Shopify, which operates online stores for thousands of businesses, has banned the sale of certain guns.
“Solely deferring to the law, in this age of political gridlock, is too idealistic and functionally unworkable on the fast moving internet,” Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke said in a blog post. “The legislative process is no match for the realities of the internet and has ground to a halt on contentious issues.”
He added, “We addressed this vacuum by creating a carefully crafted Acceptable Use Policy which allows space for all types of products, even the ones that we disagree with, but not for the kind of products intended to harm.”
Unlike some other large e-commerce providers, Shopify had allowed retail partners to sell most firearms through its platform. Amazon.com prohibits third-party sellers from offering guns on the website.
More than 600,000 businesses use Shopify’s e-commerce platform.
Activists had urged the company to cut ties with news website Breitbart last year. Lutke responded by saying Shopify didn’t “like Breitbart” but supports free speech.
Shopify shares dropped more than 3% on Wednesday.