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Shopify’s New Anti-Gun Policy Bans Sales of Certain Firearms and Accessories

Shopify has released a new gun unfriendly acceptable use policy that severely impacts many firearm-centric businesses. The list of companies that will be affected includes some companies that you likely have done business with at some point.

Since Shopify was founded back in 2004 by Tobi Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake. It has grown to become a giant corporation that employs nearly 2,000 people and generated $673 million in revenue last year through over 600,000 sellers in 175 countries.

Shopify came into the world as a result of the three founders attempting to open an online store for snowboarding equipment and discovered that they were dissatisfied with the available eCommerce options at the time.

Last year CEO Tobi Lütke posted the following to his personal blog, the first quote comes from a post on Medium that has since been deleted:

 I’m against exclusion of any kind — whether that’s restricting people from Muslim-majority nations from entering the US, or kicking merchants off our platform if they’re operating within the law.

Lütke has since reversed his position on kicking merchants off the Shopify platform even when they are operating within the law. Why? I think that Lütke's update to the February 2017 Medium post should make his motivations more clear.

We have found ourselves in a position of having to make our own decisions on some of these issues. And along the way we had to accept that neutrality is not a possibility.

Who Will Be Affected?

We compiled a list of likely impacted retailers that either running on the Shopify eCommerce engine and will be affected by the change or have indicated that they will be moving to a new platform that is more 2A friendly:

Spike's Tactical

Franklin Armory

Southern Guns

Harry's Holsters

JSD Supply

Alamo Precision Rifles

Cobratac

Big Tex Outdoors

Black Rifle Depot

22 Mods 4 All

Veritas Tactical

Rare Breed Firearms

AR15Discounts.com

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of affected retailers, merely a list of retailers that I know were/are on the Shopify platform.

What Is The New Acceptable Use Policy?

Shopify added a new line item in their Acceptable Use Policy that references “Restricted Items” and states that a seller may not offer goods or services that are, or appear to be what Shopify has deemed an undesirable object.

Shopify outlined exactly what they mean by a restricted item:

Certain Firearms

  • an automatic firearm that has not been rendered inoperable
  • a semi-automatic firearm that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine, with one or more of the following items:
    • magazine capable of accepting more than ten rounds
    • bump stock
    • rapid fire trigger activator or trigger crank
    • barrel shroud
    • thumbhole stock
    • threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, sound suppressor or silencer
    • grenade or rocket launcher
    • flash suppressor, sound suppressor or silencer
    • pistol grip (or in the case of a pistol, a second pistol grip)
    • forward pistol grip
  • a semi-automatic firearm that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds
  • firearms without serial numbers
  • ghost guns and 3D printed guns, including blueprints for such guns
  • any part, component or kit for any firearm or gun listed above

Certain Firearm Parts

  • 80% or unfinished lower receivers
  • magazine capable of accepting more than ten rounds
  • bump stock
  • grenade or rocket launcher
  • pistol grip (or in the case of a pistol, a second pistol grip)
  • forward pistol grip
  • barrel shroud *
  • thumbhole stock *
  • threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, sound suppressor or silencer *
  • flash suppressor, sound suppressor or silencer *
  • rapid fire trigger activator or trigger crank
  • any part, component or kit for a firearm part or including a firearm part listed above

*only if for use with a semi-automatic firearm

To read over the Shopify Acceptable Use Policy, click here. To see the information above, click here.

How Big Is The Impact?

Retailers that are currently using the Shopify eCommerce engine will need to switch to another eCommerce platform like Magento, Big Commerce, Volusion, Celerant, Kibo, nopCommerce, or one of the dozens of other eCommerce platforms available.

This means that many retailers will have weeks, if not months of time spent developing a new site that will allow them to sell items that Shopify feels are icky. Not only will retailers incur huge costs to build out new websites, but they also will be forced to scrap their current website and have to accept the losses of what it cost to build. That loss and the costs to develop a new site will likely be passed onto the consumer in one form or another.


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