Facebook Bans Unlicensed Private Gun Sales

Facebook Bans Unlicensed Private Gun Sales
Photo Credit: Todd Barnard via Compfight cc

The popular social networking site is now banning private, person-to-person sales of firearms by unlicensed individuals. The move also includes banning sales on their photo sharing platform, Instagram. Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain their Facebook pages and post on the company’s photo sharing service.


The move, according to The New York Times, is meant to stop or decrease unlicensed gun transactions. This recent action by the social media may not be a surprise as it has already prohibited the sale of marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs earlier. The banning of gun sales is the latest move the company has done and added to its community standards.

It could be recalled that last December, the social media giant has introduced a project that connects users with local businesses and organizations with the best Facebook reviews and ratings. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the social networking site‘s portal includes a broad range of business which is similar to that of Yelp that also includes auto dealers, accountants and psychics.

The New York Times also reported that the Facebook ban has managed to thrust the social media into the center of another major societal debate. It could be recalled that gun control discussions have been renewed after the mass shootings that happened last year in San Bernardino, California and in an Oregon community college, among others.

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Just this December, US President Barrack Obama gave a speech promising to tighten enforcement of laws governing unlicensed gun sales. The NY Times reported that as a response to the president’s move, individual sellers said they will now turn to media sites like Facebook where they are freely allowed to advertise their guns for sale.

The social media said it would rely on its users to report violations of the new policy and would, in turn, remove any posts that violated the rules. Aside from that, the social networking giant has said that it could also ban users or limit the ways they post on their flagship, depending on the type and severity of the violations acquired. If Facebook deems that someone is in danger, the social media will then work with law enforcement on the situation.

New York’s attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, who has been pressing for restrictions on illegal gun sales on Facebook and other sites, has praised the social media’s latest move. Scheinerman is quoted by the New York Times to have said that the announcement is another positive step towards the shared goal of stopping illegal online gun sales once and for all.

Also Read: Facebook Wants to Help Block Sales of Illegal Guns