Walther P22 with silencer (courtesy semperfiarms.com)

Statement from Steve Gaut, Vice President, Public Relations, United Parcel Service:

UPS accepts for shipment certain firearms, firearms ammunition and firearms accessories as long as the shipments comply with applicable law and are shipped in accordance with company policies.  These shipments are between licensed manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors and exclude consumer shipments.  UPS has for many years restricted shipments of silencers or mufflers as part of the company’s firearms and ammunition policy. Click here for the company’s general policy. UPS recently became aware of a shipper that tendered silencers for shipment . . .

Consistent with the general policy, UPS informed the company that it could no longer accept shipments of packages containing those specific products. UPS will engage in discussions with licensed entities about compliance with all applicable laws and regarding the potential establishment of a contractual exception to the general policy under which UPS may ship such products. These discussions will occur on a company-by-company basis and are proprietary.

There was no policy change, UPS has always excluded shipping silencers as part of our general policy on firearms and related items. When we became aware of a shipper that tendered silencers our security group acted to enforce the policy. UPS will be contacting licensed manufacturers and wholesalers to ensure that we have appropriate contractual provisions in place that establish an exception to the general policy on silencers.

UPS uses the general policy to ensure that appropriate exceptions are carefully reviewed and documented. The general policy exists because there are different laws state-to-state that ban or restrict ownership of silencers. UPS is sensitive to these different statutes and to the existence of National Firearms Act licensing requirements and the Special Occupational Tax associated with these silencers.

We seek to ensure that our customers have in place adequate managerial controls to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. We understand that 11 states currently ban possession of silencers. We must have reasonable confidence, supported by adequate due diligence, to expect that shipments tendered by our customers comply with all laws governing the contents of the package.

I would appreciate your assistance to correct misperceptions that have arisen in the firearms industry as a result of the stories from last weekend.

ED: Here’s a Q&A Mr. Gaut just sent me:

Q. Why did you change the policy?

A. There was no policy change, UPS has for many years excluded shipping silencers as part of our general policy on firearms and related items.

Q. Why single-out silencers?

A. UPS uses the general policy to ensure that appropriate exceptions are carefully reviewed and documented.  The general policy exists because there are different laws state-to-state that ban or restrict ownership of silencers.  UPS is sensitive to these different statutes and to the existence of National Firearms Act licensing requirements and the Special Occupational Tax associated with these silencers.

We seek to ensure that our customers have in place adequate managerial controls to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.  We understand that 11 states currently ban possession of silencers.  We must have reasonable confidence, supported by adequate due diligence, to expect that shipments tendered by our customers comply with all laws governing the contents of the package.

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67 Responses to UPS: Why We Ban Silencer Shipments, Generally

  1. Suppressors/Silencers are not what they are in the movies, but they are still pretty darn awesome, and at least more awesome than UPS.

    • Suppressors/Silencer’s don’t kill people (it’s true, they’ve never killed anyone, you can’t even really beat someone well with one because they are by nature short and light). Full-auto Swat Teams kill people.

    • “Special Occupational Tax ?” Right, we’re not after your guns, and once we get them all, we will not occupy you.

      • SOT is a federal requirement above and beyond the FFL that allows a dealer to deal in NFA items. It has nothing to do with UPS.

        It sounds like he spent 1000 words to say, “we don’t want the ATF to raid one of our hubs, shutting it down for a week, costing us millions in revenue.”

        UPS isn’t the enemy here, the ATF and NFA are. UPS is a victim as much as the guy shelling out an extra $200 and waiting six months for a device that protects his hearing.

        • The ATF isn’t going to go into a hub and start randomly opening millions of packages any more than they are going to go to the Post Office and do it. If the were to pull something that asinine, then the general public would consider shutting down the useless agency.

        • Exactly so.

          The ATF won’t raid a UPS hub because it would be a PR nightmare for them. BUT if they can marginalize UPS, as that lovely partial reciever distributor is marginalized, or those fine people who make guitars, the “public” won’t be outraged because it’s “those guys.” This is why citizen rights to self defense, with guns, have to be normalized, and why the folks on the other side of the debate work so hard to insist that gun owners are “those people.”

