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Gun sent from FFL through USPS lost!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ilmonster, May 26, 2010.

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  1. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Here's an interesting one. I sold a shotgun to someone in another state. I dropped it off at my FFL to be sent to the buyers FFL. My FFL sent it via the US Postal Service on May 17. My buyer still hasn't received it. The tracking number doesn't register in the USPS's system, so my FFL stopped by the post office he sent it from yesterday and they said they have record of it being scanned last monday, but nothing beyond that.

    I did insure the gun. The USPS said after tomorrow (5/27) if they don't have it, I can put a claim in for the insurance money. That's not my main concern (I will also refund my buyers money).

    Question is, I now have a firearm last registered in my name (I bought it new) floating around the USPS. I assume it wasn't lost, but stolen (it's not exactly a small box). I am thinking about either calling my local police dept. to report it lost/stolen, or calling the ATF to report it. My worry is that a gun registered in my name is now in limbo, negating using an FFL to sell it (vs. doing a FTF locally).

    I am trying to cover my butt. Your thoughts??
     
  2. rmfnla

    rmfnla Member

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    Report it as stolen now.

    If it turns up you can always rescind the report, but if it is used in a crime the first thing the police will ask you is why you didn't report it.
     
  3. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Absolutely report it as stolen, NOW.
    What are you waiting for? If it has not been received & the PO can't find it, report it.
    Denis
     
  4. lawson4

    lawson4 Member

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    Report it. The USPS Inspectors don't take theft lightly. Get the ATF involved, too.

    Rick
     
  5. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    Report Report Report,

    Paper trail is your best friend.
     
  6. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    The USPS lost the FFL's shipment, not your shipment, so the FFL needs to initiate the claim with USPS. Also, the FFL will have the gun listed in his bound book, so he should file the police report.

    Just as an FYI, it's a bigger deal with .gov entities for an FFL to lose a gun, or to have one stolen, than it is for an individual. If it was stolen during shipment that's an added charge for the thief.

    I've also found that the USPS tracking system is much less robust than those of UPS or FedEx.
     
  7. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Bubbles, correct, it is certainly on my FFL's books. I am calling my local PD anyway to report. You are also right, that my FFL will have to initiate the insurance claim as he sent it (which he confirmed yesterday when we spoke). Thanks for the replies!
     
  8. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Being delayed in the mail is not the same as stolen.

    It's been all of NINE days, until the USPS says your shipment is stolen, lost, destroyed, etc it IS NOT STOLEN, LOST OR DESTROYED. Don't start filing police reports because the gun was not stolen from you or your FFL.
    Imagine the look on the face of the police officers taking your stolen gun report: "Hi officer! I mailed a gun...well my gun dealer mailed a gun and since it hasn't arrived I want to report it as stolen, because the USPS NEVER misplaces any package and is 100% efficient and I have no idea where, when or how it was stolen...." If I were the officer I might Taser you right then and there.:D

    Seriously, This is a shipment between two licensed firearms dealers. You have ZERO responsibility or liability for the shipment or anything that happens as a result of this shipment.

    Do you know what level of service your FFL chose when he mailed your gun?

    If he went cheap, he probably picked Parcel Post- which is slooooooooow. I have had a rifle stock take sixteen days to get from Richmond, VA to Plano, Texas. (and it was no where close to Christmas)

    USPS Priority Mail is usually just a couple of $$ more- but way faster.

    USPS does not offer "tracking" in the same manner as UPS or FedEx, unless you pay for Express Service. You can get a "tracking number" from the USPS for Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation or if Insurance is purchased.
    Delivery Confirmation will often fail to show anything until the package is actually delivered. Sometimes it never shows.

    As mentioned before, your FFL will need to present proof of mailing and proof of insurance and complete a claim form......and the USPS will tell him how soon he can file a claim. they don't want to pay the claim and then have the shipment delivered.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The dealer might want to hold off on the stolen gun report, at least until USPS says it is stolen. If the gun does turn up, then the buyer is in possession of a gun that is recorded as stolen, not a good situation. It is a lot harder to UNreport something than it is to report it.

