UPS loses/steals my M91/30!


October 15, 2006, 04:55 PM
Sold an MN 91/30 on Gunbroker recently.

I packed it up and used the ups website to prepay shipping and print a label....

I take it to my nearest UPS pickup center ( actually one of those mailbox pack and ship kind of places )

So 1 week goes by and I start getting calls from my customer wanting to know where his rifle is. So upon checking the tracking number with UPS... there is no information available!!! So I call the drop off place and they tell me that the driver picked it up 7 days prior................

As of today, UPS still shows no activity on the tracking number. I still have an angry customer...

So I call UPS and tell them that they have either lost my package or that someone has stolen it. I then let them know that it was a rifle and if I do not get anything from them by this Tuesday I will be calling the ATF.

I hope they find it. I really dont want to have that talk with ATF........

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October 15, 2006, 05:29 PM
Good luck! I believe UPS' policy is that firearms have to be dropped off at UPS Customer Service Centers and not at third party operated shipping locations. We'll be interested in hearing your follow-up report.

Car Knocker
October 15, 2006, 05:48 PM
Please let us know the outcome since it is UPS policy not to accept shipments of firearms from these places. Did you declare it as a firearm when you printed the label and when you dropped it off at the shipping outlet? If not, what did you say was in the package? Were you shipping it to someone with an FFL (01 or C&R)?

October 15, 2006, 10:28 PM
I was being shipped to an 03 FFL in California ( I am in Oregon, usually only a few days shipping )

When I paid for the shipping and printed the label, I was never asked to declare the contents of the package.

The place I dropped it off at wasn't like a "UPS Store" so I doubt that they had a firearms policy. And I did not volunteer any information at the time.
Secrecy is your friend. Dont ask, dont tell? Also once I reported the problem to UPS, they did not say anything about it.

Part of the reason I do not think that it was stolen is for one, the package was not marked in anyway that would reveal the contents. It was also shipped "name to name" so for all anyone knew it was a set of golf clubs or something.

Here is what I suspect happened:

The driver picks up multiple packages at one location, one is a 10# 58 inch long box. The large box gets set aside, in order to scan the other smaller ones first. It is possible that it was just over looked and is now sitting at the UPS hub. But who knows.

October 15, 2006, 10:34 PM
One way UPS workers 'disappear' a package is to sideline it by saying the bar code is unreadable and a new bar code is assigned. The new bar code never shows up in any tracking protocol.

I had a rifle case from Sportsmans Guide disappear in this fashion.


October 15, 2006, 10:40 PM
That really sucks. Hope your customer gets it and UPS is not being shady, please let us know what happens.

Did you declare it as a firearm and insure it as such?

October 15, 2006, 10:56 PM
Declaring a package as a firearm is a fantastic way to get it stolen. UPS has a dollar amount which applies regardless of contents. In fact, FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS marking packages containing firearms as containing such (at the very least, the carrier).

Just mark it as 'parts', or 'sporting goods', etc.

October 15, 2006, 11:01 PM
I did not know that you could not mark it as a firearm (have not ever had to ship one). I could see how it could make it easier to get stolen if you declare it, but dollar amount would give it away.

October 15, 2006, 11:04 PM
I've declared firearms all the time when I ship UPS. I always go to the local UPS staffed station. Not a UPS store, but an actual UPS staffed location.

I always bring the copy of the FFL with me too.

Please quote the Federal statute that indicates that it is illegal to ship a packaged marked 'firearm'.

October 15, 2006, 11:05 PM
I don't trust UPS at all and I don't use them. USPS priority mail has never gone wrong for me in about 100 long gun shipments over the past decade. Plus it's dirt cheap compared with UPS.

October 15, 2006, 11:37 PM
"No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm."

18 USC 922e (

However, it's still stupid to mark a package as containing a firearm, so I strongly recommend against placing such a label on by yourself.

Desk Jockey
October 15, 2006, 11:42 PM
Looks like UPS doesn't require you to declare a longgun, only a handgun. But you should probably have used a real UPS Customer Center.

October 16, 2006, 12:41 AM
I had a Steelers Super Bowl IX Zippo lighter "disappear" en route via UPS. A word of caution...UPS informed me I was no longer covered by their insurance as their coverage was only good for something like 14 days. I fought it and won but they will try to renege on the insurance if you wait to make a claim.

October 16, 2006, 12:49 AM
Guys... Federal law requires you to declare that you are shipping a firearm...

B8) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, [B]Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.

October 16, 2006, 12:57 AM
They found my Kimber pretty quick when I told them that it was insured for $2k and I had a pile of recipts ;)

gun isn't worth $2k, but they didn't know that :neener:

October 16, 2006, 01:08 AM
i would have call,as soon as you found out.

October 16, 2006, 01:11 AM
I noticed a tremendous decline in the quality of UPS service over the last year or so. I've had 2 packages lost/stolen in transit in the last year. One was a replacement cell phone (by insurance claim). UPS was very slow to claim responsibility for it, and it wound up taking about 45 days to get a new phone that I was paying for a plan on the whole time. Also, Ive had various incoming UPS packages in recent months damaged in some way. Some of it is small and insignifcant damage, but two have been delivered with extensive damage that resulted in missing and damaged parts. The thing is, up until relatively recently, I always considered UPS to be the best where shipping is concerned. I don't know what's causing all this recent bad service, but it certainly does seem to be a trend in my experience.

