Deseret Digital Media, the parent company of KSL and Deseret News, announced Tuesday evening that it would suspend firearm sales in classified ads listed on ksl.com.
The suspension comes in response to the shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Police say the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, also killed his mother at their home.
The site has taken down its "Firearms and Hunting" category found under the larger section of "Hunting and Fishing," which continues to sell archery and fishing equipment, knives and gun accessories.
"In the wake of other similar incidents, important questions have been raised about the ease of access to guns," reads a statement on that replaces the site's gun section. "These questions deserve time for careful consideration and we are confident that an appropriate resolution will be found."
The statement from the media group, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does not indicate how long the suspension of firearm sales will last.
KSL.com has been criticized before by gun control advocates who say the site operates an unregulated marketplace for firearms. A December 2011 report by the office of New York City Mayor and vocal gun control supporter Michael Bloomberg names KSL.com as one of the top sites along with Craigslist.com and Gunlistings.org that allow private sellers to sell firearms to people without requiring a background check. Unlike licensed gun dealers, private sellers are not required to conduct background checks on customers.
Full statement from KSL Classified website
Like everyone else in the country, the management of KSL is profoundly saddened by the tragedy in Connecticut. In the wake of this and other similar incidents, important questions have been raised about the ease of access to guns. These questions deserve time for careful consideration and we are confident that an appropriate resolution will be found. Accordingly, KSL has temporarily suspended firearms listings on KSL.com classifieds. We recognize that this may inconvenience responsible citizens who have used this service, but we feel this is an important step while these broader societal issues are examined.