Facebook Says No to Gun Sale Groups

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Facebook has announced a change in its Community Standards that will ban negotiations of private sales of guns on its social network and Instagram (its photo-sharing service). Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain Facebook pages and post on Instagram, but private groups are being shut down. So much for freedom of speech.

The updated language under Facebook’s Regulated Goods tab reads, “We prohibit any attempts by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, or firearms. If you post an offer to purchase or sell alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to comply with all applicable laws and carefully consider the audience for that content. We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.” Although Facebook was not directly involved in gun sales, it previously allowed gun sales to be negotiated. The new policy supposedly arose because the company is expanding e-commerce on the site, including allowing users of its Messenger service to send electronic payments to other individual users.

Facebook spokeswoman Monika Bickert, who oversees the company’s product policies, said in a statement,

“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. 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.”

The company did not highlight the substantial legal safeguards built into delivery of firearms whose prices were negotiated online and then paid for. Facebook is based in Menlo Park, California.

Is curtailing private guns sales on Facebook a big deal to you? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Comments (62)

  1. The people at Facebook disabled my account for the same reason…… Except I have never facilitated the sale of firearms nor have advertised the sale of firearms through Facebook. I am a gunsmith who used the site just to post pictures of some of my work so customers and potential customers can get an idea of what I can do. I could appeal their decision through their Help Center but I have to send them a copy of my ID. Seriously? There sure are plenty of dumb people working there for such a successful company.

  2. I have used a local FB gun sale website to both sell and purchase handguns. Both purchase and sale has been done legally once using an FFL to conduct an intrastate sale, and the other filling out a state sale form and obtaining the purchasers CCP number. The only reason FB is doing this is they are afraid of repercussions from the liberal media or liberal governments if they allow this on their site. That is their right. It’s my right not to use FB.

  3. We live in a day and age now where we are constantly reminded that just because something is popular and everybody does it, does not always mean that it is well and good for our constitutional rights. We need to be smarter than ever now, about our social choices. There are those private liberal entities, such as Facebook, that choose to be politically correct. Inevitably that turns into a biased form of socialism. We then need to know when to just walk away and let our absence be heard. Silence hits them in their wallets.

  4. I belonged to three firearm groups that were shut down as a result of the new policy. Having witnessed many such arranged sales, I can’t remember once seeing anyone attempting to avoid the legal steps of purchasing a firearm. Most all of us seemed quite ready to comply with many a debate as to whose FFL we were going to use for the background check!

  5. I don’t give anything to Facebook, I use them only to communicate and read things I might be interested in. I ignore their advertisers unless they are somebody with whom I already do business.

    I don’t care what they do. As many have suggested. when it offends me, I can always cancel my account. I would never consider Facebook for conducting business, anyway.

  6. Facebook is part of tge evil leftist machine. And zuckerberg is a criminal and a lying maggot – he gave unfettered access to the feds of everyones personal data in exchange for corrupt govt favors. Everyone who cares about freedom or truth or decency should boycott facebook.

  7. This is really a non-item of news. I don’t know that a lot of people negotiated sales via Facebook in regard to guns. Where I live, guns are bought and sold legally through a licensed dealer. Anyone doing it otherwise is breaking the law.
    I don’t see it as a free speech thing. If a grocery store doesn’t want to carry snow shoes and notifies everyone of that intention, why would anyone get PO’d? If you want to, stop using FB….if you want to buy a suit of clothing, don’t go to your fish market.

  8. i don’t do Facebook, twitter, or any of the social media sites. I really don’t even do blogs like this usually, but there was something I wanted to comment on, and after I did so once I didn’t see it being any more harmful to keep on posting.

    As far as Facebook not wanting to allow gun sales, Wallmart not wanting to sell AR15’s, and Joe’s diner not wanting me to carry a gun in their establishment, they all have that right. I wouldn’t want to live in a country that forced them to allow or do those things.

  9. Facebook has been a mass surveillance tool for several years now. The NSA is collecting data on all users. The more people get used to this knowledge the more they forget about it which is sad. I have deleted chrome, my google account, and am using VPN services and TOR when needed. My advise would be to immediately DELETE FACEBOOK and never look back.

  10. FB makes the classic short-sighted progressive anti-gun move. Any private sale/offering is labeled as criminal activity. Now rather than these being overt they are forced underground. Progressives create gun problems, which is of course their intent.

  11. I have cancelled my Facebook and other similar accounts that seek personal data for future business uses that will affect your privacy.

    If you are a Good American and believe in the criteria established by our Founding Father’s (i.e. The Constitution; etc.) you had better start making an active effort to identify a personal and professional network of like minded folks. The difference between 2nd Amendment Supporters and the Anti-Gun community is that they tend to organize themselves better and earn a louder voice in society. Not a correct or appropriate voice, but a louder and stronger voice.