    If in the meantime, the gun turns up in the wrong place and is traced back to you, you have the dealer's log and the USPS record to prove it was out of your hands.

    Jim
     
  10. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Thanks for all the reply's. I got an email from the recipient this evening and his FFL finally got it...all is well. Next time I'm using UPS!
     
  11. TCOV

    TCOV Member

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    Thank goodness you didn't panic and follow the advice of half the people posting here.
     
  12. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    Yesterday I was at the UPS store in Oakdale, CA and was told they are no longer permitted to ship guns. Another store down the street handles Fed-Ex and they are good to go.
     
  13. carbuncle

    carbuncle Member

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    Another vote for report it immediately: I guarantee someone knows where it is...
     
  14. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Contact the postal inspectors
    they don't like stuff like guns "misplaced" and will do more than your local cops
     
  15. Griz44

    Griz44 Member

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    I have had a lot more issues with UPS than USPS. UPS has lost 2 and turned a beautiful custom M1 into a folding stock model. All of them have their issues. Document the shipment, buy insurance to replace whatever you ship. The rest is just time to get it fixed when something bad happens.
     
  16. nathan

    nathan Member

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    A lot of thieves working at the Postal Service is what i would suspect. That is a sad state of affairs , really ...
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Having worked for the USPS the security we had in the main teminal would make a theft fairly difficult on something the size of a long gun. Cameras and live observers were everywhere. Once it leaves the main terminal anything could happen as far as theft. When working for a FFL we had guns stolen while in UPS's possession more than once. They have a lot of employees with shady backgrounds. One pistol was stolen from the line at UPS by an employee who decided he couldn't get it out through the main gate and tossed it into an empty trailer. ATF showed up at our door to investigate - we did not call them, I assume UPS did.
     
  18. Nick5182

    Nick5182 Member

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    Everyone's right, man. Report that sucker stolen.

    Sorry, I didn't see that...
     
  19. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Incredible. It's UPS that had so many lost guns that they, instead of upgrading security, simply required the highest priced, and "most secure", option for shipping. They STILL lose entire shipments of guns to distributors!!

    The simplest, and easiest, manner to ship USPS is Registered mail. The package is priced according to declared value, and EVERYBODY who handles it, signs for it. It can be a couple of days slower than Express, but is the most secure means available, short of hand-carrying it yourself. Jewelers have been using it successfully for decades.

    I've had UPS leave a handgun on my porch, in plain sight. It even said "Adult Signature Required" on the package.

    Fed-Ex left TWO rifles at the wrong address. Different street name, and address than mine. BOTH packages had the Adult Signature requirement, as well. The packages were left in plain sight, leaning against the door of a house with nobody home.

    Had a USPS Carrier done that, and had them stolen, he would have had to PAY the declared value out of his pocket.
     
  20. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Thanks for all the reply's. I got an email from the recipient this evening and his FFL finally got it...all is well. Next time I'm using UPS!

    Just remember UPS, FEDEX, DHL, and all the others lose stuff too.
     
  21. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    WAIT A MINUTE!! I thought the USPS did NOT ship guns!! Did the rules change recently or have I been mis-informed?
     
  22. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Sure they do, they always have.

    Anyone can ship rifles or shotguns through the USPS, but only licensed firearms dealers & manufacturers can mail handguns.

    http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/601.htm#wp1065404
     
  23. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Didn't mean to imply that UPS was perfect vs. USPS. I have had anecdotally better results shipping things with UPS than the postal service. I'm glad the package got to it's destination (and it was in good shape), but would have liked to have had the tracking # work during the nine days of transit so that the package didn't seem as if it were in limbo.
     
  24. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    OK I get it. The USPS won't ship them evil handguns! However, its not true that a handgun has to go through an FFL. I've shipped guns to the manufacturer an to repair facilities w/out using an FFL at my end, but there does have to be an FFL at the other end.
     
  25. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    If you mailed that handgun USPS you violated Federal law. If you will read the USPS regulations that I posted you will see that. Federal law does allow a nonlicensee to ship a handgun common carrier (UPS/FedEx).
     
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