Facebook to prohibit private firearm transactions on its service


Facebook Inc (FB.O) prohibited global users from coordinating person-to-person private sales of firearms on its online social network and its Instagram photo-sharing service on Friday, countering concerns that it was increasingly being used to circumvent background checks on gun purchases.

The move comes as the United States debates the issue of access to guns after a string of mass shootings. U.S. President Barack Obama has urged social media companies to clamp down on gun sales organized on their platforms.  

It updates Facebook’s regulated goods policy, introduced in March 2014, that banned people from selling marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs.

Facebook already prohibited private firearms sellers from advertising “no background check required,” or offering transactions across U.S. state lines without a licensed dealer because the company said such posts indicated a willingness to evade the law.

Licensed retailers will still be able to advertise firearms on Facebook that lead to transactions outside of Facebook’s service, the spokeswoman said.

“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, said in a statement.

“We are continuing to develop, test, and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution,” Bickert said.

Facebook is the world’s most popular online social network, with 1.59 billion users across the globe, 219 million of them in the United States and Canada.

The National Rifle Association, a lobbying group opposed to limits on U.S. gun ownership rights, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Groups advocating increased gun control applauded the new policy.

“Moms are grateful for the leadership shown by Facebook today,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign group. “Our continued relationship with Facebook resulted in today’s even stronger stance, which will prevent dangerous people from getting guns and save American lives.”

(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Rigby)


6 thoughts on “Facebook to prohibit private firearm transactions on its service

  1. Facebook should fade away like MySpace.
    It would be better for all to migrate to another social media site
    that is not a data mining operation for the government.

    1. I fail to see how ANY “social media site” would not be used as a data mining operation for the enemy occupation force. (We have no government – it was overthrown by fraud and deception long ago).

  2. Hopefully this will cause a lot of gun owners to boycott Facebook. As if its collection of its members’ biometric facial data weren’t reason enough…

    Facebook (and similar companies such as Google) is utterly hostile to privacy and is therefore a threat to freedom. No one who cares about liberty should EVER be a member of Facebook. Anyone who made the mistake of joining should close his account ASAP!

  3. I could care less
    Never had FB never will
    And this won’t change a dam thing anyways
    If people want to trade barter or sell personal items there ain’t a dam thing FB or this BS government can do about it
    All they have done is pushed it to a more black sector where now they know even less about what’s being sold to who
    Nice job dip s&ts lmfao
    Pun intended here .. Just keep shooting your self in the foot

  4. “…countering concerns that it was increasingly being used to circumvent background checks on gun purchases.”

    There CAN BE NO circumvention of background checks in a private non-FFL transaction. Background checks are only a part of the CORPORATION’s control over the Peoples’ 2ND Article rights via the “approved” FFL “Dealer”. As a free man, I have the right to sell anything I want to anyone I want, and so do you. Any attempted coercion to comply with unlawful Federal restrictions that do not pertain to us must be shown clearly to be an additional unlawful usurpation of our authority by those to whom WE HAVE NOT GRANTED that power. That some have bowed to the CORPORATION and chosen to operate under the restrictions imposed as part of the “benefit” of being issued “licensed permission” to conduct weapon sales does not make any other free man restricted in any manner whatsoever.

    That the People ever allowed this restrictive and unlawful Federal intrusion on weapon sales in the first place ought to be part of any discussion regarding the 2ND Article. We must reveal that ALL interference with the Peoples’ God-Given Rights to keep and bear arms is unlawful usurpation by those who were NEVER given that authority, nor could they EVER have been given such authority, since our rights are UNALEINABLE, and cannot be given, sold, or taken from us.

  5. I don’t care what Farcebook does, they own it and can make the rules. I can’t believe that US citizens are still using that hack site. I quit using that site three years ago and don’t visit or use it at all. I also dumped ATT for violating the TOS with me because of them letting the government spy on it’s users.

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