Facebook Cracks Down On Posts For Illegal Gun Sales
Facebook announced Wednesday it will delete posts from users attempting to sell a gun without a background check or sell firearms banned within their state.
A similar policy will be instated on Instagram, the Associated Press reported.
Facebook made the change in response to pressure from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Moms Demand Action collected more than 230,000 signatures demanding a change to the Facebook policy.
"There's no way to stop a Facebook or Instagram user from potentially selling a gun to a felon, a domestic abuser or another dangerous person who would otherwise be prohibited from obtaining a gun,” wrote Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action.
"Responsible social media sites know that it is in no one's interest for their sites to become the 21st century black market in dangerous and illegal goods that place our families and communities at risk," Schneiderman said. "I congratulate Facebook and Instagram for taking these simple, common sense steps to protect the safety and security of their users, and encourage other social media sites to follow their lead."
The state of New York requires a federal background check for private gun sales and has banned assault rifles like the AR-15.
Under this new policy, a listing for an AR-15 for sale in New York will be deleted. It would not deleted in the state of Texas, where the gun is legal.
Any post where a seller claims the background check will not be required will automatically be deleted, even if the state where the seller lives doesn’t require background checks on private gun sales.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia require background checks for private gun sales.
Tom King, president of the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association, regarded the new policy “as a kind of limit on our First Amendment Rights.”
"This is something that could greatly get out of control very quickly," King said.