          This is a story at least as old as people living in groups. It’s bad to be a green monkey.

        • Thats crap. The ATF and state laws specifically exclude common carriers from possession restrictions if they possess in the process of delivering a generally prohibited item.

          Case in point: Silencers are illegal in MA for everyone except for LEOs under very specific circumstances AND “Federally licensed firearms manufacturers”. Which means that anyone who possesses an 07 FFL (no SOT needed) can legally possess a silencer in MA. And UPS can legally deliver a silencer to an 07 in MA.

        • This statement is factually incorrect.

          An SOT is not under any circumstances required for an FFL to deal in NFA items.

        • You’re absolutely right. UPS has the most liberal policies about shipping firearms and ammunition. The problem is with state and federal regs slowly making it more difficult to obtain firearm related merchandize. I don’t believe this is a political or anti-gun decision by UPS. I think it is just a business decision to avoid potential criminal liability imposed by multiple regulations by the feds and states.

        • “. . . a business decision to avoid potential criminal liability imposed by multiple regulations by the feds and states.” I think you are on to something here. Sort of like Operation ChokePoint. Banking for FFLs isn’t an important enough line-of-business to justify banks fighting with their regulators; so, they became vulnerable to government extortion. Who was hurt? A few FFLs and hundreds of thousands of gun buyers.

          If your insight is correct, then we might very well be looking at the same problem/solution as Operation ChokePoint.

          The common carriers don’t care enough about the revenue for carrying guns and gun parts; its too small. They will make a business decision to defend themselves as the expense of their shippers and consumers.

          Shippers don’t care ENOUGH about the first few targeted products. Silencer manufacturers care a great deal; but they are not numerous. Class III FFLs care a lot, but they too are not numerous. Once this idea takes hold, it will be extended to – let’s say – 100% receivers and then 80% receivers and then barrels.

          Now, the mail-order dealers will become affected; but these parts constitute a small fraction of their overall business. So, they won’t fight it.

          Perhaps we consumers need to recognize the handwriting on the wall and move our Congress-critters to pass a Freedom-of-Common-Carriers-in-Lawful-Products act.

  2. Well done posting the response. UPS is just covering their tracks against lawsuit in those 13 states. Hallelujah that I finally live in one of the “other” 37. Yay me!

  3. Hey, I think it’s great that they felt the need to clarify for TTAG. I’m sure lots of us don’t like the policy, and would rather it be the sender or recipient that gets to make the decision, but at least there’s logic. UPS is not the government, and they can decide what they want. My business sense can definitely sympathize with the difficult decisions they have to make. So, props for issuing a statement.

    • I’m not sure the ATF could hold or would try to hold UPS responsible for shipping a silencer to a prohibited place or party. There’s only so much knowledge and responsibility (and screening) UPS can have about the packages it delivers. Has a contract carrier ever been held liable for transporting drugs across state lines or technically committing other Federal felonies by transporting prohibited items/substances across state lines? I don’t think they would be held liable for NFA violation for shipping a silencer in violation of various laws either. The shipper — as in, the person who contracts UPS to delivery his/her package — is the party responsible for ensuring that the package is only going to a place that it can legally go. If UPS is so concerned about its own liability for moving these items, its policy could be some sort of waiver/declaration that the shipper signs declaring that he/she is aware of State and Federal laws related to the shipment of firearms and NFA items and that this shipment is in full compliance with all applicable law, etc etc

      • So UPS should count on the ATF to act logically and rationally?

        Hope is not a plan.

        I can’t really blame UPS here – they didn’t create the webs of stupid laws. They just live here.

      • ” Has a contract carrier ever been held liable for transporting drugs across state lines or technically committing other Federal felonies by transporting prohibited items/substances across state lines?”

        Yes, many times, here are just a few, you can google hundreds more:

        UPS sued in NY for shipping untaxed cigarettes
        http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ups-sued-in-ny-for-shipping-untaxed-cigarettes-2015-02-18

        UPS Pays $40 Million for Illegal Drug Shipment
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-03-29/ups-settles-probe-of-illegal-online-drug-shipments-u-s-says

        If you add fines for Hazmat items, your search will go up.

