Economy might change how shippers view guns

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Not that long ago, UPS said they weren’t going to ship guns for anyone that didn’t ship more than a certain fairly sizeable quantity of firearms. Now, FedEx is saying they won’t ship unserialized receivers–yes, even if they’re in compliance with the law.

These are private companies and they can make whatever decisions they want. Further, it’s unlikely either of these companies will see a massive loss in business as a result of their moves.

However, as Jennifer Sensiba notes over at The Truth About Guns, recent economic woes might change some of that.

Now, we’re seeing that FedEx is falling on hard times, with their stock tumbling last week (UPS stock took a hit, too). This obviously wasn’t caused by their newly restrictive “ghost gun” policies, as that revenue is a tiny fraction of a rounding error to a company like FedEx. But it does signal a tightening economy and possibly a further downturn that could put all kinds of businesses in a difficult position.

This situation leads to another question that relates to the big shipping companies’ newly intensified anti-gun policies as well as other anti-gun policies. Is being picky about your customers and doing things that could alienate a good portion of them something these megacorps — or any going concern — can afford to keep doing?

I don’t know about TTAG’s readers, but from my own experience, I’ve found that during hard times, you can’t really afford to be picky about your work. You certainly can’t afford to shaft customers for political reasons just to please vocal interest groups. Even giants like UPS and FedEx can’t afford to alienate even a tenth of their customer bases if they want to survive a recession.

She’s not wrong.

These companies are going to hit hard times simply because everyone else has hit them. Maybe they banked enough during the pandemic–a time when pretty much everyone had pretty much everything shipped to their house–to get them through a lean period, but I doubt it.

So, if they want to stay afloat, can they really afford to alienate businesses and individuals who might be interested in using their services to transport lawful products to wherever? After all, even if they’re willing to ship other stuff for us, why would we want to use them as things currently stand?

That means the economic downturn we’re seeing may create an opportunity to pressure these companies to reverse these decisions.

“Why would I want to? They’ve already shown they’re anti-gun,” some might argue, and they’d have a valid point.

However, if we just write off companies when they take that position, then what we’re telling companies is that there’s no point in doing anything but doubling down after they make such a move.

Not only that, but if they see enough of an increase to keep things in the black during tough economic times, it means they’ll be less likely to make such moves again. It also means other companies may learn from this as well and finally put an end to this anti-gun nonsense.

Guns aren’t bad and there’s no reason for these companies to take on this stance, but we can change things for the better. We can and we should.