Facebook Is Banning Private Gun Sales

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

Rattanapon Ninlapoom/Shutterstock

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.”

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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