Airborne Express, one of the nation’s
largest package shippers, told an Oregon firearms maker that the company
no longer permitted its carriers to ship weapons and ammunition,
according to a policy company officials said was adopted last fall.
Thomas A. Bowers, a
federally-licensed firearms maker based in Hillsboro, Ore. told
WorldNetDaily he was “shocked” last week to learn that the package
carrier had such a policy, after a company official refused to ship a
firearm — despite Bowers’ longstanding use of Airborne.
Indeed, in an online version
of the company’s stated shipping policies, firearms are listed as items
that are “not acceptable,” along with alcoholic beverages, money, and
fur or fur-lined clothing, among other items.
Specifically, the weapons policy states, “Firearms (air or powder
discharged) assembled or unassembled; ammunition in all forms regardless
of hazard classification,” will not be accepted by the company.
A spokesperson for the Airborne Express executive offices confirmed
the policy to WorldNetDaily and added that she “had not heard” whether
corporate officials were considering changing the directive.
The Airborne Express policy echoes that of United Parcel
another leading national package shipper, which also prohibits the
shipment of “firearms and firearms parts,” including ammunition.
However, UPS officials have since changed that policy, deciding
instead to impose special mandatory shipping requirements on gun dealers
and manufacturers, as well as higher rates.
The reason for the policy, both companies said, was due to the risks
posed by employee theft — something corporate executives believe may
put their companies at risk of lawsuits by third parties if the weapons
are used illegally. But critics of the policy, including Bowers, have
said if the companies “have employees they can’t trust,” firearms makers
should not be held liable.
For his part, Bowers has called for a nationwide boycott of Airborne, calling the policy
“discriminatory … against firearms manufacturers, dealers and owners.”
The firearms maker said after WorldNetDaily’s series of articles
regarding Citibank’s policy of refusing to do business with gun
dealers and firearms clubs,
which later forced the global banking giant to reverse its policy
after “intense public pressure and a threatened boycott,” it was time to
do the same to Airborne.
Currently, Bowers said, Federal Express permits shipments of
firearms, “but it’s strict; you have to use their automated tracking
systems to ship” weapons.
Despite UPS’ stated anti-firearms shipment policy, company officials
said the firm would accept firearms shipments under special conditions.
Most rifle shipments are subject to normal rules, but handguns must be
shipped overnight at an increased cost of $30 per parcel, a cost gun
dealers and weapons makers have had to pass on to consumers.
Ironically, Bower said, “Airborne was accepting my firearms shipments
until earlier this month — but their policy is dated last October.” He
said he did over $200,000 worth of business last year, shipping all of
his products via Airborne — “an account I would think they’d hate to
lose,” he added.
Far from being activist in nature, Bowers told WorldNetDaily he
simply wants his boycott to force Airborne company officials to realize
what it means to exercise a constitutional right.
“As a firearms manufacturer, I feel like blacks must have felt when
they were refused service in whites-only restaurants in the 1950s and
1960s,” Bower said. “I just want the discrimination of gun owners,
supporters, dealers and manufacturers to stop.”
Texas state representative Suzanna Hupp
Meanwhile, Texas state Rep. Suzanna Hupp, who watched
helplessly in 1991 while her parents were gunned down in a Luby’s
restaurant in Killeen, Texas, has launched an initiative to file a
countersuit against U.S. cities and municipalities who have filed class
action suits against gun makers.
“After consulting legal experts,” Hupp said in a statement released
to WorldNetDaily, she and other Texas legislators “are in the process of
drafting a complaint that will be filed in a federal district court in
Texas” with the goal of halting the municipal lawsuits against the
The countersuit, Hupp said, alleges “the cities have conspired to
violate their right to keep and bear arms by using the courts to impose
gun control and threaten the gun industry with bankruptcy.” She added
that “several Texas gun stores will be plaintiffs in the lawsuit because
of the cities’ attempt to interfere with the gun stores’ ability to
participate in interstate commerce — a right that is protected by the
Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”