A grandmother in Long Island, NY anxiously awaited a toy airplane to give to a friend’s child for Christmas.
When she opened the unusually large box that was delivered by the UPS guy — she found a sniper rifle.
The 59-year-old Oceanside resident was expecting to receive a Fisher-Price airplane, so told a United Parcel Service worker to put a package in the back of her car when he came to make a delivery on Wednesday.
She and her husband, who did not want to be named, did not realize what was inside until they opened it along with their 6-year-old granddaughter, who was “horrified” by the contents.
Inside the 51 lb. Casio piano box was a military-style rifle and a scope, the grandmother told the Daily News on Friday
The box was marked as shipping from a Kohl’s department store, but contained a piece of paper from a sender in Arizona, she said.
She called police to take the weapon away and was surprised that the weapon could be shipped into New York given its strict gun laws.
The Oceanside resident said that underneath her address on the package there was a listing for a gunsmith in Sullivan County.
Gem Gunsmithing in Woodbourne told the Daily News that it is a federally licensed dealer, and received the Arizona sender’s Barrett M95 on Friday.
The owner said that he suspects someone involved in the shipping process sent it to Long Island in an attempt to steal the rifle, worth $6,800 with the scope.
UPS spokesman Susan Rosenberg told the Daily News that it would be wrong to suggest theft as the reason for the misdelivery, which she suggested was most likely the result of a human or machine labeling error,
She said in a statement that UPS does ship firearms from licensed dealers and distributors according to applicable laws, but does not transport them to consumers.
The company is investigating the “highly unusual incident.”
Though receiving the weapon was unsettling, the Long Island grandmother said, “thank God it wasn’t delivered to someone who could have done something with it.”
She added that she had also unwittingly had the rifle on school grounds while waiting to pick up her granddaughter, which is a felony.
The toy plane did later arrive and will be given to a friend’s child as intended.