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eBay rethinks firearms policy

Virginia Tech gunman bought ammo clips online

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

After learning that items purchased on eBay may have been used in the Virginia Tech shootings this past April, the popular online auction site has revised its policy on firearms, weapons, and knives.

On April 16, in Blacksburg, Virginia, a student at Virginia Tech University killed 32 people and wounded 25 before committing suicide. Three weeks before the attack, the gunman purchased several empty ammunition clips from an eBay seller based in Idaho.

Currently, eBay prohibits the sale of guns and other weapons regulated by U.S. federal and state governments, and in mid-August, it will also ban the listing of any part that's used in the firing of a gun, AuctionBytes.com reports. This includes bullet tips, brass casing and shells, barrels, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, and more.

"We felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do," reads an announcement from Matt Halprin, eBay's vice president of trust and safety. "After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team - along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. - have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require." ®

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