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KSL.com continues suspension of gun sales indefinitely

Published December 21, 2012 10:56 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

KSL.com and executives at parent Bonneville International Corp. aren't saying how long the website's suspension of gun sales will last or whether the ban might be made permanent.

Several calls to Bonneville for comment yielded only a general statement, which was not attributed to any person. The statement was arranged by Jeff Simpson, Bonneville's president and CEO.

The statement comes after an earlier declaration of the suspension, which was announced Tuesday in response to the shootings Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn. In the tragedy, a gunman killed 20 students and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The statement said:

"We want to be clear, our decision to temporarily suspend the firearms section of KSL.com was a business decision.

"We are not questioning an individual's rights to buy, sell or own firearms. We have a great deal of respect for the many responsible gun owners in this state and understand the frustration our decision may have caused.

"As we move forward, we will seek input from all sides of this issue to help inform future options for the firearms section of the website."

KSL.com, KSL-TV and other Bonneville properties are owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church spokesman Scott Trotter said in an email that "KSL made the decision to take down the gun website on its own."

Trotter said the church does not have an opinion on the gun-sale suspension.

KSL.com has come under heavy criticism in the past by gun-control advocates who say the site operates an unregulated market for firearms. Unlike licensed gun dealers, private sellers are not required to make background checks on customers.

pbeebe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribpaul