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UPS Firearms Shipping Policy

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 11:10 pm
by LZHome
This is an email from UPS explaining their firearms shipping policy.

Thank you for your inquiry. The following list explains who
can send and receive shipments of handguns or firearms through

-Licensed Collectors

-Licensed Collectors
-Licensed Gun dealer
-Gun Manufacturer (as a result of repair or adjustment only)
-Law Enforcement Agency (not a police officer at home)

Clarification: A police officer may be licensed to carry a handgun,
but is usually not a licensed dealer.

-Gun Manufacturer

-Gun Manufacturer
-Licensed Gun Dealer
-Licensed Collector
-Individual (as a result of repair or adjustment only)
-Law Enforcement Agency (not a police officer at home)

Clarification: A police officer may be licensed to carry a handgun,
but is usually not a licensed dealer.

- Licensed Gun Dealer

- Licensed Gun dealer
-Licensed Collector
-Gun Manufacturer (as a result of repair or adjustment only)
-Law Enforcement Agency (not a police officer at home)

Clarification: A police officer may be licensed to carry a handgun,
but is usually not a licensed dealer.

- Individual

Gun Manufacturer (for repair or adjustment only) and from a person
not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State or local law to a
licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer for
the sole purpose of repair or customizing.

Please note, the shipment of a firearm from an individual to
an individual is prohibited in the UPS system.

UPS will only accept handguns for shipment (from and to authorized
legal parties) via UPS Next Day Air services (Early A.M., Next
Day Air, or Next Day Air Saver).

Handguns cannot be shipped from the following:

One Time Pickup
On Call Pickup
Letter Centers
Internet Shipping
UPS Sonic Air
UPS Authorized Shipping Outlets (ASOs)

This UPS procedure change affects only handguns, not all firearms.
As a responsible corporate citizen, UPS wants to ensure that
handguns are transported as safely as possible by restricting
them to special handling methods within the UPS system. We intend
to continue serving our customers who lawfully ship handguns.

Other firearms, including shotguns, rifles, etc. can continue
to be shipped by authorized legal parties via One Time Pickup
service, On Call Pickup, and UPS Customer Counters.

Firearms will not be accepted for shipment from any Commercial
Counter and/or Authorized Shipping Outlet.

There cannot be anything written or printed on the package that
indicates the package contains a handgun or firearm. The shipper
cannot pack ammunition in the same shipping container as the
handgun. The shipper must segregate handgun shipments for the
driver. The shipper must apply the Adult Signature Required
label (21 years of age or older).
Antique firearms may be shipped via the UPS system, and are not
required to be shipped via UPS's Next Day Air service. An antique
firearm is a firearm that was manufactured in or before 1898,
or any replica, muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun,
muzzle loading pistol, which are designed to use black powder
or a black powder substitute. An antique firearm cannot use
fixed ammunition and is not considered a handgun for the purposes
of determining the method the antique firearm may be shipped.

All common fireworks or fireworks devices suitable for use by
the public and designed primarily to produce visible effects
by combustion, and/or small devices designed to produce audible
effects are prohibited in the UPS system.


UPS accepts domestic ground and air shipments of ammunition that
have been classified by the shipper as "Cartridges, small arms",
"ORM-D" (Other Regulated Material). The package must be properly
marked according to the requirements of Title 49 of the Code
of Federal Regulations (49 CFR). A Hazardous Materials Transportation
Contract may be required to ship such packages with UPS. Contact
the Hazardous Material Support Center at 1-800-554-9964 for details
on regulatory information.

BB Guns, Pellet Guns and Air Rifles are not considered firearms
and can be shipped with no additional restrictions. Please note,
UPS cannot ship a CO2 cartridge that may be part of an Air Rifle.

We hope this information is helpful. If we may assist you in
the future, please let us know.

Thank you for using UPS Internet Services.

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:48 pm
by mjmensale
In case you aren't aware of it (and UPS' response above doesn't mention it), UPS won't ship your firearm unless they have a copy of the ship-to's FFL, supposedly to prevent you from shipping to an unlicensed individual.

This hasn't been a problem for me until I was going to ship my rifle to AWC to thread the barrel for a suppressor. AWC flat out refused to send UPS their FFL, saying no one except another FFL was authorized to get anybody else's FFL. They told me to use Fedex, which I did, with no problem and no FFL.

In the meantime, I sent UPS an email asking about their "requirement" of needing FFLs. Part of my first email -
mjmensale wrote:So far this has not been a problem but some of my FFLs are now telling me that they will no longer provide a copy of their FFL to the UPS Customer Counter because it is against BATFE rules for them to do this.

Please explain why the UPS Customer Counter REQUIRES a copy of the FFL if it is ILLEGAL for the licensee to provide it to them?
To which UPS provided the exact same response as above in LZ’s post. So I sent the following -
mjmensale wrote:Thank you for your recent answer. However, my specific inquiry was not answered. I am aware of who may and may not ship firearms. I want to know why UPS requires a copy of the ship-to licensee's FFL when the BATFE says it is illegal to provide that information to anyone except another licensee?

