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It says the current gun debate has nothing to do with it

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the use of guns these days, and it's even starting to show in the retail sector as Square announces that gun retailers can't use its services. 

Square, the San Francisco-based mobile payment startup, has announced a change to its terms that says gun retailers cannot use its technology. The exact terms block sales of firearms, firearm hardware, ammunition and parts. It also forbids sales of weapons and "other devices designed to cause physical injury."

Square said its revised terms have nothing to do with the current gun debate.

“From time to time, we revisit our policies governing the use of Square to ensure they are in the best interests of our customers,” said a Square spokesman. 

Square isn't the first to snub guns. For instance, General Electric (GE) said it won't provide financing to gun retailers anymore. 

While many companies are looking to either take a stance on the gun debate or just be more sensitive about the topic in general, it seems odd that Square is choosing to block out guns. 

According to Southwick Associates, a research firm that studies the hunting and shooting industry, only about 30 percent of firearms are distributed to big retail chains like Wal-Mart while the other 70 percent are sent to smaller stores -- and Square aims to spread the use of its cash register-free mobile payment system in small stores like these. 

What do you think? Is Square's decision to axe gun retailers a good idea? 

Sources: Forbes, CNN Money

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RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/16/2013 7:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
Can a business refuse to deal with a customer because they are black? or because they are muslim, or jewish? No they cannot.

And you accuse me of using contrived examples? Race, gender, and religion are all recognized classes in anti-discrimination laws. But "small gun merchant" is definitely not. And in any case, anti-discrimination laws do not apply here.

So yes, a business can do exactly that. Have you seriously never seen a place with a "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign? Businesses have every right to choose who they deal with, and under what terms they will provide products and services.

You can't demand that a business take your money just because you want them to. Or you can, but they don't have to listen.

Your examples are all of things that would be illegal.

Um, no. You're just ignoring the ones that are inconvenient to you. Ebay has a long list of things that they will not let you sell on the platform, some of which are illegal but many of which are not. A trendy club will discriminate along gender, age, and potentially racial lines when deciding who to let in. A restaurant will turn away patrons who aren't dressy enough. And so on. All completely legal.

Besides which, it's not the business's job or responsibility to prevent people from doing illegal things with their purchases. They may choose to do so voluntarily, but they certainly aren't required to.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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