Christmas is meant to be a time of rejoicing and full of fun, but it seems that this is not the case for a couple who lives in New York. The Big Apple couple were absolutely terrified to see that a UPS delivery resulted in an assault rifle -- as opposed to receiving a Christmas present. Joel Berman picked up the UPS delivery that arrived in a keyboard-sized case, and decided to unbox this present right in front of his wife as well as 6-year old granddaughter on Wednesday night in their home that is located in Oceanside, right on Long Island itself.
Imagine the sense of anticipation building up, knowing that they had placed an order for a toy plane before, and are clearly looking forward to the day when the toy plane takes to the skies and seeing the look of happiness and joy on the recipient’s face. It is nothing but a priceless experience, that is for sure. However, all of that anticipation fizzled out upon opening this UPS package that was meant for their friend’s son, the found an assault rifle instead.
The semi-automatic rifle came with its scope, accompanying stand, as well as ammo clip. Of course, there were also copies made of an Arizona man's driver's license in the package as well, accompanied by a concealed-weapons permit. Needless to say, they recovered from the initial shock, and sending their precious granddaughter to a different room, they composed themselves to give the local men in blue a call. The police dropped by promptly to pick up the weapon.
According to UPS, this is a "highly unusual incident” that warrants an internal investigation from the company. UPS does accept legal shipments of selected firearms, and shippers will need to meet a preset level of requirements before they qualify.
Susan Rosenberg, a representative for UPS, shed more light on the situation, “UPS does accept shipment of certain firearms in our domestic U.S. system as long as the shipments comply with applicable law and are shipped in accordance with company policies. These shipments must be between licensed manufacturers, dealers, distributors, collectors and exclude consumer shipments. UPS puts responsibility with the shippers of regulated goods to follow the requirements for labeling and specific packaging.”
At the end of the day, this is most probably an isolated incident that rarely happens. It could very well be a mistake of the shipper who incorrectly labeled the package, or it could be the UPS driver went ahead to the wrong address. We will not really know for sure unless UPS reveals more information on the situation after concluding its initial investigations into the matter. However, it simply goes to show just how important it is to make sure that delivery addresses are always labeled correctly in order to avoid any kind of public relations snafu such as this one.
Updated: It seems that the firearm should not be qualified as an assault rifle, but rather, it is more accurately termed as a 5 shot, bolt-action Barrett M95.