Families of Uvalde shooting survivors sue UPS, FedEx for shipping rifle, trigger system used by gunman

UVALDE, Texas – Families of survivors of the Uvalde school shooting are suing FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) for shipping a gun and a device used by the gunman on May 24, 2022, claiming the companies violated safety standards and caused trauma.

The lawsuit claims the shipping services “abrogated various federal and state laws designed to protect school children from mass shooters” by transporting an AR-15-style rifle and Hellfire trigger, according to TPR and the Texas Tribune.

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The families are seeking punitive and exemplary damages, believing FedEx and UPS were negligent and “reckless” with the shipments and caused physical and emotional distress.

The 18-year-old gunman used the rifle and Hellfire trigger, a device similar to a bump stock that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire at a near-automatic rate, when he stormed Robb Elementary School and killed 19 students and two teachers.

The lawsuit states UPS delivered the Hellfire trigger to the shooter’s home, which was within 1,000 feet of campus grounds. The families state that delivery violated school zone protections.

It also claims that FedEx transported an AR-15 to Oasis Outback, and the retailer received the weapon and gave it to the shooter although he was under 18 at the time of purchase.

Under federal law, people who purchase firearms online must pick up their guns from a licensed dealer, such as Oasis, and pass a background check. The shooter turned 18 just days before the shooting and had no criminal history.

Under federal law, 18 is the minimum age for buying a rifle, including assault rifles.

The shooter also purchased ammunition from Oasis in the days, authorities revealed in the days after the shooting.

“Effectively UPS and FedEx acted as illegal gun runners to a juvenile,” the lawsuit claims.

On its website, UPS states packages containing firearm products are only accepted from licensed shippers. They are only shipped to authorized recipients who have an approved UPS agreement.

UPS released the following statement to KSAT:

Our hearts go out to the Uvalde victims and their families. Shipping firearms and components is highly regulated; UPS complies, and requires its customers to comply, with all applicable federal laws. The lawsuit has no merit and we will defend accordingly.

FedEx released the following statement to KSAT:

Our thoughts continue to be with the Uvalde community and everyone affected by this horrific act of violence. FedEx is committed to the lawful, secure, and safe movement of regulated items through our network, and we comply with applicable laws and regulations.

The lawsuit was filed on the two-year mark of the shooting in Bexar County. The families are demanding a trial by jury.

Read the lawsuit here.

Also on May 24, 2024, families sued Daniel Defense; Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram; and Activision, the maker of the video game Call of Duty.

The families state the companies bear responsibility for products used by the gunman.

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