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Etsy Bans Gun Parts and Accessories on May 25

Etsy Bans Gun Parts and Accessories on May 25

“As of May 25, 2021, we will no longer accommodate any gun parts or accessories that attach to a firearm. We take protecting our marketplace very seriously and work hard to balance the enforcement of our policies with the unique variety of handmade items our sellers contribute to the marketplace.”

That’s an excerpt of an email some sellers received from Etsy today. “I’m currently selling wooden grips for guns under the category that Etsy setup for them,” a seller wrote on the Etsy boards. “Does Etsy now consider them forbidden under this new rule. If so, I need to quickly find another place to list my items.”

The seller updated the post with an answer he received from an Etsy staff member confirming it could “no longer accommodate these products in our marketplace.”

A number of sellers advised those impacted by the new policy to download their listings, warning that they would disappear once the policy was enacted. One seller wrote, “It really is best to begin exporting any info/photos you wish to save now. I’d also let any regular customers know you will be relocating your items/shop.”

Some sellers who said they received the notification from Etsy said the “gun” related items they sell are not “gun accessories.”

“I sell cufflinks that have shotgun shell caps. I also sell tie clips that have a small image of a shotgun on them,” one seller said. “Their email mentions gun parts but are they going to distinguish between things that are actually part of a weapon and things that are decorative jewelry? We need some clarification here, Etsy!!!”

Another seller who designs and makes grips for 1911 pistols made a case for Etsy to consider carefully how it rolls out the new policy:

Pistol Grips Policy Clarification Request
I recently received an email stating some of our listings may be in violation of Etsy policies after May 25th.

We sell decorative pistol grips for 1911 pistols. We are a small shop making a high quality product in the U.S.A.

We put a great deal of care into making these from design, material selection, machining all the way through to hand finishing.

We feel we are the epitome of what Etsy sellers were supposed to be.

Our products is decorative in nature and happens to mount on a pistol which is a part of American history. There is a large demand for these with over 4000 current listings.

The type of pistol our grips mount to is not and will not be a part of any future assault weapons ban as the pistol itself has a 7 round capacity.

I hope Etsy takes care in rolling out their new policy and puts a little bit of research into it as they are affecting some successful American small businesses who have worked hard to get where they are at.

From a business perspective, firearm sales are increasing year over year and doing so in traditionally liberal areas as well. Creating a policy which will restrict Etsy sellers from a market that continues to expand should be given some real though prior to rolling out.
Best regards,
Aett Armorers Team

Etsy prohibits the sale of weapons, including guns, on its marketplace, but nowhere on the policy page could we find a mention the new ban on gun parts and accessories on Tuesday evening.

It’s clear from discussion board posts that Etsy took sellers affected by the new policy by surprise – and it’s giving them only two weeks to prepare.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

9 thoughts on “Etsy Bans Gun Parts and Accessories on May 25”

  1. 26,000 suicides by handguns (2018 data) and Etsy’s eloquent solution to solve this problem is to no longer offer holsters that I spend hours restoring.

    What an innovative solution – not.

    1. @superez – Including one of my best friends … 11 years ago. I would be delighted to see ALL guns, except for law enforcement and a SMALL military presence, banned FOREVER.

      1. Sorry you’re frightened.

        Mayne they should take away cars, or alcohol, or meat, or anything you like. Because, you know, scary or unhealthy or just unpopular. Don’t like it? Too bad!

  2. Aett Armours Team is trying to make it look like guns are good for America, and that Etsy has a political bias against guns. In the US, someone gets shot every 37 seconds. That’s NOT good for America, and politics has nothing to do with it. Medical care for gunshot wounds cost us more than what every state in the union spends on education. Children now are wounded by guns every year than playground injuries. There are now 3mass shootings a day on average. We are in a ridiculous process of destroying ourselves, and Etsy wants nothing to do with it. That’s Etsy’s choice. Find another place to pedal your death grips.

    1. Since we are quoted in this article and people are responding to it, we thought we’d provide some clarity.

      Firearms ownership is a 2nd amendment right. So important to the founding fathers it is second only to free speech.

      Violence committed by individuals and groups will not go away should firearms ever be banned. There are numerous countries which are prime examples of this. Mexico being a top one.

      Much violence is drug related but the Left embraces legalization of drugs, so do they really care about reducing violence and doing what is right for society?

      With the irresponsible push to defund police, many people are taking their right to defend themselves more seriously than in the past. Can you really blame or judge them for that?

      Our orginal post and discussion was about how and why they rolled out their policy. We don’t sell firearms. We don’t sell parts that change the function of the firearm. We sell high quality pieces of wood and other materials that mount on a specific firearm. They are artistic in nature and made with high-quality craftsmanship in the U.S. We are a type of seller that Etsy used to be for and who they used to value.

      Now Esty is turning into a platform for people droppshipping cheap Chinese crap. They can be that, but they will never come close to Amazon or Ebay doing it.

      We have other sales channels, will not break us to lose the Etsy sales channel.

      Etsy was not even true to their word in that they shadow blocked us prior to May 25th. In fact, a whole category of sporting goods was blocked because of their hasty decision and lousy rollout of it.

  3. Since guns kill more people in the US than the flu, Etsy is right to refuse to be part of that culture of death. You wouldn’t expect them to sell flu virus, would you? Deadly weapons, accessories for them, and parts for them have no place on Etsy. If that’s what you sell, sell them under some rock, or in a back alley or dark corner where the other slimy things live.

    1. You are exactly right on the fact that Etsy can choose what can be sold on their platform, we are in agreement on this.

      Our orginal post on Etsy was asking for clarification on their policy though. You see, in the last decade thousands of firearms related goods have been listed there. Most of which are made by individual and small business craftsmen.

      If you do not search for these items, you would not run across them and have your shopping experience ruined by seeing (God forbid) a wooden pistol grip.

      Etsy makes a very big deal about promoting diversity and cultural appreciation, but it seems not all diversity is equal.

      Regardless of social issues, we feel the rollout of policy change was not well thought out and even more poorly executed since (in their haste) they removed the entire “Sporting Goods” category from their site navigation. So people selling fitness gear or golf gadgets got caught up in that and are probably seeing their sales plummet without even knowing why.

      To our original point, the policy change rollout will be damaging their relationship with a lot of long time sellers there who will probably find other sales channels to invest their time and resources into.

      Etsy buyers used to go there to find something different from all the stuff on Amazon. That is going away there and Etsy cannot compete with Amazon on delivery/price on like goods in any meaningful way.

      We’d like to leave the full poem here but will refrain for the sake of brevity. Please do a search for the poem “First They Came…”

      Defending only those you identify with is is the easier path. Our nation in many critical times chose the harder path and is exactly why people can speak so freely about the issues of the day.

      It is why our team is allowed to post our response here and we appreciate Ecommercebytes for that opportunity.

      Best regards,
      Aett Armorers Team

  4. I will be happy to see Etsy ban all gun accessories, along with (I hope) bullet jewelry and anything related to or glorifying guns. GOOD RIDDANCE!

  5. There was a lot of beautiful shops with amazing craftsmanship of gun holsters, grips and conceal carry purses on Etsy. It is a real shame to see those items and skills lost on their platform. But luckily most of these shops do have standalones and us buyers will be able to purchases our goods there. 🙂

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