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eBay To Stop Listing Firearms, Ammunition

Auction site eBay Friday announced that by early March, it will no longer carry listings of firearms and ammunition.

The company said it determined "the Internet is not an appropriate venue for this kind of merchandise." eBay currently has a firearms category and guns are also listed frequently in several other categories.

To meet its deadline to eliminate the listings by March 5, the company said it will accept firearms and ammunition listings until Feb. 26. After that date, any firearms listed on the site will be removed.

"While we acknowledge the gun collectors and sports enthusiasts among our users, eBay takes its role as a responsible member of the online community very seriously," said Steve Westley, eBay's vice president of marketing and business development.

"After careful consideration of the issue, we believe the process of buying and selling firearms online is sufficiently different from the offline world and it is appropriate for us to end the user listing of firearms. . ."

Another concern, Westley said, is persons selling guns and ammunition online are unable to be certain that buyers meet all the legal qualifications to buy guns and ammunition. He said eBay was unable to arrive at an alternative that would have allowed gun sales to continue.

"We realize that the sale of firearms is a controversial issue and our stance will spark support as well as criticism. We are also sensitive to the effect that this policy may have on serious gun collectors. After thorough evaluation, we have decided to end all user listings of firearms and ammunition on eBay in the interests of our site, our users and the offline community."