FREEUSE.ORG: THE FREEUSE NETWORK
|...the simple, age-old principle that's changing the world one gift at a time.
|Thre FreeUse Network (TFN) Restricted and Prohibited Items List
The following is a list of items that are banned or somewhat restricted on the TFN message board, mainly
due to local, state, and/or federal regulations. Those advertising prohibited items may be permanently
banned from the list, and their posts will be deleted. The TFN moderators will monitor the board regularly
and will make a good faith effort to remove any items that are in violation of local, state, and federal laws, as
well as TFN guidelines.
Participation in TFN constitutes an expressed agreement to adhere to local, state, and federal laws, as well
as TFN guidelines. The owners and moderators of TFN are not responsible for the conduct of list
members of the TFN.
For more information, please refer to our Terms of Service file as well as our list Guidelines and Safety Tips.
Airline and Transit Related Items
Animals - Dead
Animals - Live
Artifacts, Grave-Related Items, and Native American Crafts
Catalytic Converters and Test Pipes
Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
Government IDs and licenses
Human Parts and Remains
Exotic or Noxious Plants and Seeds
Stocks, Bonds, Securities and Related Certificates
Weaponry, Including Firearms
Airline and Transit Related Items--
The following items related to the commercial airline and public transportation industries may not be listed
Any article of clothing or identification related to transportation security or employment with any
transportation related industry, including but not limited to, articles of commercial airline pilot's uniforms,
flight attendant's uniforms, baggage or airport service personnel uniforms, mass transit train or subway
related uniforms. Vintage clothing related to commercial airlines, trains, or subways, such as ties, scarves,
jackets and similar items, may be sold so long as the item description clearly states that the item is at least
10 years old, is no longer in use by the airline or other transit authority and does not resemble any piece of
the current uniforms.
Vintage clothing related to commercial airlines, trains, or subways, such as ties, scarves, jackets and
similar items, may be sold so long as the item description clearly states that the item is at least 10 years
old, is no longer in use by the airline or other transit authority and does not resemble any piece of the
Manuals or other materials related to mass commercial public transportation, including safety manuals put
out by commercial airlines, or entities operating subways, trains or buses. These too may only be listed if
the description clearly states that the material is obsolete and no longer in use by the airline or other transit
The trade of alcoholic beverages is a matter that is highly regulated and taxed within the United States. In
many states, for example, sellers of alcoholic beverages must be licensed, and in all states they must take
steps to ensure that they do not sell their products to minors. It is even illegal for individuals to ship
alcoholic beverages, including wine, to a willing adult buyer in some states.
Given the complexities in the law, we felt we must take action with respect to alcohol trading on TFN. As
such, alcohol (including hard liquor, beer, and wine) will not be allowed on TFN. However, collectible
containers not including alcohol and other collectibles (e.g., promotional materials such as t-shirts, hats,
etc.) are allowed.
Animals - Dead--
The following list contains general guidelines for listing animals and animal parts on TFN.
Users with questions about migratory birds, endangered animals, endangered marine life, or other
questionable items in this area should contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Office
(http://www.fws.gov/) or your state wildlife regulatory agency, or refer to extensive information on this topic
available at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES;
http://www.cites.org/). The following is only a partial list of items that are not allowed on TFN; please refer to
the FWS and/or CITES for more information.
Stuffed migratory birds, any part of any migratory bird, or any migratory bird nest or egg may not be listed on
TFN. The law forbids the trade of migratory birds, including birds that can be lawfully hunted. Migratory birds
include all ducks, geese, hawks, owls, crows, and ravens.
Stuffed non-migratory birds, or parts of such birds, may generally be listed on TFN, if not listed or sold in
violation of the state wildlife laws of the states of the giver or recipient. These birds include upland game
birds such as quail, turkey, pheasants, and grouse.
Animal Pelts and Skins--
Animal parts, including pelts and skins from endangered species (such as leopards, tigers, cheetahs,
jaguars, sable antelopes, mountain zebras, and Hartmann mountain zebras) may not be traded in
interstate commerce and therefore cannot be listed on TFN. Animal pelts and skins from non-endangered
species (for example, non-protected species of zebras, coyotes) may generally be listed on TFN, if not in
violation of the giver and recipient's specific state laws.
Bears and bear products (for example, bear teeth, claws, and rugs) may not be listed on TFN.
Products that contain any part from a mountain lion may not be listed on TFN.
