Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules


Etsy prohibits the sale of weapons. In some cases, an item is unmistakably a weapon, but other times, it may be a useful tool, a toy, or an unusable decorative item. This guide is based in part on legal standards, as well as whether an item is generally intended to serve a non-weapon function. When in doubt, it’s safe to assume that Etsy prohibits any instrument that is intended to be used as a weapon to inflict harm.

  1. Firearms
  2. Imitation Firearms
  3. Knives
  4. Hand Weapons
  5. Hunting, Archery, and Other Weapons

1. Firearms

Etsy prohibits the sale of the following:

  • Guns and firearms, including individual parts
  • Gun and firearm accessories, including those that affix to the gun in any way
  • Cannons
  • Live, blank and inert ammunition, including empty casings, shells, hulls
  • Silencers and suppressors
  • Speedloaders
  • Directions for 3D printing firearms

Storage items for guns may be sold as long as they are not affixed to the gun in any way. Some examples include:

  • Cases and racks
  • Holsters

2. Imitation Firearms

Etsy prohibits imitation firearms that are made to resemble actual firearms, as well as any item depicted in such a way that an average person could reasonably mistake it for a real gun. Examples of prohibited imitation firearms include:

  • Replica or look-alike guns, including toys and airsoft guns
  • BB guns
  • Any imitation firearm that fires metal BBs or projectiles

An unrealistic imitation firearm may qualify for sale on Etsy if it is unlikely to be mistaken for a real firing weapon by an average person. Additionally, you must follow all applicable laws associated with the item. Examples of unrealistic imitation firearms that may be listed if complying with all applicable laws include:

  • Toy guns, including cap guns and water guns
  • Airsoft guns with permanent blaze orange barrel markings or a permanent blaze orange barrel plug, as detailed in US federal code
  • Non-scale, non-operational guns, like fantasy, miniature, and cosplay guns

It is each seller’s responsibility to follow all applicable laws regarding the sale of weapons, including firearms and imitation firearms. Sellers in the US can refer to US federal code for more information. Outside of the US, sellers must check their own local laws. Etsy cannot advise on how to comply with the law. We recommend speaking to an expert or lawyer to ensure that you are following the appropriate laws.

3. Knives

Etsy prohibits the sale of knives that are weapons, including:

  • Ballistic knives
  • Bayonets
  • Butterfly or balisong knives
  • Gravity knives
  • Knives disguised as something else
  • Knuckleduster knives
  • Out the front (OTF) knives
  • Push daggers
  • Shuriken
  • Switchblades
  • Any knife intended for use as a weapon

In general, a knife which is intended for use as a tool may be sold on Etsy, as long as it otherwise qualifies for sale and meets all applicable legal requirements in applicable jurisdictions, such as age verification upon delivery where required by law. Some examples of tool knives that are generally allowed include:

  • Cutlery and kitchen knives
  • Hunting knives
  • Letter openers
  • Razors
  • Utility knives
  • Certain ceremonial knives, if not prohibited above

4. Hand Weapons

Items that are presented as weapons or to be used to inflict violence are prohibited. This includes items presented as self-defense tools that are intended to cause bodily harm (even in a non-lethal or defensive context). Etsy does not allow the following:

  • Billy clubs
  • Brass knuckles or knuckle dusters
  • Kubotans and other self-defense sticks
  • Pepper spray
  • Nunchaku (nunchuks)
  • Shuriken
  • Tasers
  • Tonfas

Some survival and practice items may be listed if they are not presented as weapons. Some examples include the following:

  • Foam, rubber, or plastic reproduction weapons for training or roleplay
  • Bows and arrows
  • Monkey fists
  • Slingshots
  • Whips

5. Hunting, Archery, and Other Weapons

In general, hunting knives and archery equipment may be sold on Etsy. However, we prohibit any instrument primarily intended to be used as a weapon to inflict harm, like explosives or poisons.

When selling these items, keep in mind that there may be legal requirements surrounding the sale and shipment of these products. It is your responsibility as a seller to comply with any regulations that apply to your products. We recommend that you speak to an expert or lawyer if you have questions about complying with the law.

Last updated on May 25, 2021