        In short, shippers can and have been fined, sued etc. for shipping illegal items even if they did not know. The US Govt sucks!

        • Well in that case, I understand the policy. Shipping anything so highly regulated is highly risky, then. Politics aside and entirely regardless of what the items are, if they’re subject to so many State and Federal regs and UPS can be held liable for unknowingly shipping them in violation of the law, then I’d have a blanket policy against shipping them also. Probably with the same exception of approving it on a case-by-case basis, e.g. a certain business demonstrates responsible and knowledgeable business practices and I conclude that they are highly unlikely to ship anything in violation of any law, so I make a one-off exception and allow that business to ship the otherwise-restricted items.

      • didn’t the state of new york just sue UPS for shipping cigarrets to people in new york? it’s agains the law or something. ups claims that they don’t know what’s in the boxes. new york state says that doesn’t. matter… and didn’t they settle out of court? this is recent news. google will pull up articles with facts.

  4. Summary:
    We dont want “regular” people to ship silencers, only companies can ship silencers. Because companies know the laws better, just ask Stag Arms.

  5. With this bs, losing my last package, and shipping me my neighbors random packages frequently(not the house next door but two or more houses down and also some from the other side of the street)… ups is about as high on my list as usps.

    • I’ve had both very good and very bad service from UPS, shipped from the same company. “Eh”-to-bad service at one address (e.g. boxes damaged), good service at another across town after we moved.

      My conclusion is that while a lot can go wrong along the delivery chain, about 75% of my service problems from UPS cropped up the last stage of delivery. E.g. the driver on your route matters. A lot.

    • Had lots of issues with UPS. Never had an issue with USPS, including years as an eBay seller. USPS is good to go in my book.

      • Had lots of issues with USPS. Never had an issue with UPS, including years as an eBay seller. UPS is good to go in my book.

  6. So given the byzantine myriad of conflicting state laws on silencer restrictions UPS has taken precautions to avoid being an unintended felonious participant in the importation of a prohibited item into a jurisdiction that prohibits silencers, such as CA.

    Makes perfect sense given the likelihood that more than a few uninformed/misinformed, sleepy or inattentive employee will inevitably create liability for the company.

  7. So UPS hopes to calm the masses by saying
    No wait, we didn’t just start this. We’ve had this Crappy policy for years. It’s ok now right?

    • No, it’s more like, “We don’t want to have legal trouble by moving suppressors interstate, so we’ll take measures to ensure that we limit our risk. We only knowingly ship suppressors when we know it’s safe.” As much as we might disagree with the policy, it does make sense, and it’s their prerogative.

      • When is a suppressor not safe? When it’s somehow loaded? It’s a damn metal tube, no one has ever been harmed by one, unless he dropped it on his foot.

        This sounds like the company has been illegally pressured by the administration/govt to make life more difficult for those who like their fun loud but not deafening.

        • Legal safety, not physical safety. Sorry if that wasn’t clear — I was trying to sum up.

  8. I just sent UPS an email about this because it doesn’t make sense. Since NJ doesn’t allow JHP, are they going to refuse to ship all JHPs in the future? Illinois requires the FOID card, are they going to verify that? CA has a lot of regulations on what guns can be in their state, so why are they even shipping guns that could be illegal in a state? UPS needs to just follow the law and expect shippers and receivers to follow that law. If they run afoul of that law I could understand not shipping for those people. While UPS has every right to accept and ship whatever they please, I also have the right to use a different carrier… which is I what I will be doing in the future.

    • ^ This !!!!!

      I mentioned this in the previous article. Almost anything that UPS ships could be “contraband”. With respect to handguns in states with registration/licenses, only a Federal Firearms Licensee or the registered owner can “legally” possess the handgun. Why hasn’t UPS banned shipment of handguns? As ELOT mentioned, hollowpoint ammunition is “illegal” in New Jersey. Why hasn’t UPS banned shipment of hollowpoint ammunition?

      And possessing an owl or eagle feather is a felony. Why hasn’t UPS banned shipment of all feathers? Shall I continue?

