by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Montana’s top law official is concerned that shipping giants UPS and FedEx are working with the Biden administration to bypass laws that bar the federal government from creating a national database of American gun owners, according to a copy of a letter sent to the companies on Tuesday and exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Republican Montana attorney general Austin Knudsen alleges that new shipping guidelines allow UPS and FedEx “to track firearm sales with unprecedented specificity and bypass warrant requirements to share that information with federal agencies.” The letter, signed by Knudsen and 16 other state attorneys general, says the altered shipping guidelines force licensed firearm dealers into providing detailed information about purchasers who are receiving items through the mail. The letter does not have explicit proof that the shipping giants are sharing information with federal agencies but cites conversations between state officials and licensed firearm dealers who claim they were forced to comply with these regulations.
By requiring firearms dealers to provide an unprecedented level of information about their clients, the shipping companies may be giving “federal agencies a workaround to normal warrant requirements,” the letter states. This ultimately allows them “to provide information at will or upon request to federal agencies—information detailing which Americans are buying what guns.” The state officials are asking UPS and FedEx to provide them with information about any recent rule changes and disclose any role the federal government played in the matter.
Knudsen, in an interview with the Free Beacon, said he is concerned UPS and FedEx may be coordinating with the Biden administration to circumvent a ban on the creation of a federal gun owner database. Sources who spoke with Knudsen’s office, he said, indicated the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms “told [the companies] they have to do this.”