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Firearms, weapons, and knives policy

Policy overview

Some weapons can't be listed on eBay due to strict federal and state government regulations and international laws banning the sale of these items. Please review the list of items below to find out what you can and can't sell on eBay.

For allowed weapons and weapon-related accessories, sellers have to follow our guidelines, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • The item is listed only on the eBay US site

  • The seller and the item are located in the US

  • The seller offers only domestic shipping for the item, since international shipping would make the item available in countries where it might be prohibited.

  • The item complies with California law on the sale of weapons.

For more conditions on how you can sell allowed items on eBay, review the What are the guidelines section below.

Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Restricted 

Allowed in some situations

  • You can list airsoft guns, replica guns, or other imitation firearms as long as:

    • You follow all other applicable laws. For example, in most states, you have to be at least 18 years old to buy an airsoft gun

    • The item has a blaze orange barrel plug permanently attached to the weapon. Some states and localities may have additional requirements for color markings on these items and you must comply with these requirements if you are shipping to those jurisdictions.

    • The item can't be converted to shoot lethal projectiles.

    • The picture of the item shows the actual item for sale as a whole. Stock photos and pictures showing only a portion of the item are not allowed.

You can also list:

  • Parts and accessories for airsoft weapons can be listed as long as they are not classified as an assault weapon or have a name matching an assault weapon.

  • Ammunition magazines for replica airsoft firearms that show the top of the magazine. You need to include a picture of the item in your listing to show that your item isn't a real assault weapon magazine.

  • Novelty lighters that look like guns can be sold, as long as they're listed in the Collectibles > Tobacciana > Lighters category and the starting bid price is less than $50.00.

  • Miniature firearms, like those that come with action figures. You need to describe the item's size in your listing, and include a picture that shows scale using a ruler or a coin.

  • Paintball guns without replica markings (such as an orange plug) as long as they're listed in one of the Sporting Goods > Outdoor Sports > Paintball categories. The listing must describe the item as a paintball gun and can't describe the item as a firearm.

  • Training firearms, which are brightly colored, solid plastic replicas. In your listing, you'll need to include a picture of your item showing that it's solid and that it isn't real.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Airsoft guns, replica guns, or other imitation firearms that can be converted to shoot a lethal projectile.

  • Any replica firearms that don't have permanent blaze orange barrel markings. If the markings look fake or temporary, the listing will be removed.

  • Paintball cannons

  • Parts and accessories for replica assault weapons, including airsoft or imitation firearms that are based on actual assault weapons.

  • Replica guns that were made by converting real guns, even if you can't convert them back to a working gun.

  • Silencers for airsoft guns, replica guns, or other imitation firearms.

Because federal and state regulations are involved, some types of ammunition can't be listed.  However, certain types can be sold, which are found in the sections below

Allowed 

Allowed

You can list:

  • Ammunition for airsoft guns

  • Plastic, polymer, rubber, or wooden bullets or ammunition

  • Snap caps

  • Safety bullets

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

  • Ammunition for Air Guns, as long as it meets the requirements of the BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles or air pistols section below

  • Replica ammunition where it is clear that the item was never real ammunition and cannot be converted into actual ammunition

  • Converted brass (also known as trench art). The item has to show that it's been converted and that it can't be converted back into a usable casing.

  • Empty ammunition boxes. The listing needs to say the item doesn't contain ammunition.

  • Reloading equipment and weaponsmithing tools are allowed as long as there is no mention of assault weapons in the listing and no ammunition components are included.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Ammunition used in a firearm, including, but not limited to:

    • Live ammunition

    • Blank ammunition

    • Inert ammunition

    • Dummy ammunition

    • Complete paper cartridges

  • Components of ammunition:

    • Bullets

    • Cartridges

    • Casings

    • Shells

    • Hulls

  • Gunpowder

  • Primers

We don't allow listings for explosives, grenades, or many types of military ordnance on eBay.

Before listing any military items on eBay, check the list in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Part 121 to see if your item is covered by Part 121.  Items that are otherwise allowed on eBay but listed in Part 121 can only be listed on the US eBay website (eBay.com) under certain conditions. See our additional information below to learn more.

Allowed

Allowed

  • Military surplus items or other military-related items that you can find in both online and retail stores, such as military-related backpacks, blankets, canteens, clothing, foot lockers, hats, helmets, non-restricted instruments and tools, and so on.

  • Some parts and accessories for antiquated military vehicles or equipment that doesn’t have explosive capabilities.

