FedEx is a common carrier. They ship just about everything from prescription medications to firearms and silencers. In fact, I’ve used them before to send guns across state lines, and all they wanted to know was whether the gun was unloaded — no further questions asked. But when Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed fame wanted to use FedEx to ship his cheap his CNC machines, they refused. Why? Because — gasp! — they might be used to make guns . . .
Wilson issued a press release about the situation, saying in part:
In February, I began pursuing business-to-consumer fulfillment rates from Federal Express to ship my product because I was a member of their FedEx Advantage/NRA Business Alliance program. I understood that the company held itself out as catering to the firearms industry with special rates.
Two weeks ago FedEx, through my account executive, began demurring on the rates and expressing uncertainty as to the legal status of my product. I assured them there was no controversy and showed them legal memos from my GCA firm in DC and other memos and facts confirming that the product and its related activity are not regulated or restricted by the ATF or federal law.
Now FedEx has told me that they will NOT ship my product at all, and though they will not give me a reason in writing, they have told Wired.com that it is because my machine allows an individual to make a gun.
What’s curious about the FedEx stance is that they seem perfectly comfortable shipping the genuine article — firearms, parts and ammunition — all over the U.S. without checking any paperwork whatsoever. Not to mention CNC machines, lathes and drill presses.
When asked for a rationale, a FedEx spokesnoid managed to get this out without drooling all over his notes:
“We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”
As wired.com advises,
…(B)uying, selling, or using the Ghost Gunner isn’t illegal, nor is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, says Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. “This is not that problematic,” he says. “Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s.”
So is FedEx just clutching its pearls and leaning on its fainting couch over the machine’s name…Wilson’s thinly-veiled jab at California’s anencephalic state senator Kevin de Leon’s colorful moniker for firearms that really scare him? Enquiring minds want to know.