UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

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UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#1 Post by Pete44ru » Tue May 15, 2018 3:57 am


I ran across this, and thought it may be of interest here:

( March 1st, 2013)

As a gun owner and an 11-year UPS driver, I get a lot of questions from people regarding the safest way to ship and insure firearms through UPS. Theft of firearms and other items by UPS employees, ‘though rare, unfortunately does occur, but there are a lot of surprisingly simple and inexpensive ways to virtually guarantee that you won’t be a victim. Please pass this information along to anyone who may benefit from it.

There are two things that cause thefts from UPS – pilfering and over-labeling. Pilferers are mostly thieves of opportunity. Handguns, jewelry, cameras, and prescription narcotics are their favorite targets because they are easily identifiable and can quickly be shoved into a pocket or inside of a shirt, due to the SMALL SIZE of the packages they come in.

The red and black “adult signature required” (ASR) labels that are legally required to be placed on these packages are often a dead giveaway. These labels are also called “steal-me sticker,” because thieves look for them. Most UPS facilities are fenced, and employees’ belongings are subject to searched exiting, so the size of the item is critical.

The BEST way to protect your handgun is to simply put it in a big box. One gunsmith on my route “disguises” his handguns by putting them in used Amway boxes! This works VERY well. Look at the box you are shipping your handgun in. If you can stick it inside your pants or under your shirt easily, it is vulnerable. As far as the ASR labels, you are required by law to have them on firearms shipments. What many customers don’t know, however, is that they can get a more discreet ASR label that is incorporated into the UPS tracking label. These are better because the words “adult signature required” are very small and unnoticeable. More importantly, this barcode will electronically “prompt” the driver at the other end to get a signature. In case he accidently tries to “release” the package on the customer’s porch without getting a signature. He will be unable to do so because the DIAD (that electronic clipboard that you sign) will read the barcode and will force him to get a signature in order to complete the delivery. You can order these special tracking labels through your Customer Service rep, or you can print them yourself with the UPS shipping software.

Another more sophisticated method of theft is “over-labeling.” This involves several conspirators who plan ahead and may get jobs at UPS for that very purpose. What they do is to print up a bunch of fake labels, with generic barcodes and phony return addresses, that are all addressed to a storage unit or apartment that they have rented in advance. One or more employees who are sorting and processing these packages will then slap the phony label over the authentic one, and the package will then proceed along its merry way to the “destination,” where an unsuspecting driver will deliver it to another accomplice who signs for it using a fake name. This will go on for a week or so until the thieves move on to another address to avoid suspicion. Since the original barcode is covered up, it is impossible to even trace these packages and they simply “vanish.”

The thieves who do this will also target handguns and jewelry but, since they are not trying to sneak it past a guard, they have the freedom to target larger packages, such as rifles, TVs, and computers. How do you avoid this?

It’s simple. You put an address label on ALL SIX SIDES of the box. A package so labeled will be passed up by a prospective thief, since he must now try to cover up six labels instead of only one. This is too risky, since the areas where these packages are sorted are often under electronic surveillance.If you are a gunsmith or store owner who ships UPS, and the package you are shipping is worth over $1000, inform the driver who picks it up and have him initial the pickup record. These “high value” packages are audited and are segregated from other packages. They are not sorted or run over conveyor belts, and they are subject to a chain-of-custody type of procedure that will prevent their being stolen. I feel 100% safe in saying that a handgun that is shipped in a larger-than-normal box of good quality, with a discreet ASR barcode, and with address labels on all six sides will NEVER get stolen or lost.

It’s unfortunate that a few of the 16 million pieces a day that we ship are in danger of being stolen but, if you take these simple precautions, you won’t be a victim.


(The avatar is me, in 1948 ! )


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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#2 Post by hayabusa » Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 am

Thanks Pete44ru.

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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#3 Post by Sixgun » Tue May 15, 2018 10:16 am

Good post Pete.......on my personal list of most hated/despicable/people-who-need-to-shot list are child molesters with thieves running a close second. I spend a considerable amount of money on security and I'm truthfully afraid of what I would do to a thief if I caught him in the act.

I've had one loss that turned out OK with UPS even after putting three huge shipping labels on it and insuring for more than it was worth.......a NIB Remington 1100 made in '64...........I was a bit irate with UPS and they made it a priority to find never left the UPS sorting station in New Jersey and was found a week later in (from what I was told) an area of the warehouse where it was not supposed to be.

Last year a $500 package to my son was lost by the USPS service and it was the one time I did not add insurance. That one was tracked as lost between my post office and the Wilmington, De. sorting station.....yea...looks like the driver stole it.

What I do now to give myself piece of mind is you posted..........multiple huge labels.....and insuring for double to quadruple the amount of what the item is worth. I eat the insurance cost. Guys here on the board will tell ya I've insured $50 packages for $500.

A sure way to get a companies' attention.......or through the age old adage of "hit 'em where it hurts, the pocketbook".----6
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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#4 Post by mikld » Tue May 15, 2018 10:46 am

Great information and a few things I had not thought of. I haven't had many firearms shipped to me but I did ship one S&W 629 back to the factory. Come to think of it I did use an oversize box (only one I had at the time) and I labeled it "Machine Parts" and had it returned to an FFL (I lived in CA at the time and I wasn't taking any chances)...
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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#5 Post by Bullard4075 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:53 pm

"Any man who covers his face and packs a gun is a legitimate target for any decent citizen"
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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#6 Post by wecsoger » Fri May 18, 2018 4:14 pm

Good advice, this guy is dead on and I hope people will take heed.

Only thing I can add is most people under-pack or under-protect their item.

If you can hold your package out at arm's length, drop it from a height of 5' and the item inside won't be _might_ be packed well enough.

This is coming from a a 23 year victim and veteran of the overnight and second day air shipping business and now a 9 year victim and veteran of the LTL trucking industry.

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Re: UPS Driver On Shipping Firearms

#7 Post by piller » Mon May 21, 2018 7:51 am

I sent a shotgun back to the factory once in a wooden box which was held together with bolts and couldn't be unscrewed from the outside. I built the box. The factory sent me an e-mail letting me know that they had to xray the box before cutting it open. Somehow, they missed my package with the keys. The repaired shotgun was shipped back in a cardboard box.
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