Marine mammal products, including but not limited to polar bear, sea otter, whales (baleen and ivory),
porpoise, dolphins, and seals, may not be listed. The export/import of marine mammals typically requires
CITES as well as other state and/or federal permits. Users should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and/or National Marine Fisheries Service before importing or exporting marine mammal products.
Any items made of ivory may not be listed.
Internal organs of animals--
Internal organs of animals (for example, bear gall bladders) may not be listed.
Products made from "tortoise shell" or other turtle products--
There are a number of items that have been made, both lawfully and unlawfully, from the shell of the
hawksbill turtle, a sea turtle that is now an endangered species protected by federal and international law.
At one time, it was lawful to make jewelry, glasses, boxes, and other items using the shell of the hawksbill
turtle. However, the 1973 Endangered Species Act made it unlawful to sell items made in whole or part out
of genuine hawksbill tortoise shells. TFN will not permit the trade of any item made, in whole or part, from
any part of a sea turtle. This includes items such as guitar picks, jewelry, jewelry boxes, hair combs, and
other products made from the shell of the hawksbill turtle. Items that appear from the listing to be made
from genuine tortoise shell are not permitted. TFN realizes that users commonly use the phrase "tortoise
shell" to describe items that have a particular design resembling a tortoise shell, and that many "tortoise
shell" products are actually made out of plastic, glass, or a composite material. These items are permitted
on TFN. However, to avoid confusion, listings of such "faux" tortoise shell items should clearly state that the
item is not made of "genuine" tortoise shell.
Other Animal Products--
Endangered or protected species, or any part of any endangered or protected species may not be listed.
Animals - Live
Live animals are currently and cautiously allowed at this time, but we encourage everyone to refer to the
animal welfare links we offer.
Do not list any hardware or software that would enable users to "rip" or otherwise make unauthorized
copies of copy-protected video games, software programs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or CDs, such as:
·DVD ripping software that enables you to copy "copy-protected" DVDs is not allowed.
·CD ripping software that enables you to copy "uncopyable" video games, software programs, or other
CD-ROMs is not allowed.
·A book on how to copy any DVD is not permitted.
Artifacts, Grave-Related Items, and Native American Crafts--
Many artifacts, cave formations (speleothems, stalactites, and stalagmites) and grave-related items are
protected under federal laws, such as The Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988, and the Native
American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act. Please follow these general guidelines when listing
Native American items--
Native American human remains, gravesite-related items, and burial items may not be listed. Native
American masks and "prayer sticks" from all Southwestern tribes are also prohibited. This prohibition
includes Native Hawaiian human remains, gravesite-related items and burial items.
Artifacts taken from any federal, state, public Department of Interior Agencies (NPS, BLM, USFWS) and
Department of Agriculture Agencies (USFS), Native American land, or battlefield are prohibited.
The trade of speleothems, stalactites, and stalagmites from caves on any federal land is prohibited by
federal law. See The Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988. Many states also prohibit the trade
and/or removal of speleothems, stalactites, and stalagmites taken from caves. Please be sure your item
complies with all applicable laws before listing it.
An item lawfully removed from private land is permitted. However, government survey markers, such as
those issued and marked by the U.S. Geological Survey, may not be listed unless accompanied by a clear
scan of proof that the government has transferred ownership of the marker to a private person or entity.
Historical graves, tombstones, or related markers--
While we recognize that some historical grave markers may be privately held within families and legal to
sell, TFN is concerned with vandalism that has occurred in graveyards across the world.
New grave markers and burial plots--
These items may be listed on TFN.
If you have questions about the legality of a particular Native American item or any protected artifact, you
may contact the Department of Interior at (505) 248-7937 for further information.
Native American crafts--
Though merchants are restricted in the sale of Native American arts and crafts, these are permitted on TFN
as it's a free site.
Federal law regulates the trade of batteries containing mercury, and pursuant to that law, TFN does not
allow the trade of these types of batteries:
·Mercuric oxide button batteries (button-shaped batteries typically used in vintage camera equipment):
·Alkaline-manganese batteries containing mercury: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/14332.html
·Zinc-carbon batteries containing mercury: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/14333.html
Catalytic Converters and Test Pipes--
The federal Clean Air Act restricts the trade and installation of certain aftermarket catalytic converters and
To determine whether your item may be listed, review the Environmental Protection Agency's Guidelines for
Buying and Using Aftermarket Catalytic Converters: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/factshts/catcvrts.pdf
Do not list counterfeits, unauthorized replicas, or otherwise unauthorized items (such as counterfeit
watches, handbags, or other accessories). If the product you are selling bears the name or logo of a
company, but it wasn't made or endorsed by that company, don't list it.