Please answer this question only.
To which they replied -
UPS wrote:Thank you for your reply. We apologize for any inconvenience that this matter has caused. Due to Federal Regulations, the UPS Customer Counter are authorized to verify if you have a FFL
to determined if you are a authorized shipper.
Oh, really?
mjmensale wrote:Can you please provide me with the specific federal regulations that authorize UPS Customer Counters to request copies of FFLs? It seems to me that the BATFE would not say it is illegal to give anyone a copy of the FFL if there are federal regulations that require it.
Let's see how they respond.
UPS wrote:Thank you for your reply. we apologize for any inconvenience that this matter has caused. The package must be properly marked according to the requirements of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR).
mjmensale wrote:A review of 49-CFR at the GPO website does not mention any requirement for common carriers to acquire a copy of a Federal Firearm Licensee's FFL prior to shipment to him. Is the insistance for requirement of the FFL a UPS corporate decision? Other common carriers do not require nor do they ask for the FFL.
UPS wrote:Thank you for your reply. We are in the process of further researching your concern. We will contact you by telephone or e-mail as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.
UPS wrote:Thank you for your reply. We have forwarded the details of your e-mail to your local UPS Representative for further review. You will receive a response as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience. If we may assist you in the future, please feel free to contact us.
Oops! Looks like I may be on the local "Terrorist Watch List" now! =D>


Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:37 pm
by LZHome
Moe thanks for this additional info,,, looks like FedEx will be getting my business.

And I doubt if UPS will even give you an answer. :-evil

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:47 pm
by Nick Ward
More UPS stuff :

UPS Screwing Another Gun Owner

Posted By: BCR229 <>
Date: 10/12/03 21:17

I received this message from my Second Amendment Sisters email list. The gun owner asks that his experience be told to others so they can avoid UPS.

FWIW one of my rifles was damaged during shipment when I used FedEx a few years ago. They paid for the damage w/o any hassles.

The author also included his name, address, phone #'s, and email address but I didn't post them here.


I am writing to alert all in the shooting community of a potential problem we, as individual, may suffer when dealing with the United Parcel Service. Let me explain.

I, as an individual, sold a valuable firearm to a dealer in Nevada. This transaction is perfectly legal under all Federal and State laws. The firearm was shipped via UPS and insured for $1,400. One would think that the GCA and applicable state laws would be the defining authority in transactions such as these. This isn’t the case when UPS is involved.

The package arrived and upon inspection of the contents, the rifle was severely damaged. It’s apparent that the package was subjected to prolonged intense heat as would be the case of sitting is a trailer in the middle of Nevada. The foam disintegrated and the rifle was badly damaged as a result of shifting and banging against the steel piano hinge of the aluminum case.

I’m sure some of you will question the packaging and am I in any way at fault for the damage. I think not since this is the way manufacturers ship firearms. The case was wrapped in heavy cardboard, strapped, impact cushions placed on all sides, wrapped again, strapped and wrapped one more time and strapped. It was then properly labeled and sent on its way. This is not the issue. The issue is the contradictory regulations of UPS.

My claim has been denied on the basis of the UPS tariff section 425 that states firearms will only be shipped between FFL holders with the exception of firearms being shipped for repair, modification, etc. Since I was unaware of this regulation, I will take the loss and consider it tuition of sorts. However, another UPS regulation states that firearms will only be shipped between licensed dealers only with no exceptions noted. These contradictory regulations are not very well known by shooting enthusiasts and, in my research, not very well known by dealers either.

The problem here is simply that individuals like myself leave themselves open for loss even when they believe they are complying with all laws and regulations. Based on these contradictory regulations, UPS would have denied my claim regardless of what the purpose of the shipment was; be it a sale or repair.

Based on this contradiction, a question arises. If a gun owner ships his firearm back to the manufacturer, via UPS, and damage or loss occurs, UPS regulations state that he in violation. Hence, he will be denied the claim. I have spoken with the legal departments of a couple of firearms manufacturers and they tell me they have a contract with UPS and shipments from an individual to their facility are within the regulations and that the return of the firearm is also within their regulations. I have to wonder, if Browning or Winchester ships my firearm back to me and damage or loss occurs am I going to take the loss? Any damage that occurs on the return trip back the individual will be paid on their (the manufacturer’s UPS insurance). However, damage that occurs on the way to the manufacturer would be covered under the individuals insurance. Either way, contract or not, UPS is violating its own regulations by shipping the firearms back to the individual owner. UPS sells the insurance, accepts the package and if damage occurs has these contradictory regulations that will cause a denial of a claim. An interesting situation wouldn’t you agree?

I have contacted the National Office of the NRA and am awaiting a reply. I also have participated in various forums in the on line community.

My purpose for this writing is not to seek absolution, forgiveness or shake a tin cup. My purpose is to try to alert as many others as possible of this potential problem with UPS. I don’t want my loss to be for nothing. If others are spared this aggravation, my loss would have served a purpose.

I urge that you review the UPS regulations and, if you see the regulations as I do as posing a potential problem for us law abiding gun owners, alert your organizations. I firmly believe that organization such as yours, the NRA, the ATA, etc. are obligated to warn their members of this very unfair and potentially costly loophole.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Yours truly,
Al Ricci

Sellers Beware Of UPS ... 210#238811