EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1589 - July 31, 2007     2 of 2

eBay Changes Gun Policy Due to Virginia Tech Shootings

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eBay revisited its "Firearms, Weapons and Knives" policy after learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007. eBay currently bans guns and other weapons from its site (see its "Prohibited and Restricted Items list), and is now adding any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun.

The tragedy referenced in eBay's announcement was a school shooting in Virginia in which a student killed 32 people. eBay wrote of its decision in part, "After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team - along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. - have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require. This new update continues to encourage safety among our community members and brings our policies in the U.S. and Canada in closer alignment with our existing policies in other markets around the globe."

Once these changes take effect in mid-August, sellers will be prohibited from listing on and such items as bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies. Sellers should click on the "Some Examples" link on's Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy for details on what the company prohibits.

About the author:

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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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