When gun owners purchase firearms, some purchase their guns from dealers in other cities and states. In order to obtain the weapon, many guns are shipped via the United States Postal Service (USPS).
“Guns do go through the mail system. Mailers have to follow all postal regulations to send those guns through the mail, but there is no special handling procedure for guns in the mail system,” Scott Balfour, an Assistant Special Agent with the U.S. Post Office of Inspector General, told WREG.
During Holidays and other times throughout the year, the USPS is extremely busy processing packages and mail. To help keep up with the flow of mail, the USPS often hires part-time, non-exempt employees to help with the rush and keep a backlog down.
It was discovered that one of these over-flow employees in Memphis was stealing packages that contained firearms. Whenever the carrier suspected a parcel had a gun in it, he would put the package aside and open it when he had the chance. He would remove the weapon from the package, seal the box and send the empty box to its final destination.
According to WREG’s report, it was known that the USPS employee would sell firearms from his home in South Memphis. AR-15s and .380s were sold, according to witness reports.
The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency documented 13 package lefts between February 2013 and May 2013, all of which took place at the main post office in Memphis. While some of the firearms have been found, some still remain missing. ATF, however, won’t release those numbers.