This week eBay, arguably the largest online auction site in the world, took a step closer to supporting the Second Amendment. In a press release they state,
"eBay's Hunting category has expanded to include more items. Now you can list the following firearm parts and accessories on the eBay US site (eBay.com) with domestic shipping:
Magazines with a capacity to accept 10 rounds or less (high-capacity magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds are not allowed)
Further, they state,
"You may now show your accessories on a firearm in your photo, as long as it is not an assault weapon and there is no indication in the listing that the firearm is included in the sale."
Apparently, eBay still uses the technically incorrect term 'assault rifle' and states that:
"Listing accessories related to assault weapons is still prohibited on eBay. If your accessory is compatible with other weapons as well as assault weapons, you may list it, but may not mention any assault weapon compatibility. The listing of firearms, replica firearms, ammunition, and other firearm-related items is still prohibited on eBay."
With this announcement, it would be a good idea to look at eBay's past firearms policies.
When they started in 1995, eBay allowed sellers to list and sell firearms. By 1999, in a slap to the face of many faithful buyers and sellers, the site prohibited firearms listings. However, they still allowed the sale of gun parts, holsters, magazines, barrels, and basically everything but live ammunition and complete firearms/FFL-required items. I managed to buy a few fully loaded upper receivers and later resell one I did not like on the site.
When the site prohibited firearm and ammunition sales in 1999, purpose built online firearms auction companies such as GunsAmerica, AuctionArms and Gunbroker took off. With their Second Amendment friendly policies and ease of use, they have seen steady growth.
On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, an example of hate shaped like a man, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, before committing suicide on the Virginia Tech campus. Within days, the media began harping on where the lunatic shopped for his firearms and accessories from. It was reported that Cho bought some of his Walther P22 magazines through eBay auctions. Responding to a public outcry after the fact, the online auction site acted. It did not take a rocket scientist or a fortuneteller to see that the site, which has $27-Billion (with a B) in sales per year, needed to limit its liability.
As William S Burroughs said, "After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns
away from the people who didn't do it."
By August of that year, the eBay announced they would, "prohibit listings of any firearm part required for the firing on a gun. This includes items like bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc."
At roughly the same time, eBay acquired ownership of PayPal. For those of you that do not know, PayPal is one of the largest internet banking transfer sites available. From its inception, PayPal became well known in 2A circles as a fast and easy way to literally email people money. This made interstate sales much faster and simpler. However, with the new parent company's strict firearms policies, many tales of PayPal going after the accounts of Gunbroker/AuctionArms/GunsAmerica sellers and buyers who transferred legal items became legend. With eBay's lightening of its self-imposed regulations, it remains to be seen what PayPal will do.
Many in the firearms community felt that with this action, eBay sent the message that they did not want or appreciate law-abiding gun owners' business. By banning these legal products, eBay by default chose the anti-gun movement's opposition to all legal gun ownership.
With this new announcement, maybe it is a sign that even this bastion of anti-firearms enterprises is warming to the reality of their customers really are.