe neither wants to ‘fess-up to their poor security.

      • If theft is such a problem that they don’t want to ship firearm bits, then why should anyone trust them to ship anything else?

        No more business for UPS from me!

    • Federal Common Carrier laws exempt them from those laws. Otherwise it’d be impossible to transport any restricted item, like prescription drugs or even contact lenses. And it would be impossible for them to hire a prohibited person to work at a hub or drive a truck.

    • ST,

      I am not buying it. Every employee who handles firearm packages in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and the like would be “guilty” because the firearms are not registered to the employee and/or the employee doesn’t have the local license/ID card.

      The idea that a shipping company employee is a felon when they handle “contraband” is absurd. How is a shipping employee supposed to know what is in a package? If someone shipped stolen merchandise or illegal narcotics across the United States, is the shipping company and their employees legally culpable? Not a chance.

      Remember the “intent” or “motive” thing? It ain’t there. Just like a hotel owner is not legally responsible for a sexual assault that occurs in their structure, a shipping company employee is not legally responsible for the contents of a package.

  8. As a UPS Driver for 26 years, I would wager my company would have interstate commerce regulation issues. Since not all states allow suppressor usage, a trailer with one single suppressor in a banned state would cause a problem. It would not be practical to divert the package either. So, maybe UPS is just “erring on the side of caution” and willing to take the loss. ::shrug::

    Here’s a quick and dirty map of suppressor-legal states. http://www.advanced-armament.com/Ownership-Information_ep_42-1.html

    • The, Transport of a item that is illegal in one state, but legal from the sender and purchaser is protected under federal law. I am sure they will try to say this, but it’s BS. Same with weapons transport from state to state.

    • Sorry, but this sounds dodgy because there are a lot of things that may be illegal in some states yet the cargo goes through.

    • Here’s another take on this decision. UPS is one of the most compliant companies when it comes to the union. One of the biggest strongholds for unions, other than government employees, is transportation. UPS does what the union tells it. With Ray LaHood, Obama’s former Sec. of Transportation, and former union thug, it would not be beyond belief that anti-gun politics is involved. I wouldn’t put it past any of them. Is this UPS decision really a protection payment to get on the good side of Obama and his union supporters?

  9. Use the post office. My wife has an online business and they do a great job. Granted they ain’t suppressors but some packages are large,heavy and fragile. Once again-use businesses who don’t try to screw you…

  10. Damnit, my FedEx driver sucks and the UPS driver is great.
    Frigging corporate policy means I gotta deal with the jerkoff

  11. Why would UPS care one way or another about shipping firearm suppressors — an item which only moves between entities who are, for all intents and purposes, guaranteed to be non-criminals with federal licenses (FFLs or people who acquired tax stamps from the ATF which are de facto licenses)? Isn’t that the wet dream of gun grabbers — only people with extensive federal government vetting get to have the toys? Something is going on behind the scenes.

    The thought crossed my mind long ago that a wealthy individual (cough Bloomberg cough) could offer “incentives” to a few key entities and pretty much squash the firearms industry. Clearly, there is no firearms industry if no one will ship firearm products. I wonder if UPS is testing the waters with a seemingly innocuous policy to refuse shipment of suppressors.

    Oh, and if you are wondering what those “incentives” might be, a measly (to Bloomberg) $400 million is ample cash to bribe CEOs into issuing anti-firearm policies. And just $4 million is plenty of money for a “professional” (e.g. mercenary) to threaten the life of a CEO and/or family members — and act on the threat without any concern of ever being caught.

    Think about it. You are the CEO of UPS and along comes unsolicited Double Jeopardy: declare anti-firearm policies and walk away with $50 million … or don’t and die in the next 12 months of “natural causes” or otherwise.

  12. About a year ago I had to return an item to Surefire. Brought a wrapped package to a local UPS store. They started asking for all sorts of info and wanted to open the pkg to “inspect ” it. Felt like it was the weirdest shipping experience in my life. Before the counter guy was about to open it I grabbed it back and asked that he delete all the info regards me. Walked a block to the post office and mailed it with them in 1 minute. I will never use a UPS Store again. I suspect Surefire has been flagged by UPS for awhile for some reason.

