Facebook, Inc., has reportedly announced on Friday that it will be banning the sales of firearms on both its flagship website and on Instagram
According to multiple reliable news sources, from Reuters to New York Times and CBC, Facebook has announced late Friday that they will be introducing a change in their policies and will be banning the sales of firearms by unlicensed sellers on both Facebook and Instagram. Licensed sellers will still be able to advertise firearms on Facebook that would lead to completed transactions outside of the Facebook service.
The move comes in response to the recent executive actions on gun control by US President Barack Obama. Facebook already prohibited the sales from sellers advertising no background checks and sales across US state lines without a federal firearms license (FFL). It also prohibited the advertising and sale of “dangerous weapons” such as firearms, knives, and explosives to minors.
Facebook stated it would rely on users to report any violations of the new policy and would remove any reported content. They also stated that they would ban or restrict the use of its website to offenders depending on the type and severity of the violation.
After reaching out to Facebook by email we have received the following statement by a Facebook spokesperson:
Today we are updating our policies for managing regulated goods to prohibit people from using Facebook to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms. This policy already prohibits people from offering marijuana, pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs for sale.
Facebook has grown and changed since we last updated this policy almost two years ago. Since then, more and more people have been using our platform 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.
The updated policy aligns more closely with our policies around commerce and advertising, which place similar restrictions on advertisements of regulated goods including pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and firearms.
This policy update focuses on private or “peer-to-peer” sales of weapons, not weapons that are being sold in stores or off Facebook through online, licensed retailers. Licensed firearm retailers will still be able to post about their goods and services on Facebook while completing sales transactions off Facebook.
We have systems in place to review and remove content that violates our terms of service and advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading.