Mormon Church-Owned Website Suspends Gun Sales

One of the largest classifieds sites in the country takes down its “firearms and hunting” section. A victory for Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg displays a confiscated AR-15 assault rifle above a table of illegal firearms sold to undercover officers. Mario Tama / Getty Images

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting, a Mormon Church-owned company announced Tuesday night it was suspending all gun listings on its popular classifieds site.

In addition to removing gun listings, KSL.com — the online hub for Salt Lake City’s NBC affiliate, which is operated by church-owned Deseret Digital Media — took down the “Firearms and Hunting” section from its website. A company statement that replaces the site’s gun section says they were “profoundly saddened” by the Newtown shooting.

“In the wake of other similar incidents, important questions have been raised about the ease of access to guns,” the statement reads. “These questions deserve time for careful consideration and we are confident that an appropriate resolution will be found.”

KSL.com maintains one of the largest classified sections on the internet, and has frequently been targeted by gun control advocates, who say the site makes it too easy for buyers to bypass regulations to purchase firearms. A 2011 report from the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg listed KSL as one of the top offenders in enabling buyers to obtain guns without background checks.

Here is KSL’s full statement:

Like everyone else in the country, the management of KSL is profoundly saddened by the tragedy in Connecticut. In the wake of this and other similar incidents, important questions have been raised about the ease of access to guns. These questions deserve time for careful consideration and we are confident that an appropriate resolution will be found. Accordingly, KSL has temporarily suspended firearms listings on KSL.com classifieds. We recognize that this may inconvenience responsible citizens who have used this service, but we feel this is an important step while these broader societal issues are examined.

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