(courtesy facebook.com)

Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management, Monica Bickert [above], just posted this official statement regarding their policy on posts/pages related to the sale of firearms on both Facebook and Instagram:

Facebook, at its heart, is about helping people connect and communicate. Because of the diversity of people and cultures on our services, we know that people sometimes post or share things that may be controversial or objectionable. We work hard to find a balance between enabling people to express themselves about topics that are important to them, and creating an environment that is safe and respectful . . .

 This balance is important to how we view commercial activity on Facebook or Instagram. We have strict rules about how businesses can use our advertising tools. For example, we do not permit advertising for illegal drugs, tobacco products, prescription pharmaceuticals, weapons, and several other products and services, and restrict advertising for products such as alcohol, adult products, and gaming. In all cases, we have systems in place to review and remove advertising that violates our policies, is false, deceptive, or misleading.

Of course, most of our tools are free to use, and many people and organizations use them to establish a presence on Facebook, including to promote commercial transactions. While people can’t use our services to actually sell things to each other, they can set up a Page or make an occasional post to their Timeline to find a roommate, sell a home, or solicit contributions for a church or nonprofit organization. Just like posting on a bulletin board at a supermarket or community center, these activities may be considered commercial, but we treat this type of sharing like any other type of sharing on our services – and we respond to reports when something violates our Community Standards.

People sometimes use our free tools to discuss products that are regulated or controversial. In some cases they promote these products for sale or use, even though it’s not possible to complete a sale on Facebook or Instagram. While we’ve recently heard specific concerns from people about offers for the private sales of firearms, this is one of many areas where we face a difficult challenge balancing individuals’ desire to express themselves on our services, and recognizing that this speech may have consequences elsewhere.

Today, we are introducing a series of new educational and enforcement efforts for people discussing the private sale of regulated items:

  • Any time we receive a report on Facebook about a post promoting the private sale of a commonly regulated item, we will send a message to that person reminding him or her to comply with relevant laws and regulations. We will also limit access to that post to people over the age of 18.
  • We will require Pages that are primarily used by people to promote the private sale of commonly regulated goods or services to include language that clearly reminds people of the importance of understanding and complying with relevant laws and regulations, and limit access to people over the age of 18 or older if required by applicable law.
  • We will provide special in-app education on Instagram for those who search for sales or promotions of firearms.

We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law. For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify “no background check required,” nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer. We have worked with a number of individuals and organizations on the development of these efforts, which will be implemented and enforced in the coming weeks. We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Demand Action, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms. We also appreciate the feedback provided by the Facebook Safety Advisory Board.

As always, we encourage people who see anything that violates our policies to report it to us using the tools found throughout our services. Facebook and Instagram will continue to remove content, and notify law enforcement where appropriate, when we are notified about things shared on our services that suggest a direct, credible risk to others’ safety. We will also continue to strictly enforce our advertising policies.

We believe these collective efforts represent the right approach in balancing people’s desire to express themselves while promoting a safe, responsible community.

135 Responses to BREAKING: Facebook Statement on Gun Sales Policy

      • I just had a vision of posting a photo with the following text:

        NFA class-3 unregistered non-serialized SBR AR-15 with unregistered post-86 drop-in auto-sear for sale.

        Will absolutely ship anywhere, and everywhere (especially Mexico), and don’t even worry about any sort of “background check”

        Message me for info.

        • Will include free lightning link I made from scrap sheet metal and a dremel tool…. (Mr. ATF Man Sir, I have never ever done this, this is just what we call, “comedy”.)

        • “Ask me about the free movie-grade silencer with every purchase that makes bullets go from PEW PEW PEW to pew pew pew

        • +10 if you do it under a pseudonym like “Eric Holder” or “ATF Federal Gun Sales”

        • Funny, but it would take them less time to pull it down than it took you to write it. I find that to be too much of a waste of my time for the benefit.

        • Post it under the name Eric Grabber. We don’t want to be too obvious.

          Oh, and don’t forget to include the shoulder thing that goes up and banana clips with armor piercing hollow point ammo, free of charge.

  1. Arent these the same people who were against internet regulation before? Hmm

    Seriously though, talk about a d-bag shoutout list.

  2. Because Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Just south of San Franscisco).

    Enough said!

  3. Hey Facebook!! How about talking to and working with Pro Gun groups!! Oh wait!! Your liberal pansy ass supports screwing Americans out if their God given rights!!
    I hope your Facebook face plants into a bottomless pit never to be seen or heard from again!!
    *steps off soap box!!

  4. So other than limiting access to those posts to those over 18, it sounds like they’re going to be doing a whole lot of “reminding” and not much else.

