It seems that everywhere we turn, we see more and more effort to try and push the firearm industry and the gun culture further and further into the fringes of society.
Companies dealing with firearms have already noticed issues with companies like Intuit refusing to work with them out of the blue, but we hoped it would stop there.
Well, it didn’t.
In a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon, it seems gun companies–apparently including those who simply sell accessories–have found themselves cut off from Shopify, including Spike’s Tactical.
Shopify policy change to ban gun, accessory sales, refuses to answer retailer questions
APOPKA, Fla. – A change in policy announced Monday night by Shopify, an e-commerce platform used by more than 600,000 merchants to conduct online sales, will essentially shut down the sale of guns, gun parts and accessories over the internet by retailers who use Shopify.
Spike’s Tactical, a Florida-based gun manufacturer, has built their entire website and online sales portal exclusively using the Shopify platform and conducts millions of dollars in sales through Shopify each year.
“This decision will have significant ramifications to our business and should concern every online retailer and Second Amendment supporter,” said Cole Leleux, general manager of Spike’s Tactical.
Some of the new amended rules in Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy now include banning the sale of semi-automatic firearms that have an ability to accept a detachable magazine and are capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. Additionally, unfinished lower receivers are also prohibited, according to the new rules. Most of Spike’s Tactical’ s products include AR-15 parts and full rifles, which would fall under those new restrictions.
One of the things that makes this more challenging for businesses like Spike’s Tactical, is that Shopify’s platform is entirely proprietary, meaning the information stored on their platform cannot be easily transferred to another online platform.
“We have invested more than $100,000 in the development of our Shopify store, which will disappear once these policies go into effect,” said Leleux.
As for when these new policies will go into effect, that remains a mystery. When representatives from Spike’s Tactical reached out to Shopify to try to learn more, Shopify refused to answer any questions and directed Spike’s Tactical team members to the Shopify legal department, which at the time of this news release, has yet to respond.
Ironically, when challenged by left-leaning critics about selling Breitbart products in 2017, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke said, “We don’t like Breitbart, but products are speech and we are pro free speech. This means protecting the right of organizations to use our platform even if they are unpopular or if we disagree with their premise, as long as they are within the law.”
It now seems that Shopify has reversed course on their previous belief, as our products are not only legal, but also used by many law enforcement agencies, Leleux said.
Another gun company, which will also feel the pain of Shopify’s recent decision is Rare Breed Firearms. Rare Breed announced the launch of their new Spartan lower receiver last week and the product is also sold online exclusively through Shopify.
“We have spent the last three years developing the Rare Breed brand and more than $40,000 developing our Shopify site,” said Lawrence DeMonico, president of Rare Breed Firearms, an Austin, Texas based firearms company. “Depending on how this policy is rolled out, this is a move that could put companies like ours out of business, and we will undoubtedly be looking to pursue legal options.”
Any other gun manufacturers or retailers who are also experiencing issues related to this new policy are encouraged to contact Spike’s Tactical, as they are looking at legal options to potentially file a class action lawsuit.
About Spike’s Tactical
Spike’s Tactical was founded the day before 9/11 by Mike and Angela Register and is headquartered in Apopka, Florida. The family-owned business employs around 40 people and all products are made exclusively in the USA and assembled in Florida. Spike’s Tactical is regarded as one of the premier AR-15 manufacturers in the world. Their mission is to build the highest quality products and offer them at the best possible price to the consumer. Spike’s Tactical weapons are designed to military specifications for civilian, law enforcement and military use. All products manufactured by Spike’s Tactical feature a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.
About Rare Breed Firearms
Rare Breed Firearms was established in 2016 to develop innovative, visually appealing and highly functional firearm designs. Rare Breed Firearms is based in Austin, Texas and is veteran-owned and operated. Through friendly competition, their goal is to drive innovation and bring new designs to the market.
It’s interesting to note that this comes just days after it cut off Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed as well. It stinks of not liking what Wilson was selling, then doing this to try and pretend it’s just the new policy.
As a private company, Shopify has a right to refuse to do business with anyone they so choose. They can certainly do that.
However, let’s also acknowledge that the refusal to answer questions or even communicate with those impacted is problematic to a significant degree. Especially since the data isn’t easily exported.
They’re hurting these companies, and they don’t care. Why would they, though? They’re going to get kudos and be treated like heroes by the mainstream media, the anti-gun zealots, and be showered in accolades by those same people. Meanwhile, the criticism they’ll receive will be from sectors of the American media that they don’t pay any attention to.
That means gun rights advocates will have to find another way to be heard.