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Salesforce.com bars retailers from using its software to sell semi-automatic weapons

  • The dominant provider of business software bans use of its technology by customers who sell certain firearms.
  • Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff has advocated for an AR-15 rifle ban and donated to gun-control efforts.
  • Firearms trade group says Salesforce joins others that are discriminating against a legal industry.

Salesforce.com doesn't want retailers using its e-commerce technology to sell automatic and semiautomatic firearms.

The software giant recently changed its acceptable-use policy to prohibit its customers from selling a range of weapons and some gun parts, including "magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds" and "multi-burst trigger devices."

One of those corporate customers is Camping World Holdings, according to the Washington Post, noting that the publicly traded seller of RVs and camping equipment did not reply to the news organization's requests for comment.

A Salesforce spokesperson confirmed the updated policy on Thursday, saying in an email to CBS MoneyWatch "the change affects new customers and a small number of existing customers when their current contracts expire." Salesforce did not identify specific customers.

A dominant player in helping businesses interact better and more profitably with their customers, San Francisco-based Salesforce employs about 40,000 people and has a market value of almost $120 billion.

The move by Salesforce follows similar steps by companies including online store provider Shopify and is in line with public comments and actions by Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff. "The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. Ban it," he tweeted a day after a mass shooting killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The following month, Benioff said he would donate $1 million to March for Our Lives, a gun-control group.

Salesforce's decision is "another example of corporate-policy 'virtue signaling' that seeks to discriminate against those looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights," Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group, told CBS MoneyWatch.

"We see this as an attempt to circumvent the legislative process," said Oliva, who listed Bank of America and Citigroup as among other corporate offenders. Both banks have moved to restrict gun sales by its customers, echoing steps taken by Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and other retailers.