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

  • You can list body armor as long as:

    • It isn't military issued.

    • It is a level I, II, or III body armor or Small Arms Protection Insert (SAPI) plate, and has the level specified in the listing.

Find out more about our requirements to list body armor in the Additional information section below.

You can also list:

  • Toy or replica grenades and other ordnance as long as your listing clearly calls out both of the following:

    • The item was never actual ordnance

    • The item can't be converted into actual ordnance

  • Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs) that don't include a heating device, have a clearly marked expiration date, and can be delivered to the buyer before they expire. For more information, see our food and healthcare items policy.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Atom or nuclear weapons

  • Explosives

  • Grenades of any kind

  • Land mines

  • Level IV Small Arms Protection Insert (SAPI) plates

  • Missiles, rockets, or launchers

  • Nerve gas

  • Technical data as defined under Part 120 of the ITAR, including user manuals for military items

  • Military ordnance such as weapons, ammunition, and their related parts—even if the items are considered demilitarized, demilled, rendered inert, or unserviceable. We can't confirm whether an item has been changed in such a way that makes it safe and legal to sell or transport

  • Most military vehicles, including aircraft and ships, and the parts or accessories for these vehicles

  • Grenades such as metal military practice grenades, rifle grenades, propelled grenades, dummy grenades, inert grenades (including relics, curios, memorabilia, novelty, or display items), grenade launchers, grenade launcher attachments, and mines

  • The following types of body armor:

    • Level IV body armor or Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) plates

    • SAPI plates that don't clearly state their respective level (I, II, or III)

    • Military-issued body armor or body armor stamped with "US," including Outer Tactical Vests (OTV) or SAPI plates

    • Interceptor Body Armor (IBA), including items manufactured by Point Blank (PBI), Second Chance (SCI), and Armor Holding

    • Interceptor OTV with or without plates

    • Detachable groin armor (cod pieces) and neck armor

  • Military police uniforms or any part of the uniform (such as badges, patches, armbands, and so on) that designates someone as a police officer from any branch of the US military. See our police-related items policy.

  • Military instruments containing radium or any other hazardous substance. See our hazardous, restricted, or regulated materials policy.

  • Heaters for Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) and flameless ration heaters (FRHs). This also applies to listings for MREs that have heaters as part of the item for sale. See our hazardous, restricted, or regulated materials policy.

Actual firearms can't be listed on eBay. Under certain conditions however, many parts and accessories for firearms are OK to sell as detailed in our Firearm parts and accessories section. See the list below for more information.

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

You can list the following under specified conditions:

  • Signal cannons and calcium carbide cannons (unless it indicates it can fire a projectile)

  • Toy cannons that cannot fire

Restricted

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Firearms regardless of their ability to fire, how old they are, or their status as collectibles, including flintlock and muzzleloader guns

  • Starter pistols or blank guns, regardless of their markings

  • Pin fire guns

  • Zip guns

  • Cannons ( see exceptions above)

Certain firearm parts and accessories are permitted on eBay per the guidelines listed below.
All listings permitted under this section must clearly identify the part or accessory being sold as well as the type of firearm it fits ("type" can mean general use and not necessarily brand or manufacturer. For example, "this part can be used with bolt-action rifles"). Listings that don't include this information may be removed.

Allowed 

Allowed

You can list magazine loading devices, or speedloaders such as:

  • Stripper clips

  • Moon clips

You can also list accessories and parts for firearms such as:

  • Butt plates

  • Cases

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Dies

  • Grips

  • Holsters

  • Molds

  • Racks

  • Scopes

  • Slings

  • Stocks

  • Storage cases

  • Trigger guards

The following firearm parts are allowed on the eBay US site only. The seller must be in the US and offer domestic shipping only:

  • En bloc clips

  • Barrels – shotgun barrels less than 18 inches and rifle barrels less than 16 inches are prohibited

  • Bolts

  • Choke tubes

  • Cylinders

  • Firing pins

  • Hammers

  • Slides

  • Trigger assemblies

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

You can also list the following parts and accessories under specified conditions:

  • Muzzleloader or black powder gun parts or accessories as long as each item is offered in individual listings (having separate listings for items that can be used to build a gun is prohibited.)

