FOX NEWS - Timothy Nerozzi, Emma Colton - NOV 30, 2022
Montana AG concerned FedEx, UPS may be tracking gun ownership for White House
FedEx and UPS have changed shipping policies on firearms in a way that allows easy supervision and cataloguing of sellers and buyers, attorney general says
Montany Attorney General Austin Knudsen sent letters to logistics companies UPS and FedEx demanding information on their altered policies on firearms and whether they are in cooperation with federal agencies.
"What this looks to me, and a lot my colleagues, is the administration … can't get more gun control passed through the Senate and through the House. And so what they're trying to do is pressure their friends in large business to do it for them," Montana AG Austin Knudsen told Fox News Digital in a phone interview Wednesday.
Knudsen was pushed to send the letters Tuesday, first obtained by the Free Beacon, after receiving complaints from "several Montanans who hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs)" who told the attorney general that new regulations and information collection effectively circumvent warrant laws.
Knudsen was joined by 17 other state attorneys general in sending the letters Tuesday to UPS and FedEx leaders, asking the companies to "clarify" the policies they say are allowing the companies to track gun purchases.
"According to these reports, [FedEx and UPS] now requires FFL holders to create three separate shipping accounts: one for firearms, one for firearm parts, and one for all other firearm-related products," the letter reads. "Under this three-tier system, gun sellers cannot mix and match shipments, which reveals to your company whether they are shipping a gun, gun part, or a gun-related item."
Knudsen went on to allege that the new shipping policies — which create highly specific categories of shipping — make it impossible for gun sellers to mix firearms, firearm parts and other firearm paraphernalia.
"In addition to creating three distinct shipping groups, [FedEx and UPS] now apparently demands that gun store owners retain documents about what specific items those shipments contain and make that information available to FedEx upon request," Knudsen continued. "These demands, in tandem, allow FedEx to create a database of American gun purchasers and determine exactly what items they purchased."
A spokesperson for FedEx told Fox News Digital that the company "is aware of the letter from the state attorneys general."
"We are committed to the lawful and safe movement of regulated items through our network," the statement added.
Fox News Digital also reached out to UPS, ATF and the White House for comment.
Knudsen and the other state AGs are calling on the companies to clarify whether the new policies were enacted with the "goal of information sharing with the ATF or any other federal agency;" if the policies were enacted at the request of a federal agency; and to name the federal agency if the policies were enacted at the request of the federal government.
"This is already highly regulated. It isn't like you can just ship a gun through the mail to somebody. Federal law prohibits that. You have to ship from one federal firearms license holder to another federal firearms license holder. Whoever is receiving that firearm has to go through the same background check as you would if you walked into a gun store. So this is already quite cumbersome and quite regulated. Well now we're in a situation where UPS and FedEx magically together at the same time, come up with this brilliant idea, each on their own to require three different shipping accounts," Knudsen told Fox News Digital.