Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules


Etsy prohibits the sale of weapons used to inflict harm. In some cases, an item is unmistakably a violent weapon, but other times, it may be a useful tool, a toy, or a 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.

  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 pose a risk of violence, such as those designed to be concealed or quickly deployed. We also prohibit any content that markets a knife as being intended for violence.

We prohibit the following:

  • Knives with ejectable blades, such as ballistic knives, and knives with a blade that can be propelled by pressing a button
  • Automatic opening knives, such as automatic switchblades and automatic OTF ("out-the-front") knives, with blades that telescope out from the handle via a spring
  • Knives that open with centrifugal force, such as butterfly knives, balisong knives, and gravity knives
  • Knives disguised as something else, such as sword canes or belt buckle knives
  • Hidden hand blades, such as knuckleduster knives, throwing stars, and daggers with T-shaped handles, like push or punch daggers
  • Any knife marketed as intended for violence. We don’t allow references within the listing title or details to the knife as an instrument for human or animal injury (with the exception of hunting knives). This includes describing an item as being intended for battle, personal protection, safety, or self defense. Violent content on the packaging, in listing photos, or on the item (blade or handle) itself is also prohibited.

A knife or bladed item which is not prohibited by these restrictions 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.

Kitchen knives, utility knives, hunting knives, ceremonial knives, letter openers, razors, and collectibles are allowed on Etsy. As mentioned above, knives may not be marketed as being intended for violence. Sellers may instead choose to describe the craft, hobby, or work-related purposes that the item serves.

4. Hand Weapons

Items that are presented as weapons 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 intended for violent use. Some examples include the following:

  • Foam, rubber, or plastic reproduction weapons for training or roleplay that are clearly marked as such
  • 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 Feb 23, 2022