      This UPS policy is not internally consistent. Therefore I have to conclude that it is intentionally discriminatory and choose carriers accordingly.

      • Bingo! Discrimination hidden in a paragraph of lawyer-drafted gobbledygook is still anti-gun DISCRIMINATION. Well, two can play that game.

      • Well, yeah, let them know that there’s a counter-cost in the other direction. Protecting themselves from over-enforcement fine, but there’s this other cost.

        BUT, this is the world we live in.

  9. While this may be true, does one need to claim that the package is a silencer? Supposing you wanted to ship it to yourself from one freedom-loving state to another, couldn’t you just be discreet about it?

  10. While I will defend the right of a private business to determine their business policies, I will also defend my right to pick a different business for my needs.

  11. Ahh yes “Policy”. Now I understand. Thanks for clarifying that.

    Now get off my American Lawn!

  12. Blame the government. The crusade to keep the suppressor a federally controlled and mostly banned item is just stupid.

    I can make my own in my shop in a few days.

    This is like banning eggs to a guy who owns a chicken.

  13. This strikes me as an interesting case in terms of the rights of business proprietors vs. the rights of consumers. (I’m not staking out a position one way or the other; yet.)

    Those of us who value strongly individual rights tend to line-up in defense of just about anyone who articulates a well-founded assertion of rights. “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Pretty simple. You want to step onto my premises you do so under my rules. Probably most of us who hold RKBA would still conceed that the rights of a property owner to exclude anyone on just-about-any-grounds trump RKBA; albeit, many of these are still troubled by the proposition. Among these, our attitude is that we will take our business elsewhere.

    As long as there are multiple competitors in a given market – let’s say candlestick makers – those of us who cherish our RKBA will patronize one of the proprietors who honors the exercise of our 2A right. If there be none in our market then we will find some way around the problem; e.g., send our wives to buy the candlesticks. But such is not necessarily the case for all lines of commerce; e.g., arguably, those of “public accommodation”. Perhaps chief among the members of this class is the common carrier.

    Typically, economies of scale tend to favor a monopoly or oligopoly among common carriers. If all common carriers (e.g., USPS, UPS, FedEx) in a market refused to carry some article of legitimate commerce (guns, the Koran, socialist literature) that would pretty well strangle commerce and the availability of that article in that market.

    Does UPS have a legitimate concern? Let’s assume so. Arguably, they wouldn’t want to get embroiled in numerous investigations of guns being stolen from their trucks. Silencers are a unique case; no thief would knowingly steal a silencer. They would be too hard to spot in-transit; moreover, it would be easier to make one than to steal it. Nevertheless, once an NFA item is lost in transit (due to some innocent error) there will be hell to pay with the ATF investigation. Is UPS’s concern legitimate enough such as to allow it to discriminate against lawful nonvolatile goods? If they can do so for silencers, why not for handguns?

    I’ll argue, here, that UPS’s status as a common carrier is that of a public accommodation. In the absence of completely unfettered competition in this particular trade/service, it has an unusual duty to accept all lawful (and stable) cargo at non-discriminatory rates.

    By another analogy to public accommodation, consider the role of a book lending library of a century ago; or, that of Amazon.com today. Imagine a local librarian or Amazon’s management deciding to exclude the works of a particular author or a particular viewpoint. Notwithstanding the availability (via the internet) of alternate channels of distribution, the decision of a librarian/Amazon to refuse to carry a title would have a material adverse impact on the availability of that work to the broadest market. How could a social theory – whether it be Marxism or Capitalism – enjoy a fair hearing in the marketplace of ideas in the face of such an obstacle?

    This line of reasoning may bring us back to the question mentioned in the 2’nd paragraph above. What of the rights of a restauranteur, an inn-keeper, or a railroad? Should they trump the right of a female traveler, unescorted, to provide for her personal safety? Even if we grant that a candlestick-maker may exclude her from his premises, may a place of public accommodation do so?

    If a place of public accommodation may do so; ought it not make some reasonable accommodation? Airlines won’t let her carry her gun in the cabin of the plane but will allow her to check her gun with her other baggage. Moreover, airports provide heightened security between the check-in counter and baggage claim. If restaurants or hotels restrict arms-bearing by guests might they too be obliged to provide the services of gun-check and heightened security?