    • That is my impression as well. I posted below about how this really is a loss for the anti’s in the overall scheme of things.

      • But it will still be used as a “win”.. And sadly since no one ever talks to us, it almost is. However it really didn’t do anything…

    • Exactly… They’re basically doing nothing, except *possibly* blocking minors from seeing guns for sale (good luck enforcing that), and making a rule that people don’t say “no background check required,” which is a response to the fake ads planted by MDA that said things like “no background check” and “AR-15 includes a dust cover.”

      For most of us, based on this press release, I’d say there will be no noticeable difference.

    • I just hopped on Twitter out of curiosity. I haven’t yet been banned by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (a wholly owned subsidiary of Mayors Against Illegal Guns). Win or not they’re already taking credit for the change.

      The tweet:

      Moms spoke, #FacebookListened and changed policy involving gun sales. Read about it in NY Times: http://ow.ly/ugWod

    • This will, however, give antis another tool to “report” things they don’t like regardless of the reality of the situation.

    • That’s what I got out of it as well, Matt. Seems like all they expect is for people to follow their state laws in regards to sale, purchase, and transfer of firearms, unless I just missed something.

    • Ya. Basically, unless you say “No background check” in the advertisement (like MDA was doing in their fake listings) as a selling point or state you will sell to someone out of state without going through an FFL, there is no issue.

      This is far from the “Remove all pro-gun pages” that MDA/MAIG wanted so they could have an echo-chamber on Facebook. It isn’t a loss for them but it isn’t a win either.

    • “Moms Demand Action” has 150,000 likes on Facebook

      (MAIG has even less than that)

      NRA has 3,000,000 likes.

      Gee, I wonder, what would Facebook decide?..

  5. ” We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Demand Action, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms.”

    Not surprised.

  6. Kids under 18 should be prevented from seeing Moms pages.
    After all, these women became moms by having sex.
    We don’t want to damage and corrupt little children with sex…..

    • Zuckerberg said his site’s users were a bunch of “dumb effers”. And yet still people flock to it. Whee.

  7. Does FB have the same “regulated” item policy regarding drugs? Facebook is half jailbait selfies and half pictures of blunts and weed.

  8. We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Demand Action, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms. We also appreciate the feedback provided by the Facebook Safety Advisory Board.

    Imagine the media if they had a policy explicitly protecting gun posts, and said, “We are grateful for the advice offered by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms.”

  9. If I am reading this correctly, while this seems at first to be a win for the anti’s, it really isn’t. Basically, Facebook is saying that as long as nothing illegal is going on, they won’t stop folks from setting up the sale of a firearm. They didn’t fold under Milfs Demand Action’s pressure and ban the use of Facebook for anything firearms related.

    Isn’t this really a win for our side?

    • I was thinking that exact same thing! Nowhere and here is it saying it’s going to restrict sales of firearms only to ensure that they are done within the scope of the law. MDA and an MAIG wanted them to stop gun sales completely. They didn’t get their way.

    • Sounds like it to me. I like entering gun contest. If they go bye bye so do I. I’m sick of being told this is about the kids at Sandy Hook and preventing another tragedy like it. Hello I’m not stupid!! None of these infringements that are taking place across the country will prevent anything like that from happening again.

  10. We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law. For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify “no background check required,”

    Has anyone told them that in most states, that isn’t actually illegal?

    • Probably, but they don’t care. It is provocative and that is what they want to avoid. They don’t want people using their gubnint backed info mining operation to promote rabble rousing.

    • I was just thinking the same thing. In Arizona no background check is required so why would they on one hand say I’m supposed be following the law but if I do, then am I going to be punished for it?
      Bottom line, just don’t put that in the post. There’s nothing that says that you have to put in that you need to run a background check. Only that you can’t put in that you WON’T run a background check.

      • You don’t have to say, “No background check”. Simply say, “Private sale.” If your buyer is too stupid to make the connection, you probably ought not to sell to them.

        • If you’re buying / selling on the 2nd hand in Arizona that is pretty much a given already. If somebody doens’t know that, then they can figure it out talking to people at the LGS.. Or they are Californian.

    • https://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction are some crazies. If you go to their page and say anything in support of gun rights they delete your post and block you. There was a discussion they were having one night and there were about 50 of us talking about it on another page. One by one we went in there and said some things in disagreement with what they were saying (all in a respectful manner) and then we timed how long it would take for them to delete the post. The longest was like 12 seconds….LOL! One by one we were all blocked.It was hilarious.

      So with FB praising these people I don’t hold out much hope for FB doing what’s right. These loonies don’t even believe in freedom of speech much less the 2nd amendment.

