Fayette County

PayPal suspends account of Lexington gun retailer. Here’s why.

Retail showroom at The Gun Warehouse & Range, 1105 Industry Rd. in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, June, 09, 2010. It is also the home of Buds Police Supply and budsgunshop.com.
Retail showroom at The Gun Warehouse & Range, 1105 Industry Rd. in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, June, 09, 2010. It is also the home of Buds Police Supply and budsgunshop.com. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Online payment processing giant PayPal has suspended the account of a Lexington gun shop, but there’s no indication the action is part of a larger movement to sever ties with retailers that sell guns.

The decision to suspend the account of BudsGunShop.com was for “specific violations of the company’s acceptable use policy” and did not affect other retailers, PayPal said Monday in a statement to the Herald-Leader.

PayPal can not be used to purchase guns and ammunition, but Buds said in a Facebook post Friday night that its PayPal account is used to pay for “non-restrictive items,” such as camping gear, archery equipment, clothing and fishing gear.

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The retailer, which also owns one of the largest gun stores in Lexington and has other locations in Tennessee, said on Facebook that it was told via email that its PayPal account had been frozen “for unspecified violations.”

“We asked for specific details of the violations but have not yet received a response,” the post said. “Although not impossible, it is not likely we committed a ‘violation.’ This is much more likely another predictable response by a liberal anti-gun company to separate themselves from ‘evil gun companies’ following a high-profile shooting.”

The retailer said it was told by PayPal that the violation can not be appealed, “which is convenient since we have no idea what we are appealing anyway,” the post said.

The Facebook post also said PayPal actively pursued doing business with Buds several years ago.

In a statement Monday, PayPal said it regularly reviews accounts for violations of its policies.

“Per company policy, we do not provide specific account information, but the matter in question and action taken in this instance is limited to one account for specific violations of the company’s acceptable use policy,” the statement said. “ PayPal regularly and objectively assesses activity against this policy and carefully reviews accounts, closing only those that violate policies.”

A manager at Buds did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.

In the weeks since a mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school that killed 17 students, many companies have distanced themselves from the gun industry. First National Bank of Omaha, the biggest privately owned U.S. bank, and Enterprise Holdings, operator of Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental, are among the companies that have said they are ending partnerships with the National Rifle Association.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

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