Facebook Is Banning Private Gun Sales

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

Rattanapon Ninlapoom/Shutterstock

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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.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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