  13. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is what happens when USPS, UPS, and FEDEX decide to ban some or all types of firearms from shipment? What recourse do the firearms industry and gun owners have? I’m surprised the anti’s haven’t already exploited this tactic to the fullest. Remember, many NFA firearms and all handguns are banned by USPS (except between FFLs, and even then there are some restrictions placed on NFAs); UPS no longer accepts firearms except at their hubs, and handguns have to go overnight/two day service ($$$).

    • This is America and some entrepreneur would immediately establish a delivery service specializing in the items the other services won’t ship. If they are legal to buy and sell they would be legal to transport. In the unlikely event that attempts are made to prevent it by legislation, the carnage during prohibition would look like a Sunday picnic in comparison.

  14. So this is true. It seems like they’ve added machine-guns to the list, as well.

    “UPS accepts firearm parts for shipment, provided the part is not a “firearm” as defined under federal law; the contents of the package cannot be assembled to form a firearm; and the package otherwise complies with federal, state, and local law. (Note: Receivers or frames of a firearm are considered “firearms” and are accepted for transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS’s requirements for shipping firearms; firearm mufflers and silencers are not accepted for transportation.)

    UPS does not accept automatic weapons, including machine guns, for shipment. Firearms (including handguns) and firearm parts are not accepted for shipment internationally. UPS Returns® Services are not available for packages containing firearms.”

    https://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/guidelines/firearms.html

  15. for cowards, there is no distance too far to run, no principle too sacred to abandon, no supplication too craven to offer. likely, in my opinion, the purpose is to curry favor with the US govt for some sort of advantage in obtaining/retaining delivery contracts (such as they have with USPS and amazon). a business is wise to find some way to differentiate themselves from their competition. taking an unnecessary and unreasonable position rejecting suppressors (but not ammunition) is one way to do it.

    always did prefer fedex; know several people at ups, and they are constantly striving to be number 2. they can’t even decide what their company is called….they love to call themselves “brown”, but the public recognizes them as ups. talk about conflicting and confusing marketing.

  16. UPS threw a fit when I tried to ship an airsoft gun. Screw them. USPS is cheaper anyway. Plus they don’t say “out for delivery” then don’t deliver until 7pm.

  17. UPS’s policy for reference,
    https://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/guidelines/firearms.html

    Paragraph 1 states,

    UPS accepts packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18,
    Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code) for
    transportation only (a) between licensed importers, licensed
    manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors (as defined
    in Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code), and government
    agencies and (b) where not otherwise prohibited by federal, state or
    local law (i) from an individual to a licensed importer, licensed
    manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector; and (ii) from a
    licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed
    collector to an individual.

    Title 18 Chapter 44 says,

    (3) The term “firearm” means
    (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
    (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
    (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

    So paragraph 1 explicitly permits shipment of silencers since they are a firearm under the definition in 18/44.

    Then UPS goes on about gun parts in a separate paragraph,

    UPS accepts firearm parts for shipment, provided the part is not a
    “firearm” as defined under federal law; the contents of the package
    cannot be assembled to form a firearm; and the package otherwise
    complies with federal, state, and local law. (Note: Receivers or
    frames of a firearm are considered “firearms” and are accepted for
    transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS’s requirements
    for shipping firearms; firearm mufflers and silencers are not accepted
    for transportation.)

    Silencers are clearly not firearm parts if they are defined as a legal firearm, thus paragraph 2 does not apply.

  18. Some clarification is required. You can take a packaged long gun into a Post Office if you are shipping it to yourself in another state or to a FFL. If you have a FFL, and are shipping to another FFL, you are supposed to have a signed copy of a PS Form 1508 on file with the Post Office you are using. Most PO employees don’t know this, nor are they familiar with postal rules regarding private shipments of personal firearms by non-FFLs. As far as I know, you need only declare it is a long gun, and ship it signature required, preferably by Priority Mail. I’m not aware it must be insured or shipped 2nd-day (that does appear to be a UPS requirement on handguns). If both parties do not have a FFL, handguns cannot be mailed. They must go by UPS, FEDEX, or other common carrier. SBR, AOW, and SBS firearms are now treated like handguns by the Post Office, even if they have a shoulder stock. It appears they cannot be mailed unless broken down so that a major part (barrel or receiver) is shipped separately. Machine guns are no longer accepted for shipment by the Post Office. Now we have to deal with this crappy policy by UPS regarding suppressors. As I said before, the list keeps shrinking. Soon there may be nothing, ammo, firearms, or components, you can legally ship by any practical means. Where’s the original intent of the Commerce Clause when you need it? For that matter, where’s the NRA in this fight????

