Of UPS, Lawsuits, And Congress


How You Can Fight Back Against the UPS Handgun “Tax”

by Gun Owners of America

(Friday, October 15, 1999) — By now, you have no doubt heard that UPS has stopped shipping handguns through its cheaper “ground service.” The decision has sent shock waves through a gun industry that is already under fire from many cities that have launched frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to put them out of business.

“We’re trying to protect ourselves from employees stealing and criminals stealing,” said a spokesman from the company. However, UPS is continuing to ship long guns, rifles and shotguns by ground.

For years, UPS has handled up to 75% of guns sent from manufacturers to distributors and nearly all firearms shipped from distributors to dealers, says the executive director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.

The new decision by UPS certainly comes at a bad time, as the Christmas season looms just around the corner. Removing the ground service alternative for handguns will clearly raise the cost of those firearms and could amount to a “tax” of something like $30 for each handgun. While there were some early reports that a competitor such as RPS might fill the vacuum left by UPS, that option did not materialize. In fact, RPS instead announced they will no longer ship handguns by ground. Adding insult to injury, Airborne Express joined the mayhem by announcing it will no longer ship any firearms– period.

Speculation abounds as to the real motives behind the recent actions taken by UPS, RPS and Airborne Express. Some contend there is a clear anti-gun bias working here, and the intent is to increase the cost of handguns to consumers. Others, especially those in the mail industry, contend that they are subject to increased liability, and must somehow reduce the number of workers who handle the firearms in transit.

While it is certainly possible that some truth exists on both sides, one thing is for sure: anti-gun politicians have launched a campaign to demonize anyone who touches a firearm– specifically, anyone responsible for making guns or delivering them to the dealers who sell them to the public. As of this week, 28 cities and counties had unsheathed their litigious swords against the firearms industry. Even if the manufacturers and dealers win in court, simply financing their defense will greatly increase their cost of doing business.

And that’s the point. It does not matter that these suits have been almost universally unsuccessful. This month, judges in Cincinnati and Baltimore became the most recent magistrates to throw out such frivolous cases. Nevertheless, the other lawsuits continue, financed by public tax dollars. And there’s no guarantee that mail carriers will remain exempted from future lawsuits.

Several states have passed legislation that in one form or another will prevent or discourage cities from suing gun makers and sellers. But the lawsuits continue anyway; and will eventually cripple the gun industry if left unchecked. Thankfully, three Congressmen have introduced bills to put a stop to this (see item #1 below).


1. Help save those who manufacture or deliver 2nd Amendment-type products. It is imperative that you urge your Congressmen to act now. Ask your Representative and Senators to cosponsor the bills listed below, as they would stop these frivolous lawsuits that are merely designed to punish law-abiding businesses. Call 202-225-3121 (see GOA website for fax and e-mail info) to support:

  • * S. 954 by Sen. Bob Smith (I-NH), a bill which currently has 1 cosponsor;
  • * H.R. 1577 by Rep. John Hostettler(R-IN), a bill which currently has 20 cosponsors; and
  • * H.R. 1032 by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), a bill which currently has 89 cosponsors.

2. Contact UPS. The UPS decision is almost guaranteed to deliver handgun buyers a new “tax.” But as NRA Director Neal Knox put it on Wednesday: “It’s going to be mighty difficult to mount an effective boycott if all the carriers are doing it.” However, that doesn’t mean we can’t vent our displeasure with their management. Please look at the contact information below and direct your comments to one or more of the outlets provided.

By the way, you can offer them a positive suggestion as well. UPS has attributed its theft problem to the smaller size of the handgun box that can be easily secreted under an employee’s clothing. Since UPS is still shipping long guns at the cheaper price, why not ask them to simply change the requirement for the minimum box size rather than commit highway robbery against gun owners shipping handguns?

3. Consider alternatives. Writing for World Net Daily, Tanya Metaksa gives an interesting alternative from Jason Young, account representative of The Service Source. Young says that his company has negotiated “aggressive shipping rates” and is willing to work with handgun shippers. Young can be reached at 1-877-843-7687; [email protected] is his e-mail address. It is also worth noting that dealers can ship handguns to fellow dealers through the US Postal Service using the ground service rate.

Contact Information for UPS*

UPS Corporate Headquarters
United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
Customer Service: 1-800-833-0056
E-mail: [email protected]

National Media Relations – Norman Black
Voice: 404-828-7593
Pager: 888-856-8816
E-mail: [email protected]

Reputation Management – Peggy Gardner
Voice: 404-828-6051
E-mail: [email protected]

Executive Communications – Steve Soltis
Voice: 404-828-4029
E-mail: [email protected]

Public Affairs – Tad Segal
Voice: 202-675-3381
E-mail: [email protected]

*Our thanks to Chris Stark of the Gun Owners Alliance for providing this contact information for UPS.

Cheaper Than Dirt donates a percentage of your total order to GOA if you use
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/goa.htm to enter their online store.