  • Magazines: Sellers must follow all applicable state and local laws for magazine sales. Listings for magazines must clearly identify the make and model in the item title or description.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Firearm frames, including grip frames, muzzleloader and black powder frames or receivers

  • Firearm kits used to create a firearm

  • Firearm receivers, including upper or lower, incomplete, "cut" or "80%" receivers

  • Flash suppressors

  • Any magazine sold in violation of state or local law. High capacity magazines that accept more than 10 rounds are not allowed. Please note that some states may have a lower capacity limit.

  • High capacity magazines modified to accept 10 rounds or less are also prohibited unless permanently modified by the manufacturer.

  • Magazine extenders

  • Sears

  • Silencers

  • Grenade launchers

  • Parts or accessories for assault weapons. Listings that mention capability with an assault weapon, even if the part or accessory fits non-assault weapons, are also prohibited.

  • The following parts for semiautomatic pistols: barrel shroud, forward pistol grip and threaded barrel

  • Pistol conversion kits that make a pistol into a short-barreled rifle

  • Bayonets designed to fit an assault weapon

  • Blueprints, milling or forging specifications for assault weapons

  • Instructions or blueprints on how to convert a semi-automatic weapon to a fully automatic weapon

Some hand-to-hand combat weapons and martial arts weapons can't be listed. See the list below, as well as the knives section, for more details.

Allowed 

Allowed

You can list:

  • Katana

  • Stick swords

  • Instruction or training manuals on how to use hand weapons

  • Wii Nunchuk controllers for the Nintendo Wii

  • Books, informational materials, and training on Shuriken-jutsu

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

You can also sell the following training or practice hand weapons:

  • Batons

  • Night sticks

  • Nunchakus

  • Tonfas

  • Throwing stars

As long as they are made of:

  • Rubber foam,

  • Dense foam, or

  • Foam with plastic interior tubes

You have to specify this detail in your listing. However, weapons that are foam padded or foam with a metal interior aren't allowed.

You can also list following items under specified conditions:

  • Miniature brass knuckles that include a picture of the item with something that indicates scale, like a ruler or a coin.

  • Collectible batons, blackjacks and saps that are fifty plus years old, are listed in collectibles and are being marketed for their collectible nature and not actual use.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Brass knuckles, including those made from any material other than foam

  • Knives with raised knuckle guards or knuckle dusters

  • Items in the shape of a brass knuckle if the item appears to be usable as a brass knuckle

  • Leaded canes, crutches, staffs, or sticks

  • Nightsticks, billy clubs, war clubs, batons, PR 24s, Monadnock batons, ASPs, tonfas, truncheons, and similar items (see exceptions above)

  • Nunchakus (also called nunchucks or numchuks), chain sticks, or two-section staffs (see exceptions above)

  • Throwing weapons such an Ninja stars and throwing cards (see exceptions above)

  • Sansetsukon or three-section staffs

  • Saps, sand clubs, sandbags, slung shots, or blackjacks (see exceptions above)

There are many restrictions on the sale and shipment of knives, though certain types can be listed. See the list below, and review our international trading policy for information on shipping restrictions.

Allowed

Allowed

You can list:

  • Oversized balisong knives—the kind that require 2 hands to open

  • Tactical daggers

  • Throwing knives

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

You can also list:

  • Parts for switchblades, as long as they can't be used to make a complete switchblade. Sellers have to list each part individually.

  • Practice balisong or butterfly knives that have holes in the blade and can't be sharpened

  • Spring-assisted knives. There has to be manual movement of the blade by a thumb stud or screw that's clearly visible on the blade.

  • Training or practice throwing stars that are made of resin and aren't sharp enough to penetrate the body

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Automatic knives

  • Balisong knives

  • Butterfly knives

  • Dual-action knives

  • Gravity knives

  • Hidden or disguised knives such as air gauge knives, belt buckle knives, lipstick case knives, or writing pen knives

  • Out-the-front (OTF) knives

  • Paratrooper knives

  • Push knives—also called push daggers, punch daggers, punch knives, push dirks, and T-handled knives

  • Replica or imitation switchblades

  • Switchblade knives (knives with a blade that open automatically—for example, by pressing a button or through inertia or gravity)

  • Sword canes

Some personal defense items, such as pepper spray and mace, can be listed as long as you follow your city and state laws on the sale of these items.

