NIT – A gun control political action committee headed by former Arizona legislator Gabby Giffords on Wednesday praised an announcement from Facebook that is will attempt to curb gun sales on the social media website.
Wednesday, Facebook announced that it will create new safeguards and policies to attempt to curb the sale of controlled items, such as guns. It released the following information:
“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.
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.
Americans for Responsible Solutions, Giffords’ PAC aimed at curbing guns and gun violence, issued the following statement in response to the Facebook announcement:
Facebook has taken a significant step for gun safety. We were pleased to work with Facebook on a new set of policies that protect the safety of users, particularly children, educate its users about lawful and responsible firearms transactions, and help prevent illegal activity from occurring. Specifically, the new initiative will block children from viewing firearms sales ads, inform users of the law and responsible approaches to gun transactions, and help enforce the law by deleting posts that encourage no-background check or illegal sales.While Facebook is making a serious effort to ensure safe and responsible compliance with our nation’s gun laws, we know that our laws must be strengthened. Providing background checks for internet sales is commonsense policy that allows law abiding Americans to safely exchange guns.