TFN permits the listing of inactive credit or debit cards, provided that the card has been expired for at least
10 years (this time frame was selected by TFN to define "collectible" credit cards for the purposes of our
Unexpired, active credit or debit cards cannot lawfully be transferred from one person to another, and
therefore such items may not be listed on TFN. The transfer of recently expired credit cards raises privacy
concerns and creates the potential for abuse, and therefore such items are also prohibited on the site. If
posting a picture of the card, you should cover or block out at least part of the name and/or credit card
Older, expired credit cards originally issued by credit card companies, gas companies, stores, and banks
may have some collectible value. TFN will permit the listings of such expired cards, provided that the
expiration date on the face of the card is at least 10 years old. List members should also examine the terms
and conditions on the card to ensure that the transfer of the expired card is not prohibited.
Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia--
Narcotics, steroids, or other controlled substances (including any substance including in Schedules I, II, III,
IV or V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) may not be listed on TFN. For more
information about specific substances covered by this law, see 21 U.S.C. 812.
Drug paraphernalia, as defined in 21 U.S.C. 863, may not be listed on TFN. Such paraphernalia includes all
items that are primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, concealing, or using a controlled
TFN does not permit the listing of any controlled drug or item that requires a prescription from a licensed
practitioner (such as a doctor, dentist, or optometrist) to dispense. Certain drugs, such as insulin, come in
prescription and non-prescription forms. Such drugs may also be prohibited. If you are uncertain as to the
permissibility of your item, please contact the TFN moderator.
Low power radio transmitting devices and related equipment
Devices that transmit radio signals on the AM or FM bands are regulated by the Federal Communications
Commission. This includes restrictions on the range of such devices.
On FM frequencies, these low power devices are limited to an effective service range of approximately 35 to
100 feet (11-to-30 meters).
On the AM broadcast band, these devices are limited to an effective service range of approximately
200-to-250 feet (61 to 76 meters).
TFN does not permit the listing of devices that claim or suggest a more extensive range, as such items may
violate these regulations.
Radar jamming devices--
There are some products that claim to "jam" or otherwise interfere with police radar devices. According to
the FCC, such devices are not lawful, and therefore they may not be listed on TFN.
Traffic light control devices or signal changers--
Products that claim to change stoplights or otherwise inhibit the natural pattern of a traffic signal are not
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not permit the use of power amplifiers with
Citizens Band radios. Therefore, TFN prohibits any listings of the following:
· CB amplifiers
· Amplifiers specified for use on the 11 Meter band
· Amplifiers designed for use in frequencies 24 MHz to 35MHz
· Amplifiers posted within the CB category
· CB Radios that are amplified to exceed 4 Watts using the AM Settings or 12 Watts using the SSB
Further clarification can be found in the FCC rules C.F.R. Title 47 Section 2.815
Get more information regarding the FCC rules regarding CB Transceivers: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/
Electronic Surveillance Equipment--
TFN does not permit the trade of products that are designed primarily to record the private oral, wire, or
electronic conversations of others without their knowledge or permission. These items (for example, small,
easily hidden transmitting devices such as telephone "bugs", "wiretap" devices, "miniature transmitters",
and "surveillance microphones") are illegal to possess or sell under Title 18, United States Code Section
2512, and their use also violates the law in many states and countries.
Further, several states prohibit the use of photographic devices to surreptitiously view or record individuals
for sexual purposes. Listings that promote such activity are not permitted on TFN.
Odometer Modification Devices--
Because it is unlawful in many jurisdictions to reset odometers to read less than the true actual mileage on
a motor vehicle, the trade of odometer modification and calibration devices (whether manual or electronic)
are prohibited on TFN.
Satellite and Cable TV Descramblers--
TFN does not permit the trade of items that can be used to descramble or facilitate the access to cable or
satellite television programming without authorization or payment. Stating the item is for educational or test
purposes will not legitimize a product that is otherwise inappropriate.
Information on "how to" descramble or gain access to cable or satellite television programming without
authorization or payment is similarly not allowed. TFN policy also prohibits the "encouragement" of this type
Government IDs and licenses--
The following items may not be listed on TFN:
· Items that claim to be, or to look similar to, official government identification documents or licenses,
such as birth certificates, drivers licenses or passports. Further, completed applications for such
documents containing personal information may not be listed. Expired United States passports that were
issued more than 20 years prior to the date of sale will be permitted.