      • yep. Oyhers here have reported Twitter bans. Other sites with up/down vote capability (reddit, digg, etc) report the same kind of scrubbing or alteration. What MDA really is about is agitprop and disinformation funded by a very wealthy liberal: Bloomberg who is capitalizijg on the pain and suffering of parents.

    • I think the key phrase there is “indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade…”. Emphasizing “no background checks involved” arguably indicates that you are directing your ad to folks who couldn’t pass a background check because of some legal prohibition on their owning or buying a gun. So MDA promptly spins this as “Facebook won’t allow posts that offer sale without a background check”–which ain’t what Facebook said.

  11. Am I missing something? Sounds like their just going to remind you to follow your local laws when soliciting a private gun sale, and if your solicitation is clearly in violation of the law, their gonna delete it. Am I supposed to be mad? Cause I ain’t, I’m actually quit fine with that.

    • The only problem I see is that they do not actually seem to understand the law. See their example about “no background check required.”

      • See above post–it’s about specific language that “indicates a willingness to evade or help others evade the law”, not whether or not a background check is or is not actually required. Easy answer is just not to use that language.

  12. So basically, if you’re a business you have to follow the law. If you’re not, do whatever you want. Facebook don’t care. The only change is the requirement to state something about following the laws. And some pop up in instagram that says something like “Reminder: purchasing weapons from a non-licensed dealer without a background check may be against local and federal laws.”

    I agree. A rather non-story.

  13. Does this policy about the sale of regulated items include non-OTC narcotics and items like food stamps or EBT benefits? I know which side of that bet I’d place my money on.

    • Not necessarily.
      Plenty of rich, liberal horse owners in Northeast Illinois that like to wear cowboy hats but are afraid of guns.

      No doubt they exist wherever people have sufficient funds to buy hay.

  14. That’s what you get for putting all your marbles in the hands of a 20 something upper class kid from New York.

  15. I don’t see much of a problem. Facebook is covering their asses with this and reminding people that adults are able to police themselves. Facebook is a business, remember,

  16. Up until this point I didn’t know they officially allow pages that are designed to facilitate sales. Now I do. So, which side is this a win for?

  17. All of the gun related pages that I followed on FB have been deleted. One was for re-loading, another was for trading guns. All gone. I thought that Zuckerberg had rejected the MOMS efforts yesterday. Guess that I was wrong.

  18. Guys, RTFA. This is less of a fake ban than what starbucks did. All they said was they would restrict the post to 18+ and not allow posts that say ‘No background check’. I call that a win in my book.

  19. I hope FB goes tits up, not cause I care, but just because I’m an asshole and I don’t like it.

  20. I don’t think anyone will mistake me for someone who cares. I wouldn’t open a facebook account on a bet.

  21. If there is no background check required to sell a firearm between law-abiding, consenting individuals within a given state, there is no reason for Facebook to be up in arms (no pun intended). I don’t mind Facebook requesting that gun/sales pages clarify their positions regarding the proper following of local, state, and federal laws where applicable. But the fact is, if my old friend from high school is selling his Glock 27 and posts it on his Timeline, he also has a responsibility to ensure that his firearm is going to someone who is legally able to own a firearm. Perhaps Moms Demanding Immoral Action With Bloomberg assumes that background checks are the only surefire (no pun intended, again) way of making sure that guns aren’t going to felons or violent offenders. This is, of course, categorically untrue. Enforcing the laws on the books will never be enough for these people until they have successfully disarmed every law-abiding civilian in the United States.

      • I know that, but most states don’t. Why doesn’t FB just encourage people to follow local, state, and federal laws regarding firearm sales where applicable and leave it at that? Asking people to go through an FFL where it isn’t necessary is stupid.

  22. I always make them fill out a “bill of sale” when I sell through Facebook or anywhere if for nothing more than C.Y.A. To me, this seems like a whole lot of nothing.

  23. This sounds like a pure placation measure. If anyone has seen the MAIG reaction, I’d love to know. They can’t be declaring this a victory.

  24. Ha so basically they are giving lip service to the antigun groups. The age restriction is the only thing and most of my preteen cousins are listed as like 25 year olds lol they aren’t doing anything basically…. For now at least

  25. I see this as a victory for common sense. a whole lot of reminding people to follow the law. Self policed by users (hey, Facebook is public, don’t do something in public you’ll he sorry for). I realize this won’t be popular, but I don’t really have a problem. In fact, I’d say nanny state lost.

  26. They’re just trying to cover their a$$e$ in a legal frame of mind. They just want to be absolved of being a negligent 3rd party in a firearms related death and any civil lawsuit that follows. Nothing more than that, nothing less.

