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Thread: Shipping pocket knives USPS illegal

  1. #1
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    Shipping pocket knives USPS illegal


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    Maybe you all know this already but...

    Went to the post office today to ship a knife in for repair and the postal employee recognized the company name on the shipment as a knife manufacturer.

    I asked for insurance and they said they will not insure a knife back to a manufacturer because it is automatically assumed that it is going in for repair or warranty due to defect. Then they said one can only ship knives back to a manufacturer and they do not allow knives to be shipped to a private individual. They also said if i ship a knife with insurance it will not be covered due to loss because we are not allowed to ship knives period.

    They showed me the paperwork on this restriction and it even had a picture of a pocket knife (slippy) next to the provision. No sharp obects including folders are not allowed and it is breaking the law...not just policy.

    So adding insurance to a knife will not help get any coverage if using United States Postal service.

  2. #2
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    Not that I don't trust you Col...but could someone else weigh in on this because this is an important issue. Can a company ship a knife to a private individual? When did this take affect? So in the past when I paid for insurance I was wasting my money? What about fixed blade knives...box cutters...electrician's knives.
    T

    ps. good topic
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  3. #3
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    Yikes! What is going on down there, guys? I have had truck loads of knives sent to Canada by USPS. In fact, USPS is my preferred shipper, as they are fast and efficient. Now I hear that USPS won't ship knives! WTF!

  4. #4
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    Huh. I wonder if that really is the case. I just shipped a bunch of knives to VCM3 through USPS and there were no issues that arose. The worker simply asked me what I was shipping and I responded with, "A bunch of junk." I can't speak about a company shipping knives to an individual, because I've mostly seen packages shipped through UPS when coming from a company. Let's hear what others have to say.

  5. #5
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    Thinking that if this is USPS policy, it must be online somewhere, I found a few links that shed a little (not much) light:

    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_013.htm

    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_014.htm

    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_015.htm

    FWIW, I've never had a problem shipping knives with USPS.

  6. #6
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    I also have never had any problems shipping knives through USPS. The only thing they ever ask me about the content of my package is "Is there anything perishable, fragile, or contain dangerous chemicals in here?"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by colubrid View Post
    Maybe you all know this already but...

    Went to the post office today to ship a knife in for repair and the postal employee recognized the company name on the shipment as a knife manufacturer.

    I asked for insurance and they said they will not insure a knife back to a manufacturer because it is automatically assumed that it is going in for repair or warranty due to defect. Then they said one can only ship knives back to a manufacturer and they do not allow knives to be shipped to a private individual. They also said if i ship a knife with insurance it will not be covered due to loss because we are not allowed to ship knives period.

    They showed me the paperwork on this restriction and it even had a picture of a pocket knife (slippy) next to the provision. No sharp obects including folders are not allowed and it is breaking the law...not just policy.

    So adding insurance to a knife will not help get any coverage if using United States Postal service.
    Not that I'm aware of, all of my knives ship USPS, I would check with a diffent branch it may be specific to your branch, or you got someone that doesn't know the proper proceadures.

  8. #8
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    OK - I just called the postal service to inquire about the shipping of prohibited items. The CS person I spoke with said knives can be shiped between authorized parties. I asked her to define "authorized" and she could not. I also asked for the link to their most current rules and regs so I could read them and she said this probably wouldn't be online.

    Not too long ago, I had an issue shipping a long gun. Classic case of the postal worker not knowing the rules and making up their own. It was rectified. Another post office said the bolt and firing pin needed to be removed but could be shipped in the same box. It is not uncommon for the counter people to not know the rules and make up their own.

    Now the bad part. The CS person I just spoke with said that individual Post Offices are allowed to refuse to ship items as they see fit. So basically, all of the rules and regulations would be out the window at that point. I find this hard to believe they are allowed to do this, but I've heard of it happening before.

  9. #9
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    Don't mark it

    Here is what I read:
    443 Packaging and Marking

    443.1 General


    All sharp–pointed or sharp–edged instruments such as knives, tools, ice picks, razor blades, etc., must be securely packaged in a strong container as required in DMM 601.1–8. Sufficient cushioning material must be used to protect the sharp points and edges from cutting through the outer packaging during normal Postal Service handling.
    443.2 Marking

    No marking of any kind that indicates the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside of any mailpiece containing a switchblade knife.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianNH View Post
    OKThe CS person I spoke with said knives can be shiped between authorized parties. I asked her to define "authorized" and she could not. I also asked for the link to their most current rules and regs so I could read them and she said this probably wouldn't be online.
    I would think "authorized" means over 18, or possibly 21 in some cases(?)

