Facebook Caves to Obama Pressure, Bans Legal Private Sales of Firearms
Facebook is cracking down on private gun sales.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company said late Friday it will ban users from coordinating private sales of firearms on the social network and on mobile app Instagram. The ban does not apply to licensed gun dealers for purchases completed off Facebook.
President Obama and state attorneys general have increased pressure on Facebook to tighten restrictions on firearms because of the proliferation of posts that offer guns for sale, often without background checks.
Facebook and Instagram users will no longer be able to offer or coordinate the private sale of firearms, gun parts and ammunition, the company said. That brings firearms in line with Facebook's ban on the private sales of marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs.
Users can't buy and sell guns on Facebook itself but gun enthusiasts often connect there and sometimes make arrangements to buy, sell and trade guns.
In March 2014, Facebook took steps to limit sales of firearms including blocking minors from seeing posts about gun sales and trades and by requiring Facebook pages primarily used to promote the private sale of regulated goods and services to include language that reminds users to comply with laws and regulation.