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If I sell a man a gun, and he uses it to kill someone, did I sin by selling him the gun?

Edit: Let's say that I can speculate what the man is going to do with it as well as I can speculate who they are going to kill.

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Hunting? Skeet Shooting? –  Narnian Jul 15 '13 at 21:14
Coo. What has the good Mr Skeet done to deserve that? –  Andrew Leach Jul 15 '13 at 21:18
What about selling steak knives? Plastic bags? Ropes? Cars? –  Narnian Jul 15 '13 at 21:20
To add to @Narnian's list ... margarine? –  svidgen Jul 15 '13 at 21:28
I'm sorry, but I have to vote to close this one. Is X a sin questions aren't really a good fit for the site in general. The answer can vary based on how you interpret certain Scriptures, or how you view the situation. This question is one of those. This really falls under the general StackExchange rule about "opinion-based questions". –  David Stratton Jul 16 '13 at 2:23
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closed as primarily opinion-based by David Stratton, El'endia Starman Jul 16 '13 at 7:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote -2 down vote accepted

1Co 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

NIV 1Co 10:32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--

It is a sin to cause someone else to sin however it is not a sin to sell instruments of destruction (like knives and guns). Unless you know what the person is going to do with the tools you sell them you are not responsible for what they do. However if you suspect foul play you should not sell your item to the person for conscience' sake. I would post a sign "I do not sell guns and knives to gang members" or something similar. I would actively ask if my patrons were members of gangs and what their purpose of owning the gun or knife beyond what the government requires.

1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Rom 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Anything which is illegal is sin. So if you do not follow the governments regulation or you just barely follow the government regulations concerning the selling of dangerous items you are in sin and need to repent. If you sell tools or kits which allow people to bypass government regulations like converting semi to full auto, silencers or bomb making kits then you are responsible for what illegal actions they perform with those tools.

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I think your comment "just barely follow the government regulations" could use clarification (I think you are indicating that God's requirements can be more severe than government's but one might mistake such to indicate something like "if the government requires a 7 day waiting period, you must require no less than 10 days"). I also think a less personal phrasing might be better. Also, technically "illegal actions they perform" might be obedience to God (unlikely for those examples, though helping the French Resistance in WW II might have fallen under such). –  Paul A. Clayton Jul 15 '13 at 22:52
@PaulA.Clayton if a person conscious convicts them that they are just barely following government regulations from that statement and they should add to the governmental regulations to satisfy their conscious that is a good thing and I don't think the question was scoped to include wars. –  caseyr547 Jul 15 '13 at 23:09
The unqualified statements in here are simply not reasonably accurate or complete representation of Christian doctrine. For example in some places it is illegal to read the Bible, pray to God or other things Christians would never consider to be sin even in your own theological tradition, much less on a broader scale. –  Caleb Jul 16 '13 at 8:27
@Caleb the context is very clearly selling someone a gun based on the question –  caseyr547 Jul 17 '13 at 0:33
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