October 16, 2006, 01:19 AM
Let me preface this by saying I work very closely with UPS and while not employed or payed by them I work for the Largest UPS shipping outlet in the USA.

First off You are required by UPS to declare the contents of a package. Period. It is not printed on the label at all and is used for insurance purposes. Without the contents of the package having been declared in detail you only have the stock 100 USD package insurance and then only if you can prove what was in the package. Second off, UPS only takes firearms at their Depot Customer Service Center or directly to a driver. They do not want your weapon sitting in a Mailbox's Etc, Staples, or any other store until their next UPS pickup, plus some companies have no Firearms policies with regards to shipping (Staples, Office Depot, Office Max)

When you made your label did you use if so did you select added insurance? I hope you did because if not you are only covered to $100. And if you shipped it through a place that doesn't except firearms you could be out of luck altogether, especially if the drop site you left it at doesn't have a End of Day slip signed/scanned by a ups driver indicating pickup of that slips assigned packages.

Secrecy is not your friend in instances like this as UPS had a high probability of denying a claim on a packaged with undeclared contents.

Here is another possibility that happens from time to time as well. The packaged was picked up and the drop site didn't release all the packages to the drivers Scanner and the package is in an "Exception" state that no one is aware of because the package didn't get entered into their system and still shows "Billing Information Received".

October 16, 2006, 08:49 AM
I've only used FedEx (shipped a handgun to the factory once), but my understanding is that "declaring" the contents simply means telling the guy or gal at the counter what's in the box. At least, that's how it worked for me. There was no indication on the shipping labels what the box contained. Cost a bleedin' fortune to ship it.

I hope you recover your rifle!

kevin davis
October 16, 2006, 10:05 AM
UPS "lost" 200 rounds of .30-06 ammo from CTD en route to me. I got a reshipment just fine but never an explanation of how the package disappeared in Fort Worth. Fed Ex almost gave birth to a cow when I shipped a barrel to get ported. It took 15 minutes to get it straightened out that I was not shipping a firearm in workin order.:eek:

October 16, 2006, 10:43 AM
Secrecy is NOT your friend when doing this type of activity. BATFE, who covers interstate transfers, has NO sense of humor!
Good thing you lost a cheap rifle, and can buy the buyer another one, unless it's a genuine 1920 Tula factory sniper with original scope?

October 16, 2006, 10:59 AM
When shipping firearms, instead of a rifle box addressed to Billy Bob's Guns and Stuff, I label it Billy Bob's G&S. If asked by UPS or others if you declared it as a firearm, I would just say "Yes, of course." How will they prove otherwise?

October 16, 2006, 12:10 PM
FYI, UPS has a bunch of lawyers that check out websites that badmouth or use any logos related, even if somewhat similar, to their own...

So thertel, do you work in the legal department?

October 16, 2006, 12:49 PM
I think requesting your insured amount would get UPS working fast on your shipment. I had something similar happen to me w/ UPS, but when I started the claim process, UPS was able to locate my package (pistol) pretty fast!

October 16, 2006, 12:49 PM
Had them "lose" a box with six 24 inch long .22cal barrel blanks on me. Actually there was a small barrel-size hole in one end of the package and all the barrels were gone. Sportsmans Guide replaced them no charge...

October 16, 2006, 01:50 PM
UPS is brutal. I've never had them lose anything, but they break lots of things. I have a friend who is a UPS driver, and he has some real horror stories about what goes on at the depot. They break things deliberately.

I use DHL. They are 30% cheaper and 30% faster than UPS or Fedex, and they don't break or lose anything. Typical German efficiency. The problem is, they don't ship firearms, PERIOD. So, I call them "Machine Parts", and have never had aproblem.

October 16, 2006, 02:31 PM
use DHL. They are 30% cheaper and 30% faster than UPS or Fedex, and they don't break or lose anything. Typical German efficiency. The problem is, they don't ship firearms, PERIOD. So, I call them "Machine Parts", and have never had aproblem.

No problems until one day they loose the box and ask for a detailed report on what was inside before they pay out the insurance.

October 16, 2006, 04:08 PM
UPS is the only way we get anything...FedEx might leave it at the neighbors, or the bank, or the hardware store in town, or at some random house in the area, or under the hedge in front of the house, or at school in town, and the best part is, they always write down that it was left at the correct address!

DHL shipped something once, they drove by 4 or 5 times before they stopped, but got it here.


October 16, 2006, 04:23 PM
if it was insured you should be able to get your money after time goes by

October 16, 2006, 08:33 PM
How exactl;y do I declare the contents if the website never prompted me to do so, nor did the drop site ask me the contents... I sure as hell am not going to run around telling evreyone that I have a gun in the box.

Thats irrelevant now as everyone knows it contained a rifle.

UPS is doing a 'trace' on the package. They will not tell me anything for 6 days, so on Friday I will know something.

I just sold another rifle.... I think I am going to go USPS on this one. Or maybe FedEx??????

October 16, 2006, 08:49 PM
Go with USPS. On packages with insurance and delivery confirmation, I've never had a package get lost.

October 17, 2006, 12:17 AM
Nope not a lawyer to answer that question. If the trace is less than helpful, PM me with a tracking number and I'll see if I can push any buttons for you.


October 20, 2006, 10:37 PM

It made it safe and sound. Though I did not get any explaination from UPS as to why it was lost for a week.

But alas, there is a new dilemma regarding this old rifle...

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