    If we meditate on this case of guns and UPS we might reach new insights in line with those American society reached in the 1960s; i.e., that the rights of some proprietors – those of public accommodation – might be subordinated to some small degree under the RKBA.

    • MarkPA,

      Let us build upon your comments. Can any business or private property owner forbid life-saving measures for a guest? To do so would be an accomplice to murder, correct? What if a business or private property owner hates paramedics and ambulances … can they forbid them from their property even if a guest will die without their intervention? I say no.

      Look, the entire notion of property rights is to support the inherent human dignity of the property owner — to ensure that no one steals their property and to ensure that anyone who damages the owner’s property is responsible for the damages. Going beyond that — claims that a property owner can demand/forbid anything and everything — denies the inherent human dignity of everyone else.

      Our right to life-saving measures is inviolate — it does not end when we step foot onto another person’s property. No property owner has any moral, ethical, religious, or legal authority to tell a guest that they cannot defend their life. No property owner has any moral, ethical, religious, or legal authority to forbid an ambulance and paramedics from saving a guest’s life. And no property owner has any moral, ethical, religious, or legal authority to stop law enforcement from investigating a death that occurs on their property. Given all of that, why would a property owner have any legitimate authority to tell a guest that the guest cannot have a firearm when:
      (1) Possessing a firearm does not steal the property from the owner.
      (2) Possessing a firearm does not damage the property of the owner.
      (3) Possessing a firearm can be just as critical a life-saving measure as an ambulance and paramedics.

    • The property owner has moral, ethical, religious and legal authority to tell any guest to leave, for any reason whatsoever or no reason at all – and if the guest does not, then that constitutes trespassing. This is what ownership means. If I cannot deny people from intruding on my property, it’s not exactly my property anymore.

  14. So basically someone got caught violating a long-standing company policy so they had to say something. Sucks, but it’s kind of a non-story at this point.

    Going to guess that most FFLs ship their suppressors via FedEx or USPS.

  15. There is no excuse for what they are doing and as far as liability, they are a common carrier and covered under federal law, just like with actual firearms. I suspect they got an arm twist from someone in one of the alphabet soup of federal agencies and agreed to turn the screws. The problem for them is that while shipments of silencers are nothing to their bottom line, the rest of the gun and ammo shipment business isn’t nothing and POTG tend to be a rather all or nothing crowd.

    I for one will pass on UPS until Brown gets it shit together.

  16. Since they already have to comply with many other regulations that vary from state to state, I call ‘Bullshit!’.

  17. Nobody’s busting UPS for inadvertently carrying illegal cargo. They’d only be on the hook if they knew or should have known that the specific shipment was illegal. For example, Fedex is under criminal indictment right now for money laundering and colluding with illegal online pharmacies. However, that’s after their continued business with certain outfits, despite LEO warnings that their customers themselves are illegally shipping, as well as Fedex having paid some $40 million to settle a prior case of delivering for illegal pharmacies. That’s a whole lot of knew or should have known going on there. Good luck with all that.

    With silencers, I’m not seeing any evidence of that. UPS has provided an implausible excuse here, with their “silencers are illegal in some states” bit. Just about everything UPS delivers is illegal somewhere under some circumstances, including magazines, ammunition, and firearms themselves.

    This is just UPS playing goody goody when it doesn’t cost them a thing. Regardless of UPS’ policy, assassins on cheezy 1980s primetime dramas are still going to acquire their silencers. This doesn’t make Michael Knight and KITT’s job any less dangerous.

  18. Either you are a shipping company or NOT. Either you ship LEGAL items or I use a different shipping service.
    This is asinine as UPS allows the shipping of complete guns, parts, accessories and ammunition. This is simply another liberal attack on the second amendment that has only one purpose and that is to further the anti gun nutbag agenda.

  19. Just went to the UPS policy page link, and it says te page has been moved, or deleted.
    Is a UPS shipping policy rewrite, happening as we write?

