Facebook & Instagram to Help Stop Illegal Gun Sales Online

By Joe Gullo

Published 03/05 2014 12:39PM

Updated 03/05 2014 06:17PM

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joined Facebook, Instagram, and gun safety organizations in announcing legislation to help stop illegal gun sales. 

A press release says Facebook and Instagram agree to remove reported user posts that are trying to go around laws, prevent minors from seeing posts that are trying to sell firearms, and provide education to inform law-abiding private sellers of guns. 

“I applaud Facebook and Instagram for taking the lead in helping avoid illegal gun sales on these increasingly ubiquitous platforms,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Responsible social media sites know that it is in no one’s interest for their sites to become a 21st century black market in dangerous and illegal goods that place our families and communities at risk. 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.”

Users will not be allowed to post offers, sell, or buy firearms that indicate intent to evade or help others evade the law. For example, posts that advertise "no background checks are required."

A press release says Facebook will also inform users that private gun sales may be regulated, prohibited in their location, or that background checks may be required. These messages will occur to all users reported for posting a gun for sale, all Facebook pages reported for promoting private gun sales, and all Instagram-based searches for hashtags identified as promoting gun sales. 

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