Friday, July 31, 2009

PayPal Gun Policy

Everybody who's anybody in the pro-gun blogging world is writing about this. I think it started at Kevin's place, The Smallest Minority. For me that's the real story, not the PayPal policy, but the pro-gun response.

PayPal Acceptable Use Policy

This Policy was last modified on June 3, 2009.

You are independently responsible for complying with all applicable laws in all of your actions related to your use of PayPal's services, regardless of the purpose of the use. In addition, you must adhere to the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy.

Prohibited Activities You may not use the PayPal service for activities that:
  1. violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation

  2. relate to sales of (a) narcotics, steroids, certain controlled substances or other products that present a risk to consumer safety, (b) drug paraphernalia, (c) items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity, (d) items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime, (e) items that are considered obscene, (f) items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction, (g) certain sexually oriented materials or services, (h) ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories, or (i) ,certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law.

Point H is the thing that's got everybody upset: "You may not use the PayPal service for activities that relate to sales of ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories." I'm not sure what the real problem with that is. Maybe Pay Pal feels like I do that although the vast majority of gun owners are good and responsible people, some of them are not. And you can't have these problem people buying and selling guns over the internet using the Pay Pal service.

I wasn't surprised at the heated reactions. Sebastian says they are "pure unadulterated evil." Joe Huffman says, "I reluctantly use PayPal." Linoge entitled his post, "Pay Pal Sucks."

None of this surprises me. That pro-gun writers respond strongly to anyone expressing anti-gun sentiments, even if they're well within their rights or can back up their opinions, is nothing new. What does surprise me though is the incredible speed with which information passes from one blogger to another. Within one day nearly 50 sites were talking about this. Check out the list on The Smallest Minority.

No wonder we poor gun control folks can't win arguments with these guys.

What's your opinion? Do you find it like I do, to be extremely impressive, the cohesion, the mutual support, the conscientiousness?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Grassroots activism bothers you?

  2. PayPal does not allow firearms because of fear of lawsuit. All it takes is one multi-million dollar judgment, and I wouldn't be surprised if PayPals lawyers and insurance company insist on the policy. The firearms dealers, manufacturers and distributors have immunity from frivolous lawsuits, but Paypal does not, making them much larger targets.

    If PayPal's only sin were not allowing transactions for guns, I would not have stated they were "pure unadulterated evil." But they have been known to suspend accounts and not give money back, among other things. They've only provided phone numbers when it was made abundantly clear to them that they were violating the rules for EFTs by not doing so. There are a lot of Paypal horror stories out there.

    From the point of view of someone on the left side of thing, there ought to be outrage that PayPal is essentially being permitted to operate as an unregulated bank.

  3. Nice Try!

  4. Good job taking words out of context. Sebastian's characterization of them wasn't based on their anti-gun stance, but on other questionable business practices.

    There are plenty of reasons why "paypal sucks" This is just one more reason to pile on.

    Also, you'll note that according to their AUP this raffle is not a violation. No one is selling a gun through paypal here. They're selling raffle tickets for the chance to win a PARA GI, with the proceeds from the raffle going to charity.

    Also "problem people" are prohibited by federal law from buying, selling, or possessing firearms.

  5. "Do you find it like I do, to be extremely impressive, the cohesion, the mutual support, the conscientiousness?"

    That's easy to achieve when you have real grassroots support for a cause. That's something the anti-gunners will thankfully never have.

  6. I think the raffle vs. selling an actual gun is splitting hairs. It's arguably still a valid exercise of their terms. Plus their terms also prohibit running a "sweepstakes" without prior clearance.

    My problem with PayPal is I don't like their terms of service. I don't expect because I don't like them, that PayPal shouldn't enforce them. I'd prefer they don't have them, but then again, I'd give PayPal actual business if they weren't evil.

  7. "Do you find it like I do, to be extremely impressive, the cohesion, the mutual support, the conscientiousness?"

    Yes, yes I do.

  8. Kevin asked, "Grassroots activism bothers you?"

    What I said in my post was it impresses me.

    Sebastian, You're right that from my perspective I should have a problem with PayPal's operating as an unregulated bank. But the truth is, I don't really care about that. I think about them the same way I do about Google and Microsoft and Amazon, all these incredibly successful businesses that have practically taken over the world now. I often hear of people who resist them, you know guys who use Linux instead of Windows, but I'm not interested really. I probably should be.

  9. ...even if they're well within their rights or can back up their opinions...

    "Legal" does not necessarily equate to "right", unless, of course, you would like to put forward an argument that would likewise indicate slavery was "right" because it was "legal".

  10. Mikeb, I'm glad you're impressed. It took us a while to reach this point after submitting to a decades-long slow-motion hate crime, many of us have finally had enough.

    "No wonder we poor gun control folks can't win arguments with these guys."

    You can't win arguments with us because you're wrong and we can prove it. We've finally started doing so, instead of saying "Yassa, Massah," and biting our tongues.

  11. Kevin, You and some of your friends suffer from a syndrome which I named, "grandiose victimism." You just gave us another perfect example of it.

  12. Glad to be of help. Now we're both examples of something each side can point to.

    Mine has evidence. ;-)