  11. #11
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    When I started selling knives and things I ask my P/M about it and was told they have to be bubbled wrapped many times over and that no automatic knives can be shipped USPS.

  12. #12
    Just the other day I found myself shipping my Mini grip to lifesharp.

    Standing on the line I said to myself two things, say if he knows what life sharp is and he is a fellow knife collector or he see's "sharp" and asks some questions.


    Neither happened...

  13. #13
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    i have used USPS exclusively shipping knives into canada from the states without issue. very interesting thread.

  14. #14
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    Well, who knows when locals make up their own rules.

    Check James Todd's post # 9 above. First of all, it implicitly does allow shipping knives because it says they must be packaged to protect the sharp points and edges from cutting through the outer packaging during normal Postal Service handling.

    Second, it implicitly provides for shipping switchblades since it says no marking of any kind that indicates the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside of any mailpiece containing a switchblade knife.

    So either superseding regs have come out not reflected on the website or some yokel is playing games I would have taken him off the assignment for in my station.

  15. #15
    Thanks for the clarifications Esav

    For a second there I thought I'd have to start using UPS

    I do know that UPS ground is the way that my supplier ships ammunition, so they HAVE to be willing to ship knives and pointy things
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esav Benyamin View Post
    Second, it implicitly provides for shipping switchblades since it says no marking of any kind that indicates the nature of the contents may be placed on the outside of any mailpiece containing a switchblade knife.
    Yes, but you can't ship switchblades to just anybody. Here's the relevant section on that. (And it's doubtful whether membership in an "unofficial" militia is going to cut any ice with the postal service in this regard.... )

  17. #17
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    I declare a knife as a pocket knife all the time with them and no push back whatsoever . . .

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by OliverH View Post
    Yes, but you can't ship switchblades to just anybody. Here's the relevant section on that. (And it's doubtful whether membership in an "unofficial" militia is going to cut any ice with the postal service in this regard.... )
    Whoo hooo, that means that you guys can ship all of your switchblades to me.......tomorrow morning will do just fine
    Texas Peace Officer
    EDC: Custom SAK Pioneer "Policeman" and Ruger LC9
    Go Outside, we'll be here when you return

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianNH View Post
    Not too long ago, I had an issue shipping a long gun. Classic case of the postal worker not knowing the rules and making up their own. It was rectified. Another post office said the bolt and firing pin needed to be removed but could be shipped in the same box. It is not uncommon for the counter people to not know the rules and make up their own.

    Now the bad part. The CS person I just spoke with said that individual Post Offices are allowed to refuse to ship items as they see fit. So basically, all of the rules and regulations would be out the window at that point. I find this hard to believe they are allowed to do this, but I've heard of it happening before.
    I am not surprised that you had a problem shipping a gun of any type because that is definitely illegal. Regardless of whether you remove the bolt, firing pin or what ever the registered / serial numbered part of the firearm (receiver) can not be sent through the US Mail any time any where. You can easily verify this at any gunstore. Since the 1968 Gun Control Act not one of them has ever gotten a firearm sent through the US Mail, period. They must be sent by Fedex or UPS.

    Also an individual postal worker can not make up rules as they go along. It does not matter what an individual post office location has to say; they all must comply with federal regulations. This knife thing does seem confusing though.

    This Knife restriction is new to me as I have most certainly sent hundreds of knives through the US Mail over the last twenty five years and have always informed the postal agents of what was in the boxes when they asked. The postal regulation does seem contradictory though since it has a section that says how knives etc. must be securely packaged so that they don't puncture the outer box.

  20. #20
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    This was not a case of an individual making up rules or the local post office.

    the clerk got the regs and showed it to me. It clearly stated that no knives or sharp cutting tools. There was even a picture that showed a pocket knife and a round circle with a red line through it.

    I asked about what "authorized parties" meant and she said it means manufacturers. So I was allowed to ship the knife back to the manufacturer which was written on the label (Spyderco on Spyderco way). You can ship to them but it is illegal to ship a knife to an individual. But again, they will not insure even if it goes to a manufacturer becasue a defective knife is considered broken and thus they will not insure even in the case of shipping to a manufacturer.

    I will go back to the post office and see if they can make me a copy. It was in line with guns, ammo and other pictures that were displayed in color on the chart.

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