On a daily basis, United Parcel Service (UPS) delivers over 15 million packages to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. It now appears that those packages will no longer include firearm suppressors. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), UPS recently made the decision to stop shipping suppressors, even between licensees. As of yet, UPS has not given a reason for its abrupt change in policy.
“NSSF is working with UPS executives to determine what prompted the enforcement of this unwarranted policy. We are unaware of any thefts or losses that would explain the shipping company’s sudden decision to enforce a prohibition against shipment,” stated the NSSF in a press release.
UPS has not yet made an official announcement regarding the policy change, but appears to have modified the section of its website that describes its firearms policy to reflect that firearm “mufflers” and silencers will no longer be shipped by the company.
The following excerpt appears on UPS.com:
UPS accepts firearm parts for shipment, provided the part is not a ‘firearm’ as defined under federal law; the contents of the package cannot be assembled to form a firearm; and the package otherwise complies with federal, state, and local law. (Note: Receivers or frames of a firearm are considered “firearms” and are accepted for transportation only if shipped in accordance with UPS’s requirements for shipping firearms; firearm mufflers and silencers are not accepted for transportation.)
Judging by the commentary on the company’s social media accounts, UPS is also receiving a fair amount of criticism for its decision.
“Banning shipping suppressors? We’ll be shipping Fed-Ex,” wrote one commenter on Facebook.
“UPS is a disgrace. Resume shipments of firearms & other firearm-related items or UPS will lose ALL of my business,” said another.
Note that UPS does allow individuals to ship firearms to licensed dealers, collectors, manufacturers, and so on, where such a shipment is not forbidden by local laws. Dealers, manufacturers, importers, and the like are also able to ship firearms to one another using the service.
The company’s policy change comes just shortly before Vermont lawmakers passed a bipartisan bill to legalize suppressors in the state, which was quickly followed by a similar bill passing both chambers of the Minnesota legislature. Both bills are now headed to the desks of their respective governors and if signed, would increase the number of states that allow possession of suppressors to 41. Of those states, 35 allow the use of suppressors in hunting.
“Using suppressors can make shooting firearms safer, more enjoyable and help make shooting ranges more neighborly,” stated the NSSF, which added that suppressors can protect against hearing loss, especially in hunting situations where ear protection is impractical.
The NSSF indicated that it and other industry groups are working with UPS to reach an understanding on the policy change.
Need a refresher on how suppressors work? Check out the video below by SilencerCo: