Ebay agrees to block stun-gun sales to New Yorkers
Tuesday, October 11th 2005, 12:09 pm
By: News On 6
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Online auctioneer eBay Inc. said Tuesday it will block the sale and shipment of stun guns and other illegal weapons to New York residents under an agreement with Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
In an investigation that started last year, Spitzer's office found the eBay users were easily able to buy stun guns through the company's Web site. Investigators, posing as ordinary customers, bought 16 stun guns from 16 different sellers on eBay.
The sellers, 14 of whom are from outside New York, are believed to have sold more than 1,100 stun guns to New Yorkers from September 2003 to August 2005, investigators said. Included in the sales were a Taser International Inc. stun gun valued at $57 and a $400 ``Air Taser'' that delivers a 50,000-volt disabling shock through darts connected by wires to the weapon.
``You wouldn't want these used in either illegal activities or horseplay,'' Spitzer spokesman Paul Larrabee said. ``Dangerous devices should not be in the hands of those unable to properly use them and you certainly don't want them used in any criminal activity.''
Under the agreement, New York residents who bid on an illegal weapon will receive an electronic warning from eBay that the transaction is illegal and that any purchase will be reported to authorities.
EBay has also sent letters to stun-gun sellers to warn them that the sale of such weapons in New York is illegal.
The company, based in San Jose, Calif., also agreed to suspend retailers who violate New York laws.
New York is one of seven states that ban electric stun devices, Spitzer's office said.