  20. LOL! I tried to ship, twice, two bottles of wine to a close friend in CO. The first shipment never arrived. The second one? She and I both got letters stating that shipping a bottle of wine was illegal and the issue was referred to Big Brown legal dept. Oh, did I mention Big Brown had broken the bottles in the second attempt at bootlegging and that was how they uncovered the audacious crime. Oh yeah… they refused to compensate me for the damaged shipment….

  21. UPS is just being appropriately cynical. “The process is the punishment.” The only way you can be wrong is not being cynical enough.

    UPS is mitigating against possible incurred costs, including infinite bad PR. You just know that some DoJ hotshot busting an “illegal gun parts ring” will mention that they shipped via UPS in the press conference. When they drop everything, no press, and no story, meanwhile UPS has been dirtied up – complicit. So, makes the case for even more regulation of that evil, people shipping stuff to each other stuff which is all so suspect and sketchy. (The USPS database of images of the outside of all domestic mail doesn’t include stuff shipped by UPS. Bugs them, no doubt.)

    UPS has a potential counter-claim if they are doing sufficient diligence, and can, if they see the smear by association coming can make a call, pointing out press releases about this casual defamation won’t do the DoJ hack’s career any good & might steal a news cycle or three from the higher-ups. Even if you get a money claim (hard to do, since the government gives itself various immunities – is assumed as a matter of law to be always acting in “good faith” therefore not liable for screwing up), the reputation damage is forever.

    This is the world we live in.

    Look, guns can make sense for personal defense if there are bad guys in the world who do bad, dumb things. Ridiculous record keeping, distorted policies, and thinking how every damn thing plays out when you become fodder for the righteousness machine makes sense if there are … bad guys in the world who do bad, dumb things. Sometimes I wonder if the policy-weenies aren’t so anti-gun (in general) because they’re better at wielding paper and policies. A straight up firefight is in some sense a more even match-up. They might loose.

    The game among decent folks among decent folks is “don’t be a jerk.” For decent folks among weenies it’s “don’t be a schmuck.”

    Look, UPS doesn’t have to do anything actually illegal or be convicted to suffer real costs from investigations, prosecutions or suits. Getting what they ship for people wrong, for some stretched meaning of “wrong”, would be a big deal, what with the current administration & various congress-critters looking for trophies to prove they are “doing something” to appease a gaggle of their advocates. They didn’t get the federal gun law, despite the media blitz & Bloomberg’s money. Their clients are blaming them for blowing it.

    In all sorts or things, not just “businesses”: given a choice, choose which way is the “default” and what’s an exception, based on the comparative cost of being wrong. If the cost of doing something and being wrong is *way worse* than the cost of wrongly not doing the same thing, default to “no.” If you are in legal-land, make yourself make the case for exceptions – this covers the negligence / diligence angle. Make it require an exception to ship something potentially naughty and you have a record that you checked to make sure you are doing it right.

    I’m not a fan of the strategy, but this is a cost you incur whenever you crank up the consequences of doing one thing or another. Double-plus so when it’s a legal cost. Double-double-plus so when it’s the gummint on the other side – their resources are essentially infinite, and they are biased to never drop anything once started. (Why offer a “plea deal” vs. just drop it for obviously bad cases once they get started? To keep the stats up.) Double-double-double-plus so when it’s the feds vs. any sub-leviathan.

    Even if you win, you lose. Ask the guitar-maker shut down for importing wood sourced “wrong” (said the US, not the exporting country.)

    The thing is, most operating businesses margins are thing – tiny percentages. You only have to be out of operation for a bit, have a little product grabbed, have a little bad publicity, and you are done.

    The proper image for most “business” is not private jet-riding execu-drones dumping hundreds of millions on this whim or that, but the small local grocer, sorting the discards from the palates of produce at night, by himself after the store closed, finding stuff that cleaned up a little will sell (legitimately – wrongly discarded.) “Hey, somebody will pay a dollar for that.” That’s his whole margin. The proper image is the second-generation owner of the neighborhood mostly-Greek restaurant who put walk-in and food prep space under the restaurant, so he can buy lots of chickens when they go down $0.15. Of course they only buy whole chickens, for stock for soup & sauces. That’s his whole margin.

