United Parcel Service UPS driver
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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By Lee Williams

UPS has released strict new rules for shipping firearms just months after cancelling some gun dealers accounts and destroying packages in transit.

The new rules came in response to a letter sent by five anti-gun senators, who blamed UPS and 27 other carriers for escalating violent crime rates.

The rules are contained in three documents: A shipping agreement between UPS and a licensed firearm dealer, the new 2022 UPS Tariff/Terms & Conditions of Service, and UPS’s How to Ship Firearms” webpage.

Terms of service

According to the 2022 UPS Tariff/Terms & Conditions of Service, which went into effect Monday, only licensed dealers, importers, manufacturers and collectors may ship firearms or firearm products or parts via UPS.

3.7.1 Firearms
Packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code) and firearm parts that do not constitute firearms as defined by federal law (together, “Firearm Products”) are accepted for transportation only as a contractual service and only from Shippers who are licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors (as defined in Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code). To transport Packages containing Firearm Products, the Shipper must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of Firearm Products.

The Shipper shall comply with and shall ensure that each Shipment containing Firearm Products complies with all federal, state, and local laws applicable to the Shipper, recipient, and Package, including, without limitation, age restrictions.

– The Shipper must use Adult Signature Required and Direct Delivery Only services for each Package containing a firearm (including handguns) and affix a label requesting an adult signature upon delivery.
– The labeling and outer box markings on all Firearm Products shipments must not identify the contents as containing Firearm Products.
– Additional terms and restrictions on the shipment of Firearm Products are contained in the UPS agreement for the shipment of Firearm Products and at ups.com/firearms, which is incorporated here by reference.

How to ship firearms

According to UPS’s “How to Ship Firearms” webpage, nearly everything must have a serial number.

Any item that meets the definition of a firearm (including firearm mufflers or silencers) or a “frame” or “receiver” under federal law (including any partially complete, disassembled, or nonfunctional frame or receiver as defined by 27 CFR § 478.12) must be identified and bear a serial number in satisfaction of the requirements for identifying such items under federal law, including 27 CFR § 478.92 and/or 27 CFR § 479.102, regardless of whether any such items are otherwise exempt from or not subject to identification requirements under applicable law.  This prohibition applies even before the effective date of 27 CFR § 478.12.

In addition, the carrier is making homemade gun parts more difficult to ship as well as requiring serial numbers on the parts.

UPS does not accept Firearm Products for shipment domestically unless (1) such shipments are in full compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, including, without limitation, age restrictions; (2) such firearms, including any partially complete, disassembled, or nonfunctional frame or receiver (as defined by 27 CFR § 478.12), have been identified and bear a serial number in a manner that complies with federal law; and (3) such firearm parts within a package cannot be assembled to form a firearm.

Shipping agreement

By far, the strictest document is the shipping agreement between UPS and a licensed firearm dealer.

Before making any Firearm Products Shipment under this Agreement, Shipper must submit to UPS, by email to [email protected] complete, current and accurate licensing documentation of Shipper’s federal firearms license, as well as satisfactory completion of, and compliance with, any other applicable licensing requirements, including any applicable state requirements. Shipper may not tender Firearm Products Shipments to UPS unless and until UPS has confirmed receipt in writing of Shipper’s licensing documentation.

The agreement holds the dealer responsible for complying with all applicable laws, as well as developing their own “shipper compliance program.”

The compliance program must “include: (1) training for sales and marketing employees regarding lawful recipients, possessors, and purchasers of Firearm Products; (2) due diligence regarding customer licensure or authorization to receive, possess, and purchase Firearm Products under applicable federal, state, or local law; and (3) self-assessments of the Shipper Compliance Program to guarantee its effectiveness.”

Click here to see a blank copy of the shipping agreement.


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    • Why? JSD Supply has already halted sales of its 80% receiver insert which is the major impediment to making a 320 now, but if you’re ordering a conversion kit from Sig it shouldn’t matter – the package contents no doubt look just like a gun to an observer, but it lacks the insert which is legally the gun. A company the size of Sig probably has the pull to work out with UPS to keep shipping those parts. I’d be more concerned for P80’s newly resumed jig-less 80% frames running afoul of this UPS rule.

      • Had to reread to catch my initial mistake I thought that receiving the package required a level of licensure for mere parts instead of just shipping them.

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    • Not long ago, one of my friends told me he shipped a long rifle to his relative. He got a tall carton, placed the rifle in the center, added a standing lamp, and filled the rest of the space with old clothes for filler. He then went to a local mom-n-pop shipping outlet that’s hungry for business and said they just filled in the “contents” field with some random item of their own choice for brevity. That store charges a little more than going directly to a UPS or FedEx location, but I suppose it’s a trade-off for the privacy. Off it went, he said, and nobody was the wiser for it.

