Attorney General Paxton has joined a coalition of states in sending two Montana-led letters to FedEx Corporation and United Parcel Service (UPS) over reports that the shipping companies have updated their terms of service for gun store owners. The new terms reportedly require any individuals who possess a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to comply with burdensome, intrusive, and potentially illegal corporate regulations. The letters note that FFL holders “allege that the new regulations allow your company to track firearm sales with unprecedented specificity and bypass warrant requirements to share that information with federal agencies.”
The shippers are not only requiring FFL holders to create new separate shipping accounts for firearms, firearm parts, and other firearm-related shipments, but they also ask gun store owners to retain documents about specific shipments and make those available to the companies upon request. The shippers can then send those documents to the federal government at their discretion.
As the letters point out, this presents an enormous threat to the 2nd Amendment and could very well violate federal law: “[Y]our policies allegedly allow [you] to ‘comply with . . . requests from applicable law enforcement or other governmental authorities’ even when those requests are ‘inconsistent or contrary to any applicable law, rule, regulation, or order.’ In doing so you—perhaps inadvertently—give federal agencies a workaround to federal law, which has long prevented federal agencies from using gun sales to create gun registries.”
Attorney General Paxton and the coalition conclude the two letters by asking for the updated shipping agreements, requesting answers to several questions, and recommending that they immediately halt any warrantless information sharing with federal agencies.
To read the letters, click here.