    Many Anti-Gun and Anti-2nd Amendment supporters have had little to do with protecting our Freedom as we know it in the USA. These same people also tend to occupy many of the positions in our City Hall’s throughout the USA.


    If our Freedom is worth Fighting for, than it must be worth Dying over too. While that is not the objective (to die) in any process, to include combat (we want the enemy to be sacrificed, not US troops), it must become our Objective to communicate our message and demonstrate our strength via organization memberships (i.e. NRA; etc.)

    Also, remember many of these Anti-Gun persons have not seen the poor quality of life that exists outside our USA Borders, and these same folks generally do not consist of Private Market Entrepreneurs (i.e. the real tax payers supporting the employees at City Hall’s across America).

    Let’s use the Pen before we are forced to use the Sword.

    God Bless America and our Great Citizens.


  12. Just my 2 cents – I rarely use facebook and I use instagram because my son posts his hobby photos there.

    I recently saw a news article by the CEO of Apple. Sure it was to promote what Apple was doing, but it noted that the US government forces developers to leave a back door to their applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Apple claims to be boycotting that forced backdoor.

    We all know, this is code for – The US government wants the ability to use our social media in order to scan for threats and any other method of control they deem necessary.

    So here’s my $1,000,000.00 question – Why would we want to discuss anything related to our second ammendment rights on social media, where the US government can figure out what we own and what they wish to confiscate? The government already knows what we have through gun dealer registration, lets not hand them information on how they can take away our rights and tell them where to look.

    Truely personal information does not belong in social media. Social media is great for hobbiests looking for a way to share information on tools, tricks and techniques, but not safe for posting anything that directly affects our lives. That is just wrong.

  13. Since people aren’t buying or sell on face book just setting up deals and payment plans with individuals I don’t see how they can do it. that’s the same as saying we aren’t going to let minorities sell or buy on face book. I think they are pushing the envelope. If you want to talk about guns and arrange a place to make the transaction I don’t see how they can stop you. I mean if a black, Hispanic, or American Indian went into a restaurant they would have to serve them.

  14. I don’t think this is a big deal since FB is a private business and can choose whom to serve. Now if they were a bakery, then the fed’s would shut them down and fine the crap out of them. I don’t look for nor buy anything thru FB. At most it leads me to the company’s website to transact business. Do you want to see what I had for breakfast?

  15. I never bothered to use FB, never will. It’s starting to die out anyway. All the “millenials” are moving away from it.FB will go away just like MySpace did. It’s only a matter of time. Who needs FB anyway….

  16. GLT is quite correct, as far as I know Facebook is not a part of any governmental body, it is in fact a private enterprise. Our civil rights, as described in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, are to limit government intrusion on those stated rights.

    Facebook has every right to limit,ban or reject what ever it chooses, therefore if you are displeased with this action, then I suggest you do what I did several years ago .. DUMP Facebook.

  17. The statement “so much for freedom of speech” demonstrates the ignorance of the writer. Facebook (aka Zuckerberg’s Evil Empire) has no obligation in this area as it is a private entity. If you don’t like the policy “vote with your feet.”

    1. No, the writer is not demonstrating ignorance.

      Facebook and Zuckerberg are supposed champions of free speech, and Facebook is used to spew some pretty hateful rhetoric but is defended by Zuckerberg and others as “free speech.” But people who want to buy and sell some of the most heavily regulated products on earth don’t get the same consideration? Give me a break.

      Very hypocritical of Zuckerberg. And I did vote with my feet. I sold all my stock and closed my facebook account. Good riddance.

    2. Liberal free speech and Constitutional free speech are entirely different animals. The former permits only approved statements on approved subjects, whereas the 1st Amendment free speech was intended to protect all sides of an argument on all subjects.

    3. Zuckerberg has only been a proponent of one thing — making money for himself. FB users need to realize that they are the commodity and not the customers.

    1. Boycotted Facebook years ago. The best part? Not going on Facebook means I don’t see the ads, so, as far as I’m concerned, those advertising dollars are wasted by those who pay to put them on Facebook!

  18. I Don’t Have a Facebook Account! But THAT being said, ANY Company you Transact With, Has the LEGAL Right to SELL your Personal Information to ANYONE ELSE, Including FACEBOOK. or BING, or GOOGLE, TWITTER, even CTD…

  19. Facebook isn’t real. I quit using it years ago because they kept opening my privacy settings without telling us – which allowed a stalker to try to interact with my family. I can’t believe they even have stock. It’s a “virtual” business with no real, tangible value at all. It’s just a bunch of electrical queertrons floating through space that could vanish at any second. There are plenty of firearms forums that people should use for interaction with no restrictions & that support the constitution. I don’t give a $&?! About FB. Neither should you. It’s a big fad – like MySpace was years ago… They come – and they go…

  20. FB is also shutting down pages of some ffl holders as well. Had a buddy lose his page and was given a 3 day vacation. Meanwhile if you do a search, ISIS and pages dedicated to destroying Israel are still perfectly ok with FB. Go figure.

