Firearms sellers started to receive a new agreement that they must sign to ship firearms through UPS. The letter contains new provisions in addition to the requirements announced last month. The most concerning of these new regulations is that UPS requires gun companies to turn over customer data and must allow UPS access to review and examine the shipper’s books and records relevant to the products being shipped upon request. The shipper must also provide UPS with invoices for any firearms-related products.
Most disturbing is that UPS has sole and unlimited discretion over what documents they can require the shippers to turn over. This new policy gives UPS the unlimited power and discretion to examine and review any customer documents related to firearms sales. The shipper also must agree to turn over any documents UPS requests within five business days or risk the termination of their shipping accounts. UPS says It will use its newfound power to audit the books to ensure compliance with its new policies.
UPS doesn’t tell customers whether the shipping company will keep customer information secure. The new UPS policy grants itself sole discretion to decide what it can examine and do with the data. Most customers do not want their private information given to anyone, especially a company that has made several recent anti-gun moves, including threatening to seize legal gun parts from one Florida seller.
UPS customers that ship firearms must also develop and implement a compliance program to ensure all employees of the shipper comply with all firearms laws and UPS policies. Not only do employees involved with shipping have to take the course, but anyone who works in sales or marketing must also complete the training. The company’s training must be “regarding lawful recipients, possessors, and purchasers of Firearm Products.” The compliance program must also teach “due diligence regarding customer licensure or authorization to receive, possess, and purchase Firearm Products under applicable federal, state, or local law.” The company must also implement a “self-assessment” of the compliance program to “guarantee its effectiveness.”
These new policies and the UPS policy requiring most gun sellers to use overnight air shipping for handguns instead of the standard two-day shipping will hurt online sales. Most people use online gun seller’s websites to save money on firearms, but those savings disappear because of the increased shipping price. Also, some online sellers are concerned with a private company being able to audit their books. One unnamed seller worried that this could be the end of internet gun sales.
The recent issues with “woke” credit card companies can be defeated by using things like 2AGateway’s cryptocurrency payment gateway that can take various cryptos instead of credit cards, or TUSC which is specific coin marketed for the firearms market. Beating anti-gun shipping companies will be a lot harder to do. The startup cost for a pro-gun competitor to UPS and FedEx would be enormous. Congress might be the only chance to reverse UPS’s and FedEx’s policies against gun sellers, but there is no guarantee that they will push back on these new discriminatory policies.
With shipping companies implementing anti-gun policies, it leaves gun buyers to seek alternatives to the online marketplace.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.