      I wonder if any local “entrepreneurs” use that same store to ship recreational pharma or other stuff they want to keep off the radar, lol.

    • X ray and ultrasound scanning WILL find those parts for you.

      And OOOOPPSSSSS will want to be sending someone round to knock up your door and have a chat with you about how your johnson is faring these days.

      • you have no idea what you’re talking about

        Not only does UPS not Xray or ultrasound packages but in no way is violating a contractual agreement with UPS a crime unless if violates federal law (which his statement would not)

        • “”Not only does UPS not Xray or ultrasound packages””

          not yet?

          I bet they will soon under lefty liby pressure

    • Gadsden Flag,

      I do EXACTLY that. And so does everyone else in my family and circle of neighbors and friends.

    • Which competitor? Fedex is just as bad. DHL and USPS aren’t any better either. I don’t think there really is an alternative on this one.

      • Yeah I’m also wondering what magical competitor this is who is a major shipper but doesn’t engage in any of this

        this is only going to get worse. It’s just like payment processors (the other avenue that anti-gunners are using to get around the law and 2nd Amendment)

  1. Once again this action is either LEGAL or it is ILLEGAL and can be tested through the Courts. In the meantime not to forget any publicity within the law is GOOD PUBLICITY.

    Just saying!

    • Albert, you’re proving again how stupid you are. UPS ain’t the gubbermint. UPS can set up contracts as they see fit. UPS wants to make you fill out an extra form to ship firearms, you’ll fill out the extra form, or find another shipper. It’s legal for UPS to do so. And, UPS may well lose a lot of money with this decision. If people don’t find it convenient to ship with UPS, they will use FedEx or whatever. What’s more, as a private citizen, I could go into business tomorrow as a firearms shipper. Just undercut UPS, FedEx and the rest, get contracts to move firearms from the factories and/or import warehouses, to licensed dealers around the country.

      And, you’re still a Limey poof idiot.

      Just saying!

      • I feel like there’s got to be a lot of money in shipping just firearms, ammunition and parts/accessories. Especially if the big names are compelled by federal pressure outside the realm of what the law demands to reduce or stop shipments, some entrepreneur could step in, make a GunShip dot com (I could think of some great naval or aviation logos for that domain) and if the big boys like Midway or Lucky Gunner pick them up (to say nothing of a manufacturer) that could be quite profitable. Just don’t get greedy & sell out by going public, so Blackrock and the other ESG investment loonies can buy up all your stocks and destroy you.

  2. I suppose the government will be happy they will still deliver illicit drugs and cartel drugs, without incident…Hope DHL it’s the big time…

  3. Wait…let me get this straight, to ensure I’m reading the article correctly…

    “Packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code) and firearm parts that do not constitute firearms as defined by federal law…”

    Did anyone else notice that this text explicitly uses the word “and” and not “or”? As in, if a package contains a firearm/frame and another related product such as a trigger or barrel. But if the package contains only a trigger or barrel, it doesn’t seem to fall under the scrutiny of this text. As attorneys are known to say…the devil’s in the details.

    “Any item that meets the definition of a firearm […] must be identified and bear a serial number in satisfaction of the requirements for identifying such items under federal law, […] regardless of whether any such items are otherwise exempt from or not subject to identification requirements under applicable law.

    In the same sentence, UPS is stating that any item that meets the definition of a firearm is subject to this new rule, even if they’re exempt from the law. So which is it? Either an item is defined under federal law as a firearm, or it’s not. Seems like UPS is trying to pull a major CYA by dragnetting everything. Is a rubber band gun or squirt gun therefore subject to these regulations?

  4. So I just continue what I’ve always done. Place bubble/peanut material into a nice metal box. Place firearm into middle of bubble/peanut material. Finish filling metal box with bubble/peanut material. Seal metal box, affix label, and deliver to UPS. Even if the knuckleheads are X-raying my metal box, all they’ll get is a funky, fuzzy image. I could always use a metal box with a lead lining, if I were afraid tin weren’t enough.

    But, a more serious question: Does this change ANYTHING AT ALL for law abiding, legally licensed dealers? I mean, beyond an extra form to fill out. They are adding 5 to 10 minutes of secretarial time to shipments? Whoop-ti-doo-doo!!

    • “Even if the knuckleheads are X-raying my metal box, all they’ll get is a funky, fuzzy image.”

      You really should stick to speaking on things you know something about.