    1. Facebook is a forum for idiots who think other people care what they had fro breakfast or what TV show they’re going to watch at night . . and for the idiots who actually do care about tripe like that.

  21. Yeah we have the freedom of speech, but you can’t run into a crowded area an yell Fire or bomb!!! So Facebook should not be allowed its users to buy an sell fire arms!!!! That’s why we have gun stores, that do background checks!!!! So gang bangers an people with mental problems don’t have easy excess to items they shouldn’t have in first place!!! Cmon people let’s use some common sense an let’s start making responsible gun owners look like the sain people that we are an can be!!!!

    1. I doubt many gang bangers go to gun stores and undergo background checks to buy their guns. Last I knew people selling stolen guns out of the back of their stolen Escalade didn’t use the NICS.

      And while I agree with you that crazies and criminals shouldn’t have guns, they always seem to get them anyway. The San Bernardino Muslim terrorists esed a Straw man purchaser, something the media didn’t report too openly when they said the guns were procured “legally.” FB didn’t make this statement out of civic responsibility, they made it as a part of the Liberal agenda.

      And it’s “sane,” not “sain.”

    2. “he San Bernardino Muslim terrorists esed a Straw man purchaser, something the media didn’t report too openly when they said the guns were procured “legally.””

      I never read how long it was between the time the buyer bought them and the shooters aquired them. From the hints in the timeline, it seemed to me to be more of an illegal transfer (by CA law) than a straw buyer.

      “And it’s “sane,” not “sain.””

      There was a hell of a lot more wrong with that screed than that….

    3. It’s NCIC not NCIS or whatever you said. And you’re wrong it was a straw purchase. The neighbor bought the guns for those sick bastards because they were unable to purchase them according to many laws on the books but unenforced

    4. @Jim, before you get all uppity and trying to correct somebody else’s post, maybe you should verify exactly what the “NCIS or whatever you said” is that Mikial was referring to. The acronym that Mikial used was NICS. Had you taken a moment to actually verify what NICS is by a simple Google search, you would have found that it stands for National Instant Criminal Background Check System. NICS is described on the FBI website (you do know what the FBI is, don’t you?) as:

      The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm—by not letting guns fall into the wrong hands. It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers.

      Firearms purchase background checks use NICS. Correcting erroneous posts is fine and prevents misinformation. Just try to know what you are talking about before you start spreading misinformation yourself.

    5. You don’t have a clue. Private gun sales have been going on forever do you really think there’s a problem there. It’s almost funny that you actually think” gang bangers” have a Facebook account let alone get guns there! Lol! And when people buy guns on the Internet do you really think that gun dealers ship the gun directly to the customer? You should educate yourself before commenting on something. A gun dealer who advertises or used to advertise on Facebook ships the gun to another gun dealer close to where the person who purchased it lives that’s already a federal law. It is then the dealer who received the gun does the background check – so nobody’s getting out of a background check here. Most people that I know who are in their right mind that has a handgun in their name will not sell the gun without first transferring it anyway! Would you sell your car without transferring the liability of owning that car? This is all moot anyway. FB just another liberal, gun grabbing supporter who recognizes certain parts of the Constitution… F$$# the Second Amendment who needs guns right? Its guys like that for companies like that or a government like that that makes me sick. Does anybody really know the reason why the 2nd amendment was even written into the United States Constitution? Does anyone anymore have any reverence for the founding fathers of this country and what they had to go through to give us our rights today. In its people like this who think that they have the right to deny us one of our basic rights to own a gun. It all just makes me sick. Ignorance makes me sick

    6. “Does anybody really know the reason why the 2nd amendment was even written into the United States Constitution?” Yup. The Englishmen who were later referred to as the “Founding Fathers” were born, grew up, and were educated under English law, which included the right (English Bill of Rights – 1689) to have arms for their defence (original spelling) – with certain limitations ( including religious) That “shot heard around the world” was a response to English troops attempting to ‘infring’ that right. If such a thing was to happen today, no-one would hear about it – the First Amendment would follow the Second so fast that any media that tried to report it would be muzzled.

  22. The statement mentions “unauthorized dealers”, which may or may not include the private individual that does an occasional sale or trade of said items.
    They only prohibit using facebook payment tools for these “exchanges” and do not state other means can not be utilized. “Private” transactions should be done “privately.” What’s the big deal? FB is just covering their legal but! I can’t fault them for it with the current POS (Oooops, POTUS) in command.