  27. that’s the most ridiculous bunch of BS hogwash I’ve ever heard censorship! Hey and by the way firearms are not a federally regulated deal in the sale of firearms in certain states from person to person is very much legal!

  28. well you may as well shut wal mart down, cause they sell guns close to the toy department, while your at it, outlaw TV s, they show guns, hell may as well only have foster parents, because a lot of parents take there young kids hunting. screw face book, I bet there stock falls and I hope a new sight comes quick in there place

  29. Now to sit back and see all the little minions be governed by a social media website. Huge action may not have been taken, but it’s a stepping stone, and Facebook addicted America will walk the path accordingly.

  30. Doublespeak.

    We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law. For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify “no background check required,” nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer.

    ?? The above statement suggests that sales without a background check is unlawful which is blatantly false. “no background check required” is legal in most states. Only states having legislation requiring additional background checks require this. Federal law explicitly details its legality:

    A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may sell or transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State. However, a firearm other than a curio or relic may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.

    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(d), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]

    Facebook wouldn’t be going around insinuating that it is against the law to perform private sales between firearms would they??? Surely they wouldn’t do that.

  31. Oh noes,this is tragedy! There is nowhere else on teh entire interwebs to sell stuff except FB!

  32. Given that I’ve never used Facebook and likely never will, color me…indifferent.

    I use Gunbroker to buy sell firearms in any case.

  33. Why wasn’t the NRA invited? The NRA is for keeping guns out of the wrong hands and would have been helpful.

  34. The kids these days aren’t into Farcebook, just the older crowd, supposedly. Farcebook is a farce, which I hope will go the way of Myspace. Never had an account and never will.

    • Good trigger discipline. I can’t tell if she’s very pro or anti-gun by the comments, but she seems to know something about firearms.

  35. I’m confused as to why my name is on her page.

    So basically they will be building in reminders to the law, the law criminals don’t follow anyway. At least they can say they “did something”.

  36. To get community backlash against this, flag and report airsoft pages. Airsoft is a restricted sale item to 18+.

  37. Lip service and empty policies. Weeks and months of hue and cry, and what they get is
    FB will follow the law? This is a nothing victory for MDA. And not nearly as funny as them getting kicked off Staples HQ policy.

    Let them crow about it. Inside they’re crying.

  38. Really, the only solution to this is en masse cancellation of Facebook accounts in protest.

  39. #MomsDemandAction = EPIC FAIL!
    Official Statement from Facebook employee who is involved in the policy changes.

    “I work at Facebook and can give you my personal analysis of the changes that were announced today.

    I beg you to please read the official Facebook post on the policy for posting guns for sale:
    http://newsroom.fb.com/News/814/Facebook-Instagram-Announce-New-Educational-and-Enforcement-Measures-for-Commercial-Activity

    Note that our changes still allow you to post about any sort of legal transaction you wish. The biggest changes are:

    * If a post promotes the sale of a commonly regulated item, you get a message reminding you to comply with relevant laws. We also set that post so only 18+ users can see it.

    * Gun pages that mainly promote private sales need to add some boilerplate to their “about” section educating people on how to comply with the relevant laws and will be marked 18+.

    * Because we can not and don’t want to keep track of every state’s P2P transfer laws, don’t post things for sale saying “no background check needed”. We have no way to know if you’re right or just ignorant of state and federal laws.

    That’s it.

    This is not the big fat victory Bloomberg wanted but they are going to play it up in the media like they came in and forced these changes. Facebook has been working on changes like this way before MDA and MAIG showed up.

    As a gun owner and enthusiast (of which there are many at Facebook), I’m happy that we were able to keep Facebook an open form of communication. Personally, I’m very disappointed that we allowed MDA and MAIG to use this as a PR win for them and I’m sharing that disappointment within the company. ”
    #MomsDemand #MAIG #CSGV

    • That’s nice, but I would like to see Facebook give an official statement denouncing MDA’s spin job.

      • Actually, I’d prefer they just ignore MDA altogether.
        MDA is only a legend in their own minds.
        Having Facebook respond to them one way or another is just validation.

        If you think about it from Facebooks perspective, once you give in to one small group of nitwits, then every other group of Soros funded prog-libtard nitwits will be clamoring for same.

        Starbucks tried to walk the middle and satisfied no one.
        Staples learned that lesson well, and I am quite sure Facebook was taking notes.

      • Actually CSGV did that for them. The email that went out today basically called Shannon Watts a big fat liar.

    • Good job Daniel. That needs to be the subject of its own post, iMHO, with the lede being “FAIL!!! MDA P’wnd Again!”