      FREE CLUE – The X-ray machines used to inspect packages aren’t the same ones used to X-ray human bodies. The ones inspecting packages have a far higher power level and can see right through your metal box with *zero* problems…

      • Unless you also include some old cassette tapes (to remain truthful about declaring contents) and state “Media – No Xray” on the outside?

        • “…and state “Media – No Xray” on the outside?”

          I believe the TSA has procedures for hand-inspecting items for a traveler who specifies “No exposure to radiation” stickers on packages.

          An interesting observation – While traveling with my mother’s cremains on a commercial jet on the way to her internment , the TSA sliced open the bag with the ashes and took a small sample for chemical testing.

          I joked with my dad that even in death, she had to submit to a drug test… 🙂

    • The problem here is shipping a rifle back to the factory for warrenty work, or shipping it to another state when you don’t want to carry though an anti gun state while you fly.
      This makes it very hard to hunt in far away states or just have your CCW in a faraway state.

  5. If I correctly understand the new situation/requirements to ship through UPS, a small company who only sells trigger springs in an aftermarket capacity to the general public must now somehow acquire a Federal Firearms License before UPS will accept their shipments of springs.

    What a bunch of garbage.

    • Read my comment above. I think that’s not the case. If you believe differently, I’m curious to know.

      • They can easily correct that with a tiny change in the wording, Haz.

        And I fully expect them to do so.

        Where it gets interesting is the potential to nit-pic them on the details. A screw can be a gun screw, or a common screw…

        • Yes, but as it currently stands, the text does seem to currently allow parts. IMHO.

          If UPS wants to be stupid about it taking such a stance for political posturing, take advantage of the supposed “loophole” and make them go through the work of updating it if they don’t want it there.

      • I Haz a Question,

        Hmm. I think your analysis in your previous comment is correct and a small company shipping only trigger springs does not fall within the scope of the policy at UPS.

        Now for the $100,000 question:

        Is the word “and” (rather than “or”) in their policy an oversight which they will soon correct as Geoff PR mentioned?

        Is the word “and” intentional–and intentionally misleading in an attempt to satisfy gun-grabbers (suggesting that all companies who ship any firearm parts must now endure a huge hassle) while at the same time satisfying firearm-aficionados since companies who only ship firearm components (which are not “firearms”) get a huge pass?

    • I suppose they might require you ship it through an FFL like your local gunstore…

  6. Has anyone sued for relief on those destroyed packages? The buyers are out the cost of those gun parts, which at the time they were shipped complied with UPS policy.

    • “Has anyone sued for relief on those destroyed packages?”

      Do we know for sure they destroyed shipments, or did they say they were subject to destruction if they chose to do so?

      Any confirmed reports of missing shipments?

      • First, they could not legally destroy them. Its not their property. Holding them amounts to theft, its taking the property from their rightful owner(s) without permission.

        Second, by law they have to ‘return to sender’ if its ‘undeliverable’ and they made them ‘undeliverable’ by their actions.

        UNLESS they held them because they were involved in an official government agency investigation and they were going to be turned over to that agency with a warrant. But since the items were not actually illegal (and technically now still not illegal) at the time UPS held them, there really isn’t any other justification other than an investigation and if no investigation exists then sue the crap out of them and get arrest warrants for the theft and/or grand larceny.

  7. Correct response to a prog Congressman:

    Dear Senator/Rep _____

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mr Businessman

  8. So, Americans can no longer ship “firearm parts” by UPS?
    What constitutes a “firearm part”?
    I guess a rear sight for a pistol is a firearm part, so we can no longer ship rear sights.
    Front sights, too. But why the F no? Are sights so dangerous? Do sights explode? No!
    What if we say that the rear sight is for a BB gun? (Oops, my state calls BB guns “firearms,” but for those of you in free states…)
    Is a barrel for a TC Encore a “gun part”? Those are expensive to ship by USPS, costing twice as much as UPS, so I’d prefer to use UPS, but now they’re banned as “gun parts”?

    Is a scope a “gun part”? Already eBay (evilBay) says that a rifle scope is an “assault weapons part” if the scope has the letters “AR” in its name, so will UPS also ban shipment of scopes as “gun parts”? Again, what if we say the scope or other optic is for a BB gun or airsoft gun? (except in New Jersey, where BB guns and airsoft guns are “firearms” under the law).

    • “What constitutes a “firearm part”?”

      As the old saying goes, it’s for them to know, and us to find out.

      It’s whatever they choose to say it is, and it can change at a moment’s notice…

      • I sent them emails when they first announced this crap, using my real name and company name. Let them know we would no longer ship out with them and we notified our suppliers we won’t accept shipments from ups and we don’t. FedEx comes a lot more now and usps.
        Two suppliers say they only use ups, we said sucks for you, easy stuff to get other places.
        Is costing slightly more buy we feel it’s worth it.

