FedEx, UPS wary of shipping at-home firearm mills – report

Reuters / Mike Blake

Reuters / Mike Blake

Shipping giants FedEx and UPS say they will not transport a $1,500 computer-controlled, homemade firearms mill, as the companies are concerned the technology presents thorny legal implications, according to a Wired report.

First unveiled in October, the Ghost Gunner – a one-foot-cubed,
computer-controlled (CNC) gun mill made by the nonprofit Defense
Distributed – is able to produce an aluminum firearm body using
digital designs.

The mill can develop a “ghost gun” that comes without a trackable
serial number, of course. A mill-produced firearm can be added to
with extra parts to produce, say, a homemade AR-15

This capability has shipping companies balking – at least
initially – as to whether they would handle such a personal gun
mill. Despite their routine shipping of 3D printers and similar
mills, the FedEx told Defense Distributed it would not transport
the Ghost Gunner until it was sure of the pertinent legal issues
the machine poses.

READ MORE: 3D printer for creating untraceable
AR-15 rifles hits market

“This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and
potentially by private individuals,”
FedEx spokesperson
Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement, according to Wired.

“We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a
regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As
such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and
regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know
more about how it will be regulated.”

Yet the purchase, sale, or use of a “ghost gun” mill is legal, as
is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, Adam Winkler, a law
professor at UCLA, told Wired.

“It’s going to be very hard to get people to stop using these
same devices to make firearms,”
Winkler said. “To a
certain extent, FedEx will have to get used to shipping
gun-making machines.”

Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed’s founder, said that FedEx is
making a political statement rather than a cautious legal

“They’re acting like this is legal when in fact it’s the
expression of a political preference
,” he said. “The
artifact that they’re shipping is a CNC mill. There’s nothing
about it that is specifically related to firearms except the
hocus pocus of the marketing.”

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in California

UPS, too, said it was wary of legal and regulatory aspects of
shipping such mills.

“UPS reserves the right to refuse to provide transportation
service for, among other reasons, any shipments that create
legal, safety or operational concerns,”
company spokesperson
Dan Mackin told Wired.

“UPS is continuing to evaluate such concerns with regard to
the transportation of milling machines used to produce operable
firearms but, at this point in time, will not accept such devices
for transportation.”

The US Postal Service did not immediately respond to Wired’s
inquiry over whether they, too, would pass on shipping mills
capable of fashioning firearms on the cheap.

Though Ghost Gunner is capable of making a variety of items,
Defense Distributed heavily markets the mill for firearm

“This is a way to jab at the bleeding hearts of these total
Wilson told Wired when Ghost Gunner was revealed in
October. “It’s about humiliating the power that wants to
humiliate you.”

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