Facebook has banned the private sale of guns on both Facebook and Instagram.
Person-to-person private sales of firearms is no longer allowed on Facebook’s social media sites after a policy change went into effect on Friday.
This means private individuals can no longer advertise guns on Facebook.
The new rules are part of the tech company’s effort to prevent gun trades between individuals on its social media sites.
The changes were made following pressure from President Barack Obama for social media companies to enforce stricter rules on gun sales carried out on their platforms.
It’s important to note that licensed retailers can still advertise firearms as long as the transactions occur outside of Facebook’s service.
Facebook was never directly involved in gun sales. However, the website did serve as a platform for people to sell firearms without the need to undergo background checks.
Vindu Goel and Mike Isaac of The New York Times said in a report that “with 1.6 billion monthly visitors, [Facebook] had become one of the world’s largest marketplaces for guns and was increasingly evolving into an e-commerce site where it could facilitate transactions of goods.”
Shannon Watts, of the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign group, told Associated Press, that Facebook “was unfortunately and unwittingly serving as an online platform for dangerous people to get guns.”
“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,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, said in a statement.
“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,” Bickert said.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization which advocates for gun rights, has not issued a response to Facebook’s policy change yet.