· Current vehicle license plates, or plates that claim to resemble such current licenses. Current vehicle
license plates, or plates that claim to resemble such current licenses. Collectible vehicle license plates that
are at least 5 years old may be listed. This must be clearly stated within the listing. Government vehicle
license plates may not be listed at any time.
· VIN Plates, VIN Plate Rivets, Vehicle Titles, Vehicle Title Stock. Vehicle Titles may only be referenced in
listings when accompanied by a functioning vehicle.
· Any item that is primarily used to alter identification documents, licenses, or plates.
· Fake identification cards, or any items that are designed for the manufacturer of such cards.
· Any article of clothing or identification relating to transportation security or employment with any
transportation related industry, including but not limited to, articles of commercial airline pilot's uniforms,
steward, or stewardess uniforms, baggage or airport service uniforms, mass transit train, or subway
related uniforms. Vintage commercial airline, train, or subway clothing such as ties, scarves, jackets, and
similar items, may be sold so long as the item description clearly states that the item is at least 10 years
old, is no longer in use by the airline, and does not resemble any piece of the airline's current uniform.
· Any official internal, non-public documents, manuals, or other materials related to mass commercial
public transportation, including internal manuals put out by commercial airlines, or entities operating
subways, trains, or buses.
Freon and Other Refrigerants
The federal government regulates the sale of Class 1 and Class 2 refrigerants, including products
commonly known as Freon R-12 and Freon R-22. As such, these materials are not allowed on TFN.
Hazardous or dangerous goods are items that may pose a danger to health, safety, or property while being
transported, such as explosives, radioactive materials, flammable gases and solids, and toxic substances.
Many hazardous goods cannot be shipped through the mail or commercial carrier at all. Such items are not
allowed on TFN.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the sale, distribution, and use of
pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7
U.S.C. sec. 136 to 136x).
It is against the law to trade unregistered or misbranded pesticides in the United States. Generally, it also
is illegal to trade suspended or canceled pesticides. This means that if you try to trade a pesticide product
or container that is mislabeled, not registered with the EPA, or no longer registered with the EPA, you could
be breaking the law and subject to criminal or civil penalties, including fines. Some products that claim to
be alternatives to traditional pesticides such as Chinese or Insecticidal Chalk, are in fact pesticides that
require registration with EPA. The trade of such products is illegal, and therefore they may not be listed on
For more information, please refer to the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/
Human Parts and Remains--
Humans, the human body, or any human body parts may not be listed on TFN. Examples of prohibited
items include, but are not limited to: organs, bone, blood, waste, sperm, and eggs. Items that contain
human hair (such as lockets) as well as skulls and skeletons that are used for medical purposes may be
listed on TFN.
TFN does not permit the trade of Native American skulls, bones or other Native American grave related
items, as the trade of such items may violate federal law.
TFN does not permit the listing of any lock-picking or locksmithing device such as lock picks, lock-picking
sets, lock-picking cards, tension bars, lock-picking guns, autolock bypass keys ("jigglers"), try-out keys,
"slim-jims," tubular lock picks, digital decoders, and code grabbing devices. This includes key cutters,
which are designed for making an impression of a key or similar security device to duplicate such a key or
Currency is generally in violation of TFN's most important rule, that of "Keep it FREE!". Thus, the only forms
of currency that will be allowed are collectible bills and coins. Please contact the TFN moderators before
listing any such items to ensure that they're allowed. Appeals for money or financial assistance are strictly
prohibited on TFN.
"Exotic" or "Noxious" Plants and Seeds--
Some federal, state, and local laws prohibit the sale of certain types of plants or seeds that are considered
"exotic" or "noxious" weeds. The United States Department of Agriculture prohibits the importation and
interstate movement of federally defined noxious weeds and seeds. Besides reviewing the list of prohibited
noxious weeds and seeds, list members should also review the state-by-state list of regulated noxious
weeds, and consult with state and local authorities to determine whether the items they are considering
buying or selling are legal in their state:
You may not list law enforcement badges or official law enforcement equipment from any public entity,
including badges issued by the government of any country. This prohibition extends to police badges and
official equipment from federal, state or local law enforcement agencies of the United States.
