Trade Me to remove all listings for semi-automatic weapons

trademe1Online marketplace Trade Me has halted the sale of semi-automatic weapons and parts in the wake of last Friday’s mass shooting in Christchurch.

Trade Me announced Monday morning it would remove all listings of AR15 rifles and other semi-automatic firearms and parts associated with those weapons after receiving messages from the public over the weekend asking them to ban the sale of such items.

“We are halting the sale of semi-automatic weapons while we wait for more clarity from the government,” company chief executive Jon Macdonald said in a statement released yesterday.

“There is a bit of work involved in doing this but we will have these listings removed later today.”

A petition was also created urging the online marketplace to ban the sale of guns on the site.

“We already heavily restricted the types of firearms that can be listed to ‘A’ category firearms in sporting configuration, as commonly used by hunters, recreational shooters or in rural communities as tools on farms,” Macdonald said.

“We do not allow the sale of military style semi-automatic weapons, parts which could change an ‘A’ category firearm into a military style semi-automatic weapons, pistols, or restricted weapons.”

The company’s earlier position on selling firearms was that trading between licensed owners via Trade Me in a safe, trusted, transparent and traceable environment was better for New Zealand than many of the alternatives.

“But it is clear public sentiment has changed in relation to semi-automatic weapons and we acknowledge that, which is why we’re putting this ban in place,” Macdonald said.

The New Zealand government is now prioritising gun law reform after a terrorist used semi-automatic weapons to attack worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, leaving 50 people dead and 34 still in the hospital, 12 of them in critical condition.

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