Google’s decision to make its new Google Shopping platform a “no-gun zone” has merchants, advertisers, shoppers and Second Amendment advocates contemplating a switch to using Bing.com as their primary search engine.
“The company’s new, anti-gun policy has rightly caused firearms owners to reconsider having Google be their search engine of choice,” writes Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a July 3 Ammoland.com blog. “According to reports, the search engine Bing.com, for example, currently does not block firearms from appearing in shopping results.”
Google announced its new AdWords policies on May 31, when it transformed its product search, which had consisted of free listings, into “Google Shopping,” which has paid listings that must comply with new advertising policies.
“We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping,” Google’s new policy states. “In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed.”
The ban includes “guns, gun parts or hardware, ammunition, bombs, knives, throwing stars, and brass knuckles.”
The NSSF’s Keane said the group is appealing to Google in an effort “to reconsider this discriminatory policy that is hostile to the Second Amendment,” especially since it is unnecessary.
“We also plan to remind the company and emphasize that firearms cannot be purchased online and be transferred directly to the purchaser,” Keane writes. “A firearm that is purchased online must be physically sent from one federal firearms licensee to another, with the latter conducting the mandatory FBI background check on the purchaser (represented in person) and then transferring the firearm only after the purchaser has passed background check.”
Outdoor Hub blogger Edward Pierz said Google’s “new policy will only effectively disable many law abiding citizens from acquiring legal weapons for legitimate purposes at reasonable prices, and hurt many many small business’s income.”
Pierz is circulating a petition — ‘Tell Google not to interfere with our Second Amendment rights’ — that he hopes Second Amendment advocates will sign and present to the company.
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