Allowed 

Allowed

You can list:

  • Blowgun darts

  • Bows and arrows

  • Crossbows

  • Information or instructions on how to make a potato gun

  • Slingshots

  • Stun gun holsters

Restricted

Allowed in some situations

  • You can also list pepper spray, disguised pepper spray, or mace as long as:

    • The item is shipped domestically

    • Sellers state in their listings that they won't accept bids from people located in places where stun guns are illegal. This includes Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

Not allowed

Not allowed

You cannot list:

  • Blow guns

  • Dart guns

  • Flare guns or flares

  • Potato guns such as bazookas, cannons, or launchers

  • Powerheads", "stick guns," or equivalents

  • Tear gas

  • Disguised stun guns

  • Stun gun listings that offer shipping to cities or states where stun guns are prohibited

  • Tasers

These items may be listed, as long as they are only shipped to the US. Offering shipping to any other country is not allowed.

Restricted 

Allowed in some situations

  • You can list air rifles, air pistols, pellet guns, BB guns and pop guns, as long as:

    • You have Top Rated seller standard on eBay

    • Your listing follows the air gun guidelines outlined below

    • You offer US shipping only

    • Your listing contains the following disclaimer: "This listing complies with eBay's air gun guidelines found here and I will only sell and ship air guns to buyers in jurisdictions where permitted by applicable laws - http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/firearms-weapons-knives.html"

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • You cannot list air rifles, air pistols, pellet guns, or pop guns that are:

    • Greater than .25 caliber

eBay allows listings for BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles, air pistols, pop guns, and other similar devices that shoot, or are designed to shoot, a metal projectile without the use of gun powder. Because these items may be considered weapons in some jurisdictions, eBay requires sellers of Air Guns to comply fully with any and all associated Laws.

Air Gun Sellers
Sellers may only list Air rifles, air pistols, BB guns, pellet guns or pop guns that are .25 caliber or less, and ammunition or projectiles used with such devices.
All sellers who list Air Guns for sale on eBay must comply with all federal, state, local, and other applicable Laws. If applicable, these sellers must carry the required license to sell and ship Air Guns.
Sellers must list these items in the Air Rifles, Air Pistols or BBs & Pellets (for ammunition only) categories, must offer US domestic shipping only, have the eBay Top Rated Seller standard, and must include the following information within each item description:
  • The following disclaimer: This listing complies with eBay’s air gun guidelines found here and I will only sell and ship air guns to buyers in jurisdictions where permitted by applicable laws - http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/firearms-weapons-knives.html.; and

  • The seller's lawful shipping policy, which must specify the jurisdictions to which the seller can lawfully ship Air Guns, and any restrictions on such shipments (e.g., minimum age of buyer).


Air Gun Buyers
In order to purchase Air Guns on eBay, buyers must, when and by bidding on or purchasing these items, warrant and represent they are aware of and are in compliance with their own jurisdiction's applicable Laws regarding the purchase, possession, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of Air Guns.

State and local laws
Many jurisdictions in the United States have different Laws for the sale, purchase, possession, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of Air Guns. Members should fully research and understand all applicable Laws before listing or buying Air Guns.

Requirements for Air Gun-related transactions on eBay
Be sure to meet all the following terms and conditions when buying or selling Air Guns on eBay. These terms and conditions may change over time. It is your responsibility to visit these pages to see if and how they may have changed, so that you can remain compliant.
  1. Limitation of liability: Both buyer and seller expressly acknowledge and agree that eBay is not liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages or lost profits (however arising, including negligence) resulting from or in connection with the sale of Air Guns and related accessories on the eBay site.

  2. Representations and warranties:

    Each seller represents and warrants that:

    • The seller of the Air Guns has the right, power, and authority to sell the Air Guns;

    • The seller of the Air Guns owns all necessary and required licenses and permissions to lawfully carry out Air Gun-related transactions on our site, and ship the item to its purchaser;

    • The seller is familiar with and understands all applicable Laws concerning the sale, possession, purchase, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of its products in each applicable jurisdiction;

    • The seller will comply with all relevant Laws concerning the sale, purchase, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of its products in any and all transactions and take all necessary actions to comply fully with all such obligations and monitor such compliance;

    • All sales transactions will be conducted by and under the control of the seller. This includes decisions concerning the selection of Air Guns to advertise or offer for sale, the pricing of those Air Guns, and the ultimate acceptance and fulfillment of the sales transaction. The seller is responsible for all decisions concerning the acceptance or rejection of all bids/orders;

    • The seller will only sell and ship Air Guns to buyers in jurisdictions where permitted by applicable Laws and only under such conditions as permitted by such Laws;

    • Where state and/or local Laws place age restrictions on those who may purchase or possess Air Guns, Seller will require from each buyer affirmation of his/her age and Seller will also require each recipient to show proof of his/her age upon delivery of product(s) to recipient, and will use its best efforts to ensure that such proof of age is satisfied prior to authorizing the release of the product(s) to recipient; and

    • The seller will perform any and all other tasks, or make any and all disclosures, required to ensure the legality and full compliance with Laws of its transaction on the eBay Site.