    In a non-juiced-in operating business any of a hundred things that are the whole margin. Any one of them goes wrong, you’re done. And every one of them holds the risk of attracting infinite cost and interruption from the overseers. There’s a reason the cab industry groups went straight to the regulators to deal with Uber. (I make no claim on the merits either way. I claim only that appeal to regulation was more effective for the established players than other moves might be: faster, more direct, harder to counter, etc.)

    Certainly, developing joint last mile delivery arrangements between UPS, Fed-Ex, and the USPS couldn’t have anything to do with UPS’s caution. One phone call from the right ATF guy to the right USPS guy, or overseeing congress-critter, and suddenly that gets gummed up.

    “Nice shipping business you have there, UPS-guy. Sure would be a shame if anything happened to it…”

    The only mistake you can make is being insufficiently cynical.

  22. That different states have different laws about what may be owned in their state is not relevant to shipping through those states. The whole point of the commerce clause was to keep commerce “regular”, i.e. free-flowing, not blocked (the term is used medically in this way to this day), so Congress has a duty — it no such law exists — to regularize (the old meaning of “regulate”) commerce in this case by making it clear that states cannot restrict (the new meaning of “regulate”) what is merely passing through.

  23. Certain fruits and vegetables (i.e. Citrus) are restricted from being shipped to and from certain states (Florida, CA, HI). Is UPS going to stop shipping fruits and vegetables across state lines? Its illegal to possess certain knives in certain states, are they going to stop shipping cutlery?

    It’s a BS excuse and a CYA policy.

    • It is absolutely a CYA policy, or rather protecting themselves from an unfortunate risk that exists in the real world. Kind of like maybe carrying a gun because there are bad guys out there who may occasionally try to kill you, and you’d like to be able to do something about that.

      It’s not BS. It’s the world we live in. As citizens of a Republic, we have some say in the laws and the ways they are administered and enforced, so we can influence the terms of the game (somewhat) if we choose to.

  24. Guess I’m going to be headed to Austin soon, unless Silencer Shop switches to FedEx. Dammit!

  25. Hey, I’m a nobody, but my take on the UPS statement . . . more Liberal, PC bullshit spawned because our wonderful “Liberty and Justice for all” US Government leaned on them.

  26. Nonsense, it is not their responsibility to ensure other companies are following federal and state laws. It’s not like they were shipping hazards materials without the appropriate caution labels. UPS has no right to know what is in my package, unless mishandling could directly result in the harm of the employee or recipient ie, hazmat as stated afore.

    • Pragmatically, “…deserve’s should’s got nothing to do with it.

      Companies effectively have risk, and may have legal liability. If you don’t like that – and I don’t – change how the laws get enforced and administered, as well as perhaps the laws.

  27. BS.

    Then why not ban the shipment of any other prohibited item in random states? 30-round magazines come to mind.

    Heck, brass and bullets for that matter (DC). Or HP bullets (MA).

  28. “We seek to ensure that our customers have in place adequate managerial controls to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.”

    UPS is a third party shipper of the items. They should have no involvement in determining the legality of anything; no involvement in preventing illegal activity; and no culpability in any illegal activity using their services. It is strictly up to the shipper and the receiver to be aware of the laws regarding possession/shipment of such items at their respective locations.

  29. Steve Gaut’s statement is a smokescreen.
    I am encouraging all gun owners to boycott UPS for all shipping needs, not just firearms.
    UPS has had increasingly anti-gun policies for several years, notably requirements to use expensive shipping options, and sometimes higher rates, as well. Today, I called UPS Shipping for an explanation after the local UPS store refused to ship a rifle back to the factory for warranty service. I was told that UPS’ new policy is to accept firearms for shipment only at central shipping locations. For me, the two closest are 30 and 40 miles away. Admittedly, with some asperity, I told the agent that UPS has an anti-gun reputation and that egregious policies like this made it worse. In response he told me that UPS is an anti-gun company, encourages an anti-gun culture and supports anti-gun political candidates, and would prefer not to do business with gun owners.
    That pretty well says it all, and should be enough for all gun owners.

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