A man is silhouetted against a Facebook logo as he poses with a laptop in this photo illustration taken in Zenica, Bosnia, on Aug. 14, 2013.
Dado Ruvic—Reuters
By Daniel White
Updated: January 30, 2016 1:31 PM ET

Social networking giant Facebook announced Friday that it would ban the private sale of guns on its site, and on its photo-sharing platform Instagram.

Although the site itself does not act as a retailer of firearms, it has allowed users to sell guns on Facebook pages or in Instagram posts. The new prohibitions will affect only private and person-to-person sales, and not licensed gun sellers.

“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,” said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy. “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.”

Those policies already prohibit trade in marijuana, prescription pills and other illicit substances. Firearms are now to be added to the list.

Facebook’s decision comes as the Obama administration makes a push for tighter control on gun sales.

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