Salesforce is refusing to let its customers use its software to sell semi-automatic guns

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSalesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff.

One of the most popular producers of business software has told customers they can’t use its technology to sell semiautomatic weapons and firearms.

Salesforce, a $US120 billion tech company based in San Francisco, updated its “acceptable use” policy in April to prohibit the use of its software for sales of automatic and semiautomatic firearms, as well as certain gun parts. The Washington Post first reported the change to its policies, which now prohibit using Salesforce software for marketing, customer-service operations, and order fulfillment related to those weapons.

“After carefully reviewing similar policies in the industry and discussing with internal and external stakeholders, we updated our policy,” a Salesforce spokesperson told Business Insider. “The change affects new customers and a small number of existing customers when their current contracts expire.”

Although the new policy doesn’t apply to all online gun sales, it makes special note of automatic firearms and accessories such as detachable magazines, sound suppressors, and multi-burst triggers, which enable guns to fire multiple rounds in quick succession. These kinds of semiautomatic weapons have been demonstrated to allow shooters to injure or kill more victims and are often used in mass shootings, including those in Las Vegas, Orlando, Florida, and Newtown, Connecticut.

Read more:
Here’s how easy it is to legally buy a semiautomatic gun in the US

However, gun advocates are critical of Salesforce’s updated policy. A spokesperson for the trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation told The Post the policy discriminates against gun owners and violates their rights under the Second Amendment.

“It is a very chilling effect when a company as large as Salesforce puts out a policy like this,” the foundation’s spokesperson, Mark Oliva, told The Washington Post. “A policy like this is not surprising from a company based in that part of the country.”

Other businesses have also taken action to curb gun sales in the past year. Shopify, the popular e-commerce company, banned the sale of some guns and types of ammunition using its platform in August. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, and Kroger have all taken steps to limit gun sales in their stores, even as business as suffered.

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff hasn’t shied away from voicing his stance on political issues, including gun control. In the days following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Benioff took to Twitter to call for a ban on the AR-15, a popular semiautomatic rifle.

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