Further, federal agencies also prohibit any commercial reproduction of their name, seal or logo. Therefore,
copies or reproductions of police badges are banned. Such badges infringe upon the copyright and
trademark rights of the agency that issued the badges.
TFN does not permit the listing of postage meters on its site since the sale by unauthorized dealers
violates United States Postal Service Regulations.
Postage meters are devices that can be leased from authorized manufacturers and used to print postage
labels. A meter locks when no postage or minimal postage remains. A meter generally must be taken to
the licensing post office to be reset by payment for additional postage. Avoiding the payment of postage by
misusing a meter is punishable by law.
Postage meters are available only by lease from authorized manufacturers. The USPS holds
manufacturers responsible for the control, operation, maintenance, and replacement of their meters.
TFN strongly supports the efforts of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect
consumers against potentially hazardous goods. The CPSC, an independent federal regulatory agency,
protects consumers by issuing warnings about goods that might be hazardous, and even issuing recalls of
certain products. Items that have been the subject of CPSC action include lawn darts, baby products (such
as defective cribs, infant carriers, and car seats), propane heaters, and thousands of other products.
If you're giving an item away on TFN, you should take a few minutes to check with the CPSC and ensure that
the products you're gifting have not been the subjects of a CPSC recall. And if you're a recipient, educate
yourself about recalled products in areas that you might be receiving:
Also consider consulting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website to learn information
about recalled motor vehicles, child safety seats, vehicle equipment and tires:
The trade or even ownership of coin-operated slot machines is regulated or forbidden in a number of
states, even for personal in-home use. The laws are often complex and may subject violators to criminal
penalties. Out of respect for these laws, TFN will not generally permit the listing of coin-operated slot
machines on its Web site. There are three exceptions to this general prohibition: antique slot machines,
non-coin operated slot machines, and non-functional slot machines.
Stocks, Bonds, Securities and Related Certificates--
Such items are considered "money" by TFN and thus are in violation of the "keep it free" policy.
The trade of stolen property is strictly forbidden on TFN, and violates state, federal and international law.
The trade of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and related products is a matter that is highly regulated
and taxed within the United States.
Due to the many difficulties inherent in assuring that tobacco trades comply with applicable laws, TFN will
not permit the trade of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco or coupons for such items on its Web site.
TFN will continue to allow tobacco-related collectibles, including tobacco related memorabilia and
packaging (provided you comply with the above policies), which are not subject to the same legal
Do not list unauthorized (such as pirated, duplicated, backup, bootleg, and so forth) copies of software
programs, video games, music albums, movies, television programs, or photographs on TFN.
Weaponry, Including Firearms--
Firearms cannot be listed on TFN. Firearms include all "pre-ban," sporting, collectible, curio and relic
(C&R), and antique firearms, regardless of their capability to fire a shot. Any item that is designed to propel
a metal (or similar) projectile is covered by this ban, regardless of that item's present ability to fire.
Other firearms-related items that are not permitted on TFN include ammunition, BB guns, air guns,
silencers, converters (any item which can convert a firearm to have automatic capability), kits (any kit that
can be used to create a firearm), flares, flare launchers, flare guns, and the receivers for flare guns. Illegal
components, such as silencers, converters (to convert a firearm to have automatic capability), and short
barrels are prohibited.
Additionally, ordnance (military weaponry, ammunition, and related parts) is not permitted. Other items
designed as weapons are also prohibited on TFN; such items include knives, switchblade knives,
disguised knives, nunchaku, brass or other metal knuckles, leaded cane/staff/crutch/stick, zip guns,
shurikens, hand grenades or metal replica hand grenades, throwing stars, billy clubs/batons, sandclubs,
sandbags, or slungshots (also known as saps or blackjacks).
Federal and state laws require that replica, "look-alike," and imitation firearms have clear markings
permanently affixed to the weapon. The most common requirement is a blaze orange plug inserted in the
barrel of the item. This law applies even to novelty items, such as cigarette lighters, that are designed to
look like firearms. TFN will NOT permit the listing of any look-alike weapon that does not comply with these
Blank guns, replica or imitation guns, paintball guns, and "airsoft" guns may be listed provided that:
· The item does not, and cannot be readily altered to, shoot a projectile (except for paintball guns or
· The receiver is not a firearm as classified by law. See U.S. Code Title 18, Section 921
· The replica or imitation gun has the legal markings required by law AND blank ammunition is not
included in the trade. See U.S. Code Title 15, Section 5001