Facebook is still a gun marketplace

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/12/facebook-is-still-a-gun-market.html

We can’t do less than we’ve been doing.
"Yes we can!" ~ NRA

I saw this one yesterday. Same guy finding it, looks like.


We got Mike Monteiro writing for BB now?

Welcome, you magnificent bastard!


What evidence do you have that Chuck Rossi is refusing to follow policy? For that matter, nothing in your post indicates that anyone is refusing to follow the policy.


If these gun sales are illegal, don’t report them to Facebook, report them to the BATF.

As far as I know, it is illegal for me to ship a gun to anyone other than the manufacturer for repair, and it is also illegal for me to sell a gun privately to anyone who lives in a different state. I can’t legally give or sell a gun to anyone who I know (or should know) is a felon, an addict, a “mental defective”, a fugitive, a juvenile, etc. It has been since 1968, and the law passed then killed the business of mail-order guns.

I always hear about being able to buy guns on the internet, and I wonder, given the existing law, how that can possibly be legal. The only way it can be legal is if the seller meets with the buyer and sells the gun in person.

I see it as a viable amendment to the current laws that all gun transfers have to be mediated by an FFL holder: if I want to sell you a gun, we meet at a gun shop, fill out paperwork there, pay a small fee to the dealer, and have your background check done.

It wouldn’t necessarily stop FB postings like these, but it would do a lot to “close the gun show loophole”.


In the space of one month, they found and challenged over 3000 posts selling guns. If FB was serious about this, this number would be lower.

Is it that you think FB is completely helpless against this, or you don’t believe the author?

CORRECTION - they found and challenged over 15,000 posts. They succeeded in taking down 3,000.


Wake me up when Facebook dies.


Makes too much sense, will never happen.

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If it wasn’t for the Events feature, I would dump Facebook in a flash.


On the one hand, easy access to firearms is a serious problem. On the other hand, is there still a Facebook?

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I imagine that these sellers are advertising guns to people in their local area (and will then meet in person to exchange gun for money), much like you see classified ads for guns for sale in local newspapers or shop windows.

Rather than cracking down on all that or requiring the involvement of an FFL holder, why not bring in a proper licensing system? Someone shows you their license, you can sell them a gun. Or, failing that, just give private sellers access to the NICS background check system.



Well - maybe I should go looking more then. The half dozen or so BST pages I was a member of all got shut down or switched to purely discussion or accessories only. I haven’t seen a FS ad for a gun in months.

Of course craigslist has as the same policy, and if you are quick you can find ads before they get flagged.

Or you can just go through the traditional channels of the new paper ads, trade publication, or large websites like armslist.

Fun fact though - it is perfectly legal to sell a gun to another private individual as long as 1) you both live in the same state and 2) it is face to face. So you can’t mail it to their house (there are some exceptions, like if they have a C&R license and the firearm is on the C&R list - Curios and Relics). If they are out of state, you can deliver or ship it to an FFL in their state, and they have to go through the standard NICS check.

So this guy “has to do something” about something perfectly legal.

Is he also on Facebook flagging people posing with wads of cash and drugs? Careful now, I hear a lot of people are out and about looking for Pokemon. So maybe ask if they are looking for Pikachu before reporting suspicious activity.

ETA - in the groups I was in, they policed their own. Many wanted to see a CCW card or at least a license for a sale. Anyone one who was shady, and they usually stood out like a sore thumb, was flagged and kicked from the group.

The fear here is a criminal tricking a law abiding person into selling them a used gun. But that fear is akin to stranger danger - it happens but it is rare.

Also it is illegal to knowingly sell to a restricted persons, so must sellers take measures to protect themselves.

ETA II - Shit like this is why I have to show my ID and sign a waiver buying CHILDREN’S SUDAFED.


I very much doubt Facebook did it themselves. Rather someone you pissed off, rather many someones, are abusing Facebook’s very easy to abuse reporting algorithms to get you banned.

The ease with which you can get someone booted off of Facebook by tricking the algorithms is one of the reasons why it’s ridiculous that Facebook wants to be our central hub for all of our communications from SMS to email replacements. Until they stop baning people from accounts wholesale rather than just their access to some areas of Facebook, like their public page, Facebook should never be trusted as a Communications Hub, ever. (Not that Facebook should be trusted at all, either.)


They are too busy banning breast feeding mother’s photos? because boobs.


I’m not sure why this is such a huge deal, when, in most states, you could just walk into a store and buy any of these guns anyway.

There’s 2 ways to buy a gun legally over the internet. One is the meet in person and comply with all the person to person sale rules. In that case the internet is really incidental to the sale and is just connecting buyers who could legally sell to each other if they’d met any other way. The other is to ship the gun through/to a gun shop/anyone with an FFL who can receive guns through the mail. Then the person you’re selling to goes to the FFL and it’s treated exactly the same as if the FFL was selling the gun (ie background checks and any other restrictions the local jurisdiction puts on what guns can be sold).


Former release engineer here…

I only figured out the part about HOW things got pushed live. The what and the why were above my pay grade.


The only measure you have to take to protect yourself from that particular law is to “not know”. The law does not require you to ask a SINGLE question. So you simply ask NO questions and you are protected by law. Unless someone can prove that you sold a gun to someone who was so famous that they could prove you knew who they were and what their disqualifications were at the time… Even if the buyer was your own brother, if you bought the gun from a stranger with no record what so ever, then gave it to that family member who you knew was ineligible for some reason, proving where your brother got the gun from is going to be impossible unless you both swear that you actually did it and broke the law. And the chances of people breaking the law doing that are zero. (edit) This applies to states that don’t go above and beyond the federal laws. Only 18 states so far do that.)