The United Parcel Service (UPS) has followed up its decision to enforce the new Biden administration rule on gun parts a month before it took effect with a new, restrictive firearms shipping policy that could prove troublesome to gunmakers and gun owners.
The new UPS Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service indicates that only licensed dealers, importers, manufacturers, and collectors will be able to ship firearms products or parts via UPS.
“Packages containing firearms (as defined by Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code) and firearms parts that do not constitute firearms as defined by federal law (together, “Firearms 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),” the terms read.
According to letters sent to some manufacturers by UPS, one requirement for shipping with UPS is that gunmakers sign a written UPS Firearms Agreement for shipping firearms and firearm parts. The UPS Handguns Exception Agreement, which is required for shipping handguns and is only good for one year, spells out some strict requirements that, if not met, could end in quick termination by UPS.
One stipulation of the handgun agreement, which was shared with us by a manufacturer who wished to remain anonymous, stated: “Customer agrees to ship an average of fifty (50) or more handguns shipments per day via UPS. In the event this volume commitment is not maintained during the Term of this Agreement, UPS shall have the right to terminate this Agreement on ten (10) days’ notice.”
Of course, this could have a negative impact on small manufacturers who typically don’t ship that many guns. Also, high-end, custom gunmakers, who also deal in much smaller numbers, could be negatively impacted by it.
Per UPS’s new Agreement For Transporting Firearms Or Firearms Parts, the company can unilaterally decide if they don’t want to continue in a contract with a manufacturer, whether or not the manufacturer has done anything wrong or agrees with that decision.
“UPS may suspend or terminate delivery services for Shipper, or terminate this Agreement immediately and cease providing service, if UPS determines in its sole and unlimited discretion that such action is prudent or necessary,” the agreement reads.
Despite the fact that all requirements are spelled out in the agreement, the company also reserves the right to change the rules of the game at any time without input from manufacturers.
“UPS may modify or amend any requirements for Firearm Products Shipments at any time,” the agreement states. “By tendering Firearm Products Shipments to UPS for shipment, Shipper agrees to be bound by UPS’s requirements in effect at the time of shipping.”
The latest changes, along with the earlier decision on shipping gun parts, are likely a result of a strongly worded letter sent on May 19 to UPS, Federal Express, the U.S. Postal Service, and trucking and rail carriers by five anti-gun U.S. senators blaming shipping companies for playing a part in the country’s criminal violence problem. The letter, signed by Democrat Sens. Edward Markey (Mass.), Corey Booker (N.J.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), stated, “We are concerned that lax shipping security measures are contributing to the epidemic of gun violence in this country by allowing criminals to use stolen firearms to commit crimes.”