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You are watching: Can you sell ammo on craigslist


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byMatt Drange April 15, 2015June 30, 2021
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A text post exchange in between a reveal reporter and Craigslist seller shows a gun gift offered. Credit: Sam Ward/Reveal

Cash wasn’t the preferred payment because that this particular set of automobile tires. “Jayson,” the seller who noted the tires top top Craigslist in brand-new York City critical month, wanted ammunition because that an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

The specific size no a problem, as either .223-caliber or 5.56 mm ammunition would certainly do.

“Dont matter just for range and my ar barrel is 556 so can shoot either 1,” Jayson replied in a text article to a disclose reporter around the offer.


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In enhancement to $1,000 in cash, the seller the this iPhone stated “.45 weapons or ammunition,” “9mm,” “rifles,” “ar-15” or “glock” would certainly be welcomed as payment.Credit: display screen shot indigenous Craigslist.org Credit: display screen shot native Craigslist.org

Another Craigslist seller v a new iPhone 6 in Venice, California, was even an ext flexible than the seller with the automobile tires. A in march 9 advertisement featured a photo of the phone because that “$1K cash.” The seller also would accept “.45 guns or ammunition, 9mm, rifles, ar-15 or glock.”

Reveal recently exposed the flaws in eBay’s policy against selling assault weapon parts on the website. Yet Craigslist’s gun half goes also further. Buying or selling any kind of guns, gun components or ammunition is plainly prohibited, along with prescription drugs, food stamps and anything deemed “offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or malicious.”

The online sector for guns is growing. Tracking individual sales, however, is difficult because countless guns are transferred between private parties without a lift check. That the approximately 2,400 agents work by the commonwealth Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, no one focuses specifically on online sales, company spokeswoman Helen Dunkel said.

Many of the Craigslist ads featuring firearms sought to sell or trade for them. Desire ads to be equally candid. One in Arizona available a black and tan AR-15 in exchange for a motorcycle.


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A savvy seller in Modesto, California, meanwhile, looked to capitalize ~ above 2,000 rounds of the famous M855 ammunition, i beg your pardon the government threatened come ban earlier this year before backing off amid fierce opposition from gun groups, consisting of the nationwide Rifle Association. The seller had just offered 1,000 rounds because that $1 per round – more than 3 times the price of the ammunition in 2014.

“Am selling another thousand come the highest possible bidder. Do an offer,” the seller wrote in an e-mail March 10.

A main later, after the office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced it to be reconsidering the ban, the seller wrote earlier to speak the 2nd case had actually sold because that $850.

“I really can’t think how scared people get as soon as things favor this happen,” the seller said of the potential ban on M855 ammunition. “Anyways sorry us couldn’t execute business.”

Federal law allows individuals that live in the exact same state to sells weapons privately there is no a background check or paperwork. Out-of-state sales call for a licensed gun dealer to serve as one intermediary. Ammunition, however, deserve to legally overcome state lines, though part states, including California, restrict the dimension of magazines that can be sold to 10 rounds.

Craigslist asks users to flag prohibited items in an initiative to “keep craigslist safe and useful because that everyone.” uneven eBay, Craigslist walk not appear to have actually an automated keyword filter to protect against banned item from being listed, despite as reveal reported, getting roughly eBay’s filtering is as straightforward as adding a an are midword.

Craigslist is naturally local by design and also doesn’t offer a search function across all of its individual locations. This makes it complicated to number out how many guns and also gun components are top top the site at any given time. However a cursory search for guns and ammunition in a handful of Craigslist’s largest locations – consisting of Los Angeles, the mountain Francisco just Area, Chicago, las Vegas and brand-new York – turned increase dozens of prohibition listings.

Numerous emails and also phone messages to Craigslist seeking comment about enforcement of its plan were unanswered. Susan MacTavish Best, an elevation public relations specialist paid to be a spokeswoman because that the company, did not return repetitive phone, text and also email messages.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark decreased to comment v his media liaison, Bruce Bonafede. Bonafede stated Newmark is “fully conscious of the situation,” but he is no longer connected in the day-to-day operations at Craigslist and therefore can not speak to the website’s total policy. The center for Investigative Reporting, which runs Reveal, at this time receives resources from the craigslist charitable Fund and also has, in the past, got support native the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund.

It isn’t simply completed guns and also ammunition that change hands on Craigslist. Components for making your very own gun in ~ home additionally are available.


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A Craigslist advertisement in ras Vegas provides a used jig to build your very own AR-15 reduced receiver for $100. Credit: display shot native Craigslist.org Credit: screen shot indigenous Craigslist.org

A recent ad in ras Vegas available a used jig to construct your own AR-15 lower receiver because that $100. The seller shows up to be mindful of Craigslist’s policy and notes that the listing is “NOT A WEAPON – or any part of one.” The phone number provided in the advertisement dials a neighborhood store that specializes in concealed bring holsters, including neon Glock Sockets come holster the semi-automatic pistols.

It’s unclear as soon as Craigslist began banning the sale of guns and gun parts. But the absence of guns on the website in 2007 to be cited by the creators that Armslist.com as their inspiration. Jon Gibbon and Brian Mancini, who attended the U.S. Air force Academy together, released Armslist to to fill what they considered a void in the online gun market: classified sales.

It worked. Armslist quickly came to be one the the largest gun sectors on the Internet. In a 2010 interview, Gibbon defined the website together a “gun present that never ends.”

A 2013 new York Times investigation of Armslist discovered that judge felons were buying and selling firearms they wouldn’t have accessibility to if they had actually to submit to a background inspect through traditional retail channels. The newspaper analyzed more than 170,000 ads on Armslist and also found that the vast majority were detailed by private parties who, unlike licensed gun stores, are not causing obligation to conduct a lift check before selling a gun.

In enhancement to committed gun industries like Armslist and also GunBroker.com, general-purpose websites like eBay and also Amazon have actually their own rules top top guns.

Yet, together Reveal discovered last month, eBay sellers on regular basis sidestep that company’s strict firearms policy, i beg your pardon bans the revenue of assault weapon parts and also other weapons. Even when listings to be flagged and also eBay to represent vowed to eliminate them, gun parts remained increase on the website for weeks.

It wasn’t till Reveal detailed the persistent difficulties enforcing the plan that eBay manually gotten rid of a grasp of banned parts and also shut under a Nevada-based seller specializing in AR-15 components – called sfars_llc, short for “Sh*t for AR’s” – which had repeatedly violated eBay’s rules. Numerous other gun parts dealers continue to offer on eBay.

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Matt Drange is a reporter for Reveal, covering the service of guns. He previously reported top top Silicon Valley and also the intersection of an innovation and the environment. He won a James Madison freedom of information Award from the culture of expert Journalists" northern California chapter because that his occupational on the toxicity Trail investigation, i m sorry exposed exactly how mismanagement of Superfund cleanup sites frequently leads come substantially more harm than good. Prior to joining Reveal, Drange operated for the Maine facility for Public attention Reporting, whereby he wrote around malfeasance in state government and also the affect of money in politics. Drange began his career extending police and also courts for the Eureka Times-Standard in California. That earned a master"s degree from the Columbia university Graduate institution of Journalism and did his undergraduate work-related at Humboldt State University. Drange is based in Reveal"s Emeryville, California, office.