  19. Someone at the top is of progressive left mindset at UPS. I recall motorcycle mufflers being labeled as silencers in some cases. A tube with some baffles, it does nothing by itself. I suppose it could endanger my life if someone hit me in the head with one.

    When a private company begins making and applying its own law against the freedom of citizens where no such law exists, is this not the same as a form of discrimination? They do not make nor sell the product, they only move it from one location to another. Reminds me of the battles I see being waged in the LGBT communities over equality treatment.

    If UPS were legally challenged I believe they would back down.

  20. No kidding…

    I shipped a glock 19 via ups to my sister in Indianapolis. I told them exactly what it was.

    They said, no problem.

  21. Me: Hi, I’d like to ship this box to Fargo.
    UPS weenie: sure, whats in the box?
    Me: nunya, ship the package
    UPS weenie: sir, I need to know whats in the box
    Me: machine parts

  22. I’ll have to be honest, I don’t much like ups anyway. To many time my shipment would end up lost, in the wrong place, or damaged. I say just don’t use them for anything. That atleast 100 million consumer and several hundred businesses. Maybe those heady anti wanna be in charge will get the hint, if not who cares.

    As far as exporting susuppressor’s, I’ve only been on the wrong side of a suppressed gun and that freaking losser didn’t deserve a purchase permit. Anyway I dont dislike non americans I just dont want my son to be on the wrong end of a surpressed gun, just for profits. Sorry I hope the gov. just keeps saying no to that idea.

  23. What are the odds the NRA will tell people about this? Several million people suddenly choosing never to use UPS could make them wake up.

  24. I just emailed UPS and let them know how I feel. Here is what I sent them:

    Good Evening,

    It has come to my attention that UPS is now refusing to ship suppressors http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/05/robert-farago/u-p-s-bans-suppressor-shipments/ I am curious as to what brought about this change in policy. Suppressors are legally obtainable in many states and provide hearing protection for shooters. I will no longer be using UPS for any of my shipping needs until this policy and any other anti-gun policy is revoked. Have a great day 😀

  25. I predict UPS will will “revise” their decision shortly and use the same ploy they did over a decade ago when they decided handguns were a problem. Once again, instead of firing and prosecuting the criminals in their organization, and replacing them with ethical employees, they will choose to punish their customers by demanding we pay greatly increased rates for overnight and two-day service to ship suppressors. In other words, they will resort to extortion.

  26. They lost 3 Thunderbeast cans in Richmond over a month ago. They have not been found to date. TBAC has since sent new cans, the F3’s were approved and in inventory fairly quickly.

  27. This is all political, as Surefire is in California and they ship their products from Fountain Valley. Wait til UPS stops ammo shipping like Fedex already did.

  28. I tried to go by the book with my local UPS store when I shipped a pistol out of state to be repaired. The guy didn’t want to fool with it as far as filling anything out due to being busy that day and actually told me, “You know, I don’t know WHAT you’re shipping, if you catch my drift, so lets just ship it like it’s any normal item like a gift of some sort.” I said okay and there it went! But I don’t think I’ll use UPS again if they’re gonna go Liberal on me.

  29. How is it, that UPS is not a “public accommodation” like a bakery or a pizza parlor, required to serve all customers who walk through the door, without discrimination? If the product is legal, and no laws are being violated, it should ship.

  30. I already stopped using UPS a while ago because they suck. To me the letters stand for Useless Piece of Sh*t

  31. Here it says they ship them specifically:

    UPS accepts firearm parts for shipment, provided the part is not a “firearm” as defined under federal law; the contents of the package cannot be assembled to form a firearm; and the package otherwise complies with federal, state, and local law. (Note: Receivers or frames of a firearm and firearm mufflers/silencers (also referred to as suppressors) are considered “firearms” and are accepted for transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS’s requirements for shipping firearms.)

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