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The Armory is Shutting Down

Silk Road’s “The Armory” Terminated

The owner and operator of Silk Road, aliased as Dread Pirate Roberts, announced on August 2nd, 2012 that “The Armory”, an extension of Silk Road focused on allowing users to anonymously buy and sell munitions, will be closing.  Roberts cited a low and continuously declining number of transactions – enough that the 10% take of Silk Road wasn’t even enough to keep the servers paid – as reason for discontinuing this particular arm of the Silk Road marketplace. Some users explain user dis-interest with high prices on The Armory, and too much competition from local dealers, who can still retain customer privacy while conducting legal transactions.

The Armory is not yet closed – a countdown has been initiated, to end at 8:10 PM GMT on August 15th. Roberts warns users to finish up their current business and withdraw any lingering funds before the countdown is reached.

Many Bitcoin users have expressed joy over the closure, either for personal anti-gun reasons, or for the removal of a potential derogatory connotation of Bitcoins with the illegal sale of firearms.

Despite this closure, there may be hope in the future for those interested in anonymously pawning and procuring guns online.  Roberts states, “if we are going to serve an anonymous weapons market, I think it will require more careful thought an[d] planning,” indicating the possibility of a future restoration of the service after some additional forethought on the design.

What do you think about the closure of The Armory?  Post your comment below, or send an email to [email protected]


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  • Alby

     Maybe the smart move would be to just open a Legit Gun Store and accept Bitcoins as payment. Nobody should (EVER) purchase or sell a gun without a record on both parties.  Its one thing to execute a private sale and not run a background check. But it is a completely different story of not having any records on the transaction.  If that firearm is used in a crime and the BATFE goes hunting for the record of owners, your azz will be in a sling if they come knocking on your door.

     Now if you want to be just a Transfer Agent for two parties to conduct a sale, that is fine. But you with the Federal Firearms License still need to have info on the Buyer.  Undocumented Gun Sales is a NO NO. 

     Silk Road, if in the United States, is just asking for a BATFE Raid and the owner would be looking at 20+ years in Federal Prison. If I was him, I’d shut it down now and go into hiding.

    • Drakahn Finlay

      Raid who?

      • Alby

        Whomever shipped the goods and slowly work your way up the chain of money an goods the old fashioned way.  After all, if you order something online, it has to be shipped to you. And its not like there is some anonymous shipping agency moving packages.  lol    I would assume the ATF/FBI would raid the shipper. Then raid wherever they received their Money and Goods. Maybe squeeze them for info or set them up as an informant.  Eventually the trail will lead to the master minds at the Silk Road.  I wouldn’t be surprised if DOJ, FBI, ATF, and DEA with maybe some help from the CIA/NSA aren’t already all over this one.

        • Thomas Grainger

          Silk Road is just an intermediary to connect buyers with sellers, the police/DOJ/FBI/ATF/DEA know about as much about SR as any seller does. Following the money is going to be hard with Bitcoin.

        • Lyndsy Simon

          I’ve investigated this shipping arrangements, and while they are far from riskless, the risk is quite managed.

          Many buyers ship 3-4 packages to random addresses for every one they sell. If you kept your mouth shut and LEO didn’t find the contraband in a search, then you stand a very very good chance of getting off – they couldn’t prove that you ordered the package.

          On the shipper side – who puts their legitimate return address on a package containing an illegal substance?

          Don’t get me wrong – it’s absolutely possible to do the legwork and track this stuff down over time. Police aren’t stupid, and there’s only so much that can be done when moving physical goods. It just isn’t as easy as you make it out to be.
          Finally, unless the owners of SR are shipping contraband (unlikely), there would be no tie between them and the people who move illicit substances. At best, that network would consist of a buyer and his customers – the wrong side of the equation to go after if you’re wanting to shut down the site.

    • Arkansas Bitcoiner

      I have sold a gun through Silk Road, back when it was allowed. It was a legal, anonymous transaction in my state.

    • Lyndsy Simon

      I’ve sold a gun through Silk Road, back when they were allowed to be listed. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve sold there, as I neither produce nor consume any illicit substance.

      I met the buyer in a Walmart parking lot, chatted for 15 minutes while the confirmations propagated, and we parted ways – never even exchanged names. There is no documentation requirement in most of the US, nor should there be, for private sales. FFLs have a whole set of other rules they have to follow.Just because illegal goods are for sale on SR doesn’t mean that _only_ illegal goods may be bought or sold.Finally, merely allowing items to be advertised does not constitute a crime. eBay owns Craiglist – how many prostitutes advertise there? No one ever raided them to my knowledge.

  • austinhamman

    still no real big issue if the armoury closes.

  • Nano

    Glad they close this market, there is nothing more unethical beside the vendors of hard drugs.
    Smoke a joint and be happy.