Facebook Is Banning Private Gun Sales

The social network pokes at deals that often require no background check.

Rattanapon Ninlapoom/Shutterstock


Facebook just announced that it is going to ban its users from coordinating private gun sales on its site and through the photo sharing service Instagram, according to the New York Times. The new rules do not apply to licensed gun dealers, who can still post to Facebook so long as they do not complete transactions on the site. The move, which extends to gun parts and ammunition, targets private, person-to-person gun sales, which do not require background checks in many states.

This is the second major action Facebook has taken on gun sales. In March 2014, partly in response in to groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the social network warned users promoting private sales to comply with state and federal gun laws. Posts discussing firearms sales were restricted to users over 18. At the same time, Instagram introduced “in-app education” for users searching for gun promotions.

The new policy adds firearms to Facebook’s existing bans on selling marijuana, pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs through the network. In a statement to the New York Times, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, 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. 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.”

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.