Are ebay and paypal liberal?

As far as I’ve been able to determine, all they do along liberal lines is refuse to deal with functioning firearms and ammo. Lots of accessories and other gun related stuff. It takes a lot more than that to qualify as liberal. Actually, quite a few liberals are not anti-gun. And quite a few conservatives are. For another, true anti-gun people, liberal and conservative, are also anti-anything-else-gun.
What say you?
mangeorge, a gun-toting, beer guzzling, nascar watching, pickup (no limo) driving liberal

Liberal? That is purely an economic decision, so some felon couldn’t buy a gun from them and use it in a crime. They just don’t want to get sued by some victim. Politics doesn’t enter into it.

Financial institutions are almost never politically active unless forced into it. They want money from people of all political persuasions. That said, wealthy people have grabbed an ever-increasing share of the American finanical pie over the years, and wealthy people tend to be conservative. Overall, this tends to make the decision makers at financial institutions politically conservative, but not necessarily socially conservative (they generally are insulated enough by money from society that they tend to be socially amoral).

Refusing to deal with firearms & ammo isn’t necessarily liberal; it could simply be that they don’t want to deal with the panopoly of different laws in different jurisdictions. Do they also have restrictions on tobacco and alcohol? Those are also a pain to deal with shipping over state lines.

It’s nothing to do with political orientation, only compliance with the law. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits mail order sales of rifles and shotguns. There are a myriad of state laws about sales and transport of other firearms that could get them in deep trouble if they didn’t simply refuse outright to get involved with it at all.

I tend to agree with all of you, so far, but some of my shooter friends think those policies abridge the Second. But then some of them think anything not enthusiastically pro-gun is an affront to that Ammendment.
Paypal and ebay can pretty much set whatever policies they want. I agree with that. I (and my trigger happy friends) can choose to not avail ourselves of any of those companies’ services as we see fit. I agree with that too. I just don’t see anything directly constitutional in either decision.
But the idea that both (they are actually one) are strongly anti-gun is so pervasive that I wonder. Some of these folks are well informed and generally not likely to jump to conclusions. Is there a way to look at ebay/paypal’s politics? Contributions for example.
mangeorge, who busted the Board yesterday. :wink:

Well, I do too, but so what? That has nothing to do with whether eBay & PayPal should violate them and put their businesses at risk. I can easily see someone at eBay saying, “Yeah, this law sucks, but it’s not worth the effort for us to violate it it willy-nilly and get ourselves sued by the feds.”

That’s not liberal, just pragmatic.

But not any LAWS they want.

The Gun Control Act doesn’t seem to slow these guys down; you can bid on just about any kind of legal firearm available today. The only restriction is it must be shipped from a federal firearm license (FFL) holder, to another FFL holder. This is done all the time; your local gun shop will ship and receive guns for you for a small fee. So there is no legal restriction that would make auctioning guns illegal.

That’s just it. I don’t think any laws, constitional or otherwise, compel ebay and paypal to have anything at all to do with firearms.
But their policies regarding firearms don’t, by themselves, qualify them as liberal.
Looking at other aspects of their business’, other policies for example, lead me to see them as quite conservative.

Last time I looked, eBay wasn’t a governmental institution. If I don’t allow firearms in my own house, would your “shooter friends” accuse me of abridging the Second?

Yes. They would tell you about the First Ammendment, and call you a “liberal”. But they wouldn’t insist on bringing their nasty guns into your home.
Anyway, your comparison isn’t germane to this thread. Your house is not a business.
That’s okay.
Gun ownership, kinda like smoking, is hard to defend on it’s own merits.

It’s perfectly germane to this thread. Business are private property; they are not the government. Even huge business like eBay.

If I don’t want guns in my home or my place of non-governmental business, I have the right to ban them.

Post #5, above, refers you to a link. Read it. It’s the law, and PayPal and eBay must obey it.

I am very much an anti-gun liberal…however my guess is that this is more of a business decision than political stance. I doubt that the small profit margin of gun sales would warrant the potential legal liability costs and bad press of somehow being involved in the sale of a gun that kills a kid or is traced back to some serial murderer. Having worked in law firms, I know how families and attorneys go after the “big pockets”…and if ebay or paypal had anything to do with a death, no matter how remote the connection, trust me, they would be named in the lawsuit.

Actually, the phrase is deep pockets, but you know what I meant…

Read my post #8. It is not illegal to auction firearms.

Is it really all that different from complaining that my local Wendy’s or Barnes and Noble refuses to carry firearms? I’d hardly say that they’re stomping on the constitution. A business has the freedom to choose what they sell and if it seems out of line of their normal merchandise (like Wendy’s or Barnes and Noble) or just like a pain in the ass (likely Ebay), I wouldn’t call them any political persuasion. If it made economic sense for them to do it (i.e. high profits, no risk of legal action, etc.) I have no doubt that Ebay would be selling guns before I finish this post.

I didn’t say it was illegal to auction firearms.

Then how does the Gun Control Act (or any federal statute) compel eBay and PayPal to restrict the sale of guns?

EBay doesn’t allow quite a bit of other stuff to be listed:

"*Prohibited and Restricted Items - Overview

Find out if your item is allowed. As an eBay user, you are ultimately responsible for making sure that buying or selling an item is legal in the eyes of the law.

Prohibited and Restricted Items List:
Academic Software

Alcohol (also see Wine)

Animals and Wildlife Products

Anti-circumvention Policy


Authenticity Disclaimers

Autographed Items

Beta Software

Bonus, Prize, Giveaway and Raffle

Bootleg Recordings

Brand Name Misuse

Catalog Sales

Catalytic Converters and Test Pipes

Celebrity Material

Cell Phone (Wireless) Service Contracts

Charity or Fundraising Listings

Comparison Policy

Compilation and Informational Media

Contracts and Tickets

Counterfeit Currency and Stamps

Counterfeit Items

Credit Cards

Describing Drugs or Drug-like Substances

Downloadable Media

Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia

Electronics Equipment

Embargoed Goods and Prohibited Countries

Encouraging Illegal Activity

Encouraging Infringement Policy

Event Tickets

Faces, Names and Signatures

Firearms, Weapons and Knives


Gift Cards

Government and Transit Documents

Government and Transit Uniforms

Government IDs and Licenses

Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Items

Human Parts and Remains

Importation of Goods into the United States

International Trading - Buyers

International Trading - Sellers

Listing No Item

Lockpicking Devices

Lottery Tickets

Mailing Lists and Personal Information

Manufacturers’ Coupons

Mature Audiences

Medical Devices

Misleading Titles

Mod Chips, Game Enhancers, and Boot Discs

Movie Prints

Multi-level Marketing, Pyramid and Matrix Programs

OEM Software

Offensive Material


Plants and Seeds

Police-Related Items

Political Memorabilia

Postage Meters

Pre-Sale Listings

Prescription Drugs

Prohibited Services

Promotional Items

Real Estate

Recalled Items

Recordable Media

Replica and Counterfeit Items

Satellite and Cable TV Descrambers

Slot Machines

Stocks and Other Securities

Stolen Property and Property with Removed Serial Numbers

Surveillance Equipment

Teacher’s Edition Textbooks

Test Listings


Transit and Shipping Related Items


Unauthorized Copies

Used Clothing

Used Cosmetics


Wine (also see Alcohol) * "

Each listing above has specifics. For example, although used clothing is generally OK, used underwear is not.