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Packaging in the Firearm Industry
A brief history of commercial firearm packaging
Where it all began
The use of firearms began in 10th century China and evolved into guns as we modernly know them in the 13th century. They quickly spread from Asia to many countries in Europe. They have since been developed into much more powerful weapons with a range of styles and functions. The first gun was intended for warfare use. There is record of firearms being used for hunting starting in the 15th century. Around this time, rifles were being made and used mainly for hunting purposes. In the 17th century, guns became the top choice of weapon for duel. Rapiers started to fade out and firearms were, instead, becoming extremely popular.
Firearm packaging at the start of mass production vs today
Guns began being commercially manufactured and mass produced in 1835 with the first Colt revolver. This weapon was packaged in a wooden box. This early commercial firearm packing was typically lined with a felt or velvet-like material and sometimes had dividers inside to separate the gun from its complementing service tools. A similar concept has been retained throughout the centuries leading up to modern day. However, many updates in materials have been made. Today, commercial firearm packaging is more durable, as it usually securely holds various detachable components of the gun, such as the optic, scope, or small parts, in seperate boxes. It is also lined with a foam material that is custom fit to the specific firearm, which ensures minimal movement within the box.
The rapidly growing industry
Over just the past decade, gun manufacturing in The United States has risen drastically by nearly double. The number of licensed firearm manufacturers has also gone up in large amounts during this time. There was an 18% increase in the number of U.S. gun dealers from 2009 to 2018, with the highest amounts being located in Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont. There has also been a rise in both gun exports and gun imports. When it comes to shipping firearms, the packaging is especially important to guarantee safe and secure delivery. The market for guns is growing rapidly, and subsequently so is the market for the corresponding packing materials. The total value of the packaging industry in the United States increased around 7 billion dollars from 2018 to 2019. The packaging demand is larger than ever and continuing to rise.
Packaging challenges unique to the gun industry
Rules and Regulations
When mailing firearms, there are several rules and regulations one should be aware of. It is very important to research these policies to make sure you are adhering to all of them. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties, so be cautious and careful. You can mail long guns through the U.S. Postal Service, but hand guns are not mailable through this service unless your situation falls within a few very specific scenarios. These exceptions include mailing an antique handgun between collectors, a handgun that has been certified by a museum, or shipments between approved licensed dealers and importers. A firearm should never be mailed loaded, or even in the same package as ammo. Also, according to federal law, there should not be any markings on the outside of the package that indicate the contents.
In the case that you are sending a firearm of value, which many tend to be, via mail, it may be a good idea to invest in insurance on your package. You also should upgrade your shipment to get tracking. Especially with something like a firearm, you really do not want your package to get into the wrong hands.
Proper packing materials should be used. For shipping, this can include bubble wrap, foam, packing paper, packing tape, corrugated boxes and more. For gun storage, a foam-padded gun case is best. Smaller parts that go along with the gun should also be packaged with care in separate small boxes lined with bubble wrap, or sealed plastic bags. A trusted firearm packaging designer can provide a company all the necessary supplies, and even custom packaging such as custom molded foam inserts to ensure the best fit possible.
There are a few insider tips and things to know about this industry including the importance of knowing your rights, the different uses of firearms, safety precautions to take, and the ins and outs of branding and packaging. In order to fully understand the best package solutions for firearms, it is important to get familiar with the whole firearm industry and what is most important to gun owners. If you would like to learn more about any of these topics, click here.
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