A shift in policy change by Facebook will bring about the ban of private gun sales on Facebook. Private gun sales often seen as a means to circumnavigate the background check policy. This also does away with the nauseous terminology of ‘No Background Check Required’. However the new direction will not affect licensed retailers. The new policy will also apply to Instagram. The new policy is more stringent than previous attitudes. Prior to the announcement restrictions were in place which included prohibiting the use of Facebook ads. The ban on private gun sales has been brought about following Whit House pressure. Also gun safety activists and state attorneys.

Marijuana sales have been banned along with illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals. Firearms are now to be added to the prohibited items list. However Facebook users themselves will be relied upon to police the new policy. Individuals will flag the posts and they will then be removed by Facebook . Licensed firearms sellers will also still be able to advertise gun sales on Instagram. Facebook had concerns over the process dating back to 2014. Earlier in that year it had acknowledged concerns over the trade. However it’s position was difficult when balancing individuals rights and the implications.

In the past Facebook had assumed a cautionary yet perhaps flexible stance to gun sales. Any sale of restricted goods would prompt a warning. This warning reminding the vendor of their obligations under relevant laws and rules. Also posts and adverts were restricted to over 18’s. Terminology that was also restricted was “no background check required” and/or an offer to traverse state lines. Everytown advocacy group continues to push for tighter restrictions for online gun sales. Online gun sales do and have avoided the background check process. These sales also confer gun ownership on those that would otherwise not have access.

In the majority of states a background check isn’t required for private purchasers. Everytown has collated statistics confirming those murderers who would have failed a background check. However they had secured a firearm via an online sale. Everytown has collected examples of murders carried out by people who would have failed a background check, but obtained a gun through a person-to-person sale arranged online. Everytown thanked Facebook for their efforts in a key area of background check avoidance.

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