  9. The headquarters is in Louisville, what do you expect? The rest of KY hates Louisville. They would like to give it IN, but they don’t want it either. Don’t believe me, let’s ask Chris T

  10. It looks like about all they’re doing is stating a “company policy” which is basically identical to the law instead of just saying “we follow the law”…

  11. After their first self-imposed restrictions of shipping firearms parts, they’re already on my boycott list. FedEx Ground, USPS, and DHL get my business now. UPS is the closest to me, but I now go the extra distance to avoid them.

  12. It’s time for red states to crack down on this crap and tell them to either cease and desist or leave the state.

    • Already prohibits individuals for shipping and requires dealers to sign a contract. Has been that way for a year at least.

      • A better solution would be for you to not to perpetually use new user names every 3 seconds, if you ever expect to generate any credibility in TTAG.

        • Says the @$$hole using an anonymous screen name.

          EVERYONE uses anonymous screen names, in this age of doxxing, ya maroon. Get a new gig; you’re not very good at this one.

  13. Like most things money talks. So every gun owner in America should boycott using UPS for any deliveries and use alternative companies for everything including firearms. With over 150 million gun owners and FFL’s it shouldn’t take long to get them back on track or go out of business. So don’t ship anything UPS and they will give in eventually.

  14. I stopped using UPS for any shipping whatsoever when they played around with this last month. Far as I care, they can do as they wish. I ship nothing, firearms or otherwise, with UPS anymore.

    Vote with my feet.

    • What national shipper do you use for firearms part? because NONE of them are friendly to guns, even if they didn’t just put out a statement this month

      • Dont know what to tell ya, but I’ve shipped firearms through fedex for years. Never had a single issue, never had to fill out a single extra piece of paper.

  15. Did I miss something or does this now mean a private individual cannot ship a firearm back to manufacturer, gunsmith, receiving FFL for transfer??? Now has to go thrugh a contracted business incuring added costs???

  16. I shipped a gun to Smith & Wesson this week via FedX.
    All the clerk wanted to know involved ammo. She said they did not accept guns that were loaded or a gun and ammo in the same box. Really easy which is why I will use FedX when necessary to ship. She also said that if ammo was in the box that I could open it there and remove it and then they would accept it.

  17. I think yes and no. My experience is that manufactures like Sig send you a shipping label and they are the actual shipper. I believe this will continue to meet UPS requirements. However I think they are refusing to accept shipments where the individual is the shipper.

    • ds, that may be the case. S&W sent me the FedX label which made them the shipper. Hadn’t thought about that aspect. As for me I’ll avoid UPS.

    • Correct, if the firearms company provides you a shipping label they are the actual shipper entity.

  18. All pro Second Amendment groups need to start announcing a Public boycott of UPS by gun owners and hunters!!!!

  19. I just ordered a couple of magazines from Ruger. They shipped them UPS, labeled as “sportswear.”

  20. The solution, a firearms industry shipping service focused just on firearms stuff and nothing else. Call it FPS (Firearms Parcel Service) just to rub their noses in it.

    • Also, there are ways to ship/move firearms stuff legally without involving a shipping company like UPS, FEDEX, or even the USPS. For example, a lot of freight carriers routinely move firearms related stuff and most of them will let you pick up your stuff at one of their terminals if you arranged it as private consignment. Some carriers will even throw it on a truck and move it for free if its small (e.g. magazines) if its delivered to and picked up from one of their terminals. Another way is private consignment freight sent to an FFL if its an actual firearm. There are a lot more ways that are legal. There are also ways to purchase legally by regular credit/debit card and it not be flagged as firearms related with some kind of code they can track for even ammo and magazines.

  21. So if I’m reading this correctly if I sell a gun on Gunbroker I can no longer go to the local UPS Customer Service location and ship the gun to the receiving FFL? I also cannot use FedEx, USPS or DHL so I guess ShipMYGun.com and their high prices are my only alternative.

  22. Everyone needs to understand the differences between common, contract, and broker carriers, which are these weird non vessel maritime law things. Common carrier status has all kinds of tax and other privileges granted by the gov, but also puts them under the usual crazy regs.. UPS is not a common carrier, which means they are FREE to refuse to ship anything, or impose what ever restrictions they feel like, for any or no reason at all. The thing is, FedEx IS a common carrier, which means they should not be able to refuse a legal shipment within the existing laws. The fact that they do and get away with it just shows how well their bribery division works..

  23. Noticed sometime ago that at least Midway, and I believe maybe Brownells, are associated with a no-name carrier, at least for shipments in/to Missouri.

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