Facebook is taking aim at gun advertisements.
The social network said Wednesday that sellers of firearms in the United States will not be allowed to specify “no background check required,” or to sell guns across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer. The company will delete posts from users selling illegal guns. The company also said that Instagram users who search for sales or promotions of firearms will receive “in-app education.”
“We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of Global Policy Management, wrote in a blog post. “We believe these collective efforts represent the right approach in balancing people’s desire to express themselves while promoting a safe, responsible community.” Gun vendors use pages Facebook pages like “Guns For Sale” to distribute weapons through the social media network, a practice that gun control advocates have long protested. Facebook said it received advice from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Moms Demand Action, Sandy Hook Promise, and other gun control groups in making changes to its advertising rues.
“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 in a statement. “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.”