    As per usual, it is a vague statement that just shakes the casual reader up as if they have done away with private gun trades and sales.
    This will keep some from taking a chance because they think FB has prohibited the casual hobbyist and one time gun trader/purchaser. That will suit the Anti-Gun people as a “bonus” and that is what you make it yourself.

  23. Oh no! You mean I can’t self-report my private firearms transactions to the government through Facebook anymore? Whatever shall I do?

  24. Facebook is purely a commercial site. There is neither an expectation of privacy nor freedom of speech afforded to any users. Please stop citing the Constitution as it ONLY restrains government conduct.

  25. Mark Zuckerburg is just another hypocritical idiot who thinks just because he is rich he should be able to decide what he thinks the rest of the populace should be able to do and have. Betcha he doesn’t ban his personal security from carrying or using firearms. I deactivated my facebook account due to their new firearm policy.

  26. Let’s render to Face Book what is Face Books. I am all for perfect freedom and the armor that must attend it namely respect. Freedom remains mine and rests only with those who respect it.

  27. As if it makes any difference.
    The sale of Private Property between two consenting adults will not be adversely affected by the so called “Community Standards” of the Powers That Be at Facebook.
    Of course, No Responsible Firearms Owner wants anyone who is Prohibited from Owning a Firearm to have one and that can be easily remedied by the Seller requiring the Buyer to complete and Pass the 4473 Form at any FFL Dealer. Split the $25 charge for the phone call to the FBI and get on with business.
    What Facebook neglects to realize is the simplicity with which the sale can still be initiated on any individual’s “page” and quickly carried off to a phone call or email without so much as a discussion of price ever taking place.
    Many of the Firearm Related Groups that I’m personally a member of clearly state up front in the Group Rules that there will be no selling or buying of so much as Reloading components or materials however in other groups in the eternal absence of a Moderator, transactions outside of the control of Facebook occur on a rather usual basis.
    Like anything else, it can be abused. Unfortunately, the Progressive Liberal Agenda has been evidenced multiple times prior to this yet Facebook users always find the way to bend the rules. Nothing new under the Sun, just a different platform for the continuance of skirting the edges of their regulations.
    Be well, be safe and be blessed,

  28. Who cares? FB is a Liberal digital rag that panders to Muslim terrorists but prohibits Christians and supporters of the 2A. Besides that, who cares what the loser FB members had for lunch or when they trimmed their toenails?

    No one at my house uses FB, and no one ever will. It is a forum for social cripples who rely on it for “friend” and for stalkers and criminals who use it to find their victims.

    If I want to sell or buy a gun, FB is the LAST place I would go.

  29. I too, never did anything on that POS site. In fact, before I click on embedded hyperlinks, I roll over them and watch where they are about to send me. Anything that says FB is ignored, not clicked on, and the website or email message with the link is closed and/or deleted.

  30. “Freedom of speech”? Congress is not allowed to clamp down on that freedom, but any other organization or individual may.
    Facebook? I’m not a user, and have no intention of becoming one. To put it in the vernacular, their “Privacy Policy” sucks. It’s the last place I would choose to conduct any form of commercial transaction.

  31. Good bye FaceBook. I can be subjected to all kinds of abuse in the name of free speech, but I can no longer speak about or read posts about my favorite subject?

  32. It wasn’t a big deal for me, I think it will be now, I will probably deactivate my account. Facebook was becoming a bore anyway.

  33. Let’s see how many people will actually delete their Facebook accounts (and delete all Facebook cookies from their devices) because of this. I suspect social convenience will trump principles.

  34. Woody,
    This might bother me if I wasted my time on Facebook (or any of the other social media sites). It gets me annoyed enough when I come up to a door of a business that has a gun free zone sign. I usually let the business owner know why I won’t be paying for his services in that case. I do, however, find the usual comments of “So much for freedom of speech” or similar to be pretty rediculous in this type of situation. If the rule was imposed on them by a local, state or federal government I could see your point, otherwise it is not imposing on your freedom of speech.

  35. Our 1st and 2nd amendment rights are on assault here. So is Facebook snooping on private groups now? Every ad I’ve ever seen for a gun sale required that you show your CCW or transfer through an FFL. No responsible gun owner will risk their gun falling into the hands of someone who will use it to commit a crime. How does this make us safer?

  36. “Freedom of speech”? Really?! Facebook is not the gubmint, Dave. They are the epitome of Free Enterprise (TM) and the Free [sic] Market (TM), those ideals hadned down directly by Jehovah and of course championed by CONservatives everywhere, every day. Except when it doesn’t suit them, I suppose. What a lame statement.

    1. Zuckerberg STOLE someone else’s idea/concept, used other peoples money to develop it, then got in bed with the commie dems to get favors and make the pathetic company seem profitable when its not.

      You need to wake up, and stop watching cnn, cnbc, and bloomberg.

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