    Each buyer represents and warrants that:

    • The buyer is familiar with all relevant Laws concerning the sale, purchase, possession, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of Air Guns in his or her jurisdiction;

    • The buyer will comply with all applicable Laws concerning the sale, purchase, possession, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of Air Guns in any and all transactions and take all necessary action to fulfill such obligation and ensure such compliance; and

    • Where applicable Laws place age restrictions on those who can purchase or possess Air Guns, buyer will provide affirmation of his/her age and show proof of his/her age upon delivery of product(s).

  3. Indemnification: The seller is solely responsible for compliance with all Laws associated with the sale of Air Guns and will indemnify eBay against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees (collectively, "Claims") which eBay may incur as a result of any actions arising from or relating to: (i) any alleged breach of any of seller's representations or warranties; (ii) any sale, offering for sale, marketing conducted by, or shipment of a product by seller or any related transaction; (iii) any alleged defect in seller's product(s) or Claims arising out of the use of seller's product by any third party; (iv) seller's alleged violation of any Laws; or (v) any investigation or proceeding relating to any of the foregoing, regardless of whether eBay is a subject thereof or party thereto. It is solely the seller's responsibility to determine whether it may complete any particular transaction based on the seller's ability to assure that the transaction is in compliance with all Laws associated with the sale, purchase, possession, distribution, shipment, transport, and use of Air Guns.

  4. Distribution, Shipping, and Transport: Certain Laws may govern and limit a seller's ability to sell, distribute, ship, and transport Air Guns. As a seller, you are solely responsible to consult with legal and/or other experts to determine which Laws may impact your activities and to fully comply with those Laws

Additional information

Defense articles and dual-use items

The US government makes a distinction between "defense articles" that are specifically developed, configured, or adapted for military applications and "dual-use" items that have both military and civilian applications. Defense articles are regulated for export by the US Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls while dual-use items are regulated for export by the US Department of Commerce. 

In general, items not regulated by the ITAR are regulated under the Department of Commerce's Export Administration Regulations (EAR). While they may be sold on eBay, certain categories of items require export licenses depending on the ultimate country of destination because of their potential nuclear, missile, and defense/security applications. Examples of such dual-use items are high precision machine tools and vibration tables, generation 1 night vision, civilian riflescopes/weapon sights and electronics, such as radar, accelerometers, and gyroscopes. You can visit the Commerce Control List and Country Chart to find out if an export license is required.

The law covering the sale of military items

We work closely with federal and military agencies to make sure transactions for military items on eBay follow all laws, regulations, and statutes, including:

Before listing military items on eBay, please review the information in the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Part 121. This regulation restricts the import and export of  certain military items and information. Along with other requirements and restrictions, ITAR requires sellers of items and information included in Part 121 who want to ship those items outside of the US to get a special license from the US Department of State.

Because we can't determine whether a seller has this license, sellers can only sell items to US citizens who currently live in the US. You'll need to specify domestic shipping in your listing, and make sure you and your buyer follow all applicable laws and regulations, as well as eBay policies.

eBay's policy for listing body armor

Generally, body armor that isn't issued by the military can be listed on eBay. However, because of various laws and regulations, if the body armor you're listing has been certified using the performance standard of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), then you must include the following information in your description:

  • The threat level rating of the armor (I, II, IIa, III, IIIa)

  • Information about the manufacturer

  • The model designation

The listing must have a clear picture of the armor that verifies the above information, including a picture of the certification tag, and it must also include the following disclaimer, word for word, within the description:

** This model complies with NIJ Standard-0101.06 for Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor. **

We recommend copying and pasting this disclaimer into your item description. Be sure to use the same font size as the rest of your description.

Why does eBay have this policy?

For safety concerns and in order to follow laws and regulations, we restrict the kinds of weapons and accessories that can be sold on eBay. Be sure to follow all laws and regulations—as well as eBay policies—before buying or selling these items.

Contact Customer Service

You can contact Customer Service to report a listing you think violates this policy. Go to that listing, and then click the Report item link on the right side of the page.

We'll review your report and take appropriate action.

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