      • Despite what you may think there are a lot of gun owners in Facebook. They have also been fighting for this internally, so this is a big victory.

  40. I see and wonder why not one “pro gun” individual or organization were ask for input or to assist ….. Just saying…

    • There was input but you just never get to hear about it. I asked an internal person and was told that in fact there was input.

      • I love it; the alphabet antis get to spin their wheels and make a lotta smoke, but get no traction, and zero fire.

        They’ll try to spin this in the news too, but it’ll all be smoke and mirrors which will quickly die from lack of interest, and no actual legitimacy.

        Laugh!

  41. Wow, for Mothers and Mayors this is a BIG win compared to their others. Instead of being completely ignored like Staples did, they got actual lip service.

  42. And the winner of the Mealy-Mouthed Mush Award for 2014 is . . .

    Any nation where cowardly words and behavior are fashionable is a country that cannot endure as a free republic.

    For those of you who wish to cleanse your minds of this Facebook toady’s guff, read/view Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech. It was given 68 years ago today at Westminster College, MO.

  43. Meh – Facebook conned the con artists. Nicely played.

    Now what I really want to know is why Monika is posing next to a picture of horses’ butts?

  44. In other news, Facebook is looking for a way to civilize it’s service to increase tolerance for diversity and differing lifestyles. “We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, and The Westboro Baptist Church.”

  45. In other words…”Dear Bloomie and Shan-Shan, we can buy and sell you both all day long, just like Starbucks can. We’re not going to alienate anybody, but if need be, we will simply remind them too follow the rules they already know. Now please go bother someone who actually cares about your pathetic little crusade. Have a nice day…Zuck”

  46. It was going along pretty well until this bit….

    “…We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Demand Action, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms.”

    Scary list that is. Did they not even try to balance the input by trying to find even one NRA Trained and Certified Instructor? Anyone from any of the Pro-Gun groups? Did they reach out to anyone who wasn’t already in the echo-chamber that is the anti-gun side of this debate?

  47. what it all narrows down to is people need to worry about their own business and stop worrying about others,when another person can decide what you can have or do that means they will be treated likewise.

  48. Well, you worked with everyone except the gun experts, the NRA, NAGR, NSSF, and the people who actually use, trade, sell and buy firearms. Legal firearm owners are self-correcting lot who care about how they are perceived. Unfortunately, they don’t own the mainstream, liberal biased media. It is easy to see why you would exclude the gun culture listed above. But if you had included them, you might have actually learned something. The skewed view of the groups above have probably insured a lose- lose situation. Don’t worry, though, when the socialist government puts it’s boot on your neck, and it will, we gun owners will be there to back you up.

  49. Thanks but I’d rather have the NSA work a little harder to build a file on me than uploading all my info to facebook.
    Tell your color blind boss the logo is really green, see if he believes you.

  50. Another Socialist Republic of California company showing their true colors, Tell me how come the NRA or NAGR weren’t consulted? Not that I or anyone that I know would ever sell a firearm illegally, however enacting such rules on Facebook and Instagram will not stop people from exchanging phone numbers and doing what they will, and it is not the responsibility of Facebook to police conversations. Prosecute the offenders dont persecute everyone…

  51. I see that you went to great lengths, to get input, from several, pro-control increase, organizations. You also got plenty of input, from organizations whose goal it is, to ban guns, altogether. What I didn’t see, was input, from pro-gun organizations, and legal outlets. Why not get input from Gun Owners of America, The Second Amendment Foundation, CalGuns Federation, or the National Rifle Association, and similar organizations? As a retired police officer, I am pleased to see, that you are attempting to be thoughtful, and diligent, in formulating new policy. but, I firmly believe that the legal departments of these organizations, could be beneficial to your quest, for a more comprehensive policy, in this area.
    Stop beating around the bush, talk to those who KNOW, and stay within the law. Just keep in mind, that The Second Amendment is also the law.

  52. A page of typewritten Bullshit (much ado about nothing) like most liberal posts instead of really taking a stand or risking offending anyone we are simply bored to death by words. Since I like to hunt, fish and camp I have been lambasted and de-friended on Facebook by several people because of my hobbies. If your opinion differs from theirs you are somehow stupid, insensitive and a lower life form. Do not these attacks constitute a hate-crime or an attempt at bullying? Best Buy a company who has quite simply lies, screws over the customer and fails to live up to their advertising policies has a Facebook page telling us how great they are and post ads for all they products and specials. Many of the people shopping their are 18 and under, is Facebook going to protect them? I’m thinking anyone who supports the 2nd amendment and posts same on Facebook days are numbered as your free speech will be slowly be throttled.

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