The anti-gun group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is living up to part of it’s name. It is demanding, but whether it’s for “gun sense” is debatable.
Now the gun control loving group is trying to get Facebook and Instagram to stop allowing the sales of guns and firearm accessories to take place through private citizens who use the social networks.
The Mom Demand Action group is complaining that Facebook is permitting private gun shows to take place. Occasionally some members of the social networking site will post firearms for sale in their area, and now the group is on a crusade to give more attention to what they are calling a criminal way to get around background checks, even though in most states it is still legal to transfer a firearm from one citizen to another.
“Facebook and Instagram are effectively hosting online gun shows — allowing private sales and trades that are not subject to background checks. It requires more information to open a Facebook account than it does to purchase a gun in a private sale on their platform,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.
Despite the fact that that anti-gun group doesn’t understand that criminals don’t submit to background checks to get their guns, Moms Demand Action has started a petition to draw more attention to this issue.
The petition states,
Moms use Facebook and Instagram as a way to stay connected with our family, friends and loved ones. I was shocked to learn that the very platforms I use to share photos of my family children are also being used to facilitate private sales and trades of firearms between unknown parties.
Why is a background check so important? It is the easiest way to prevent dangerous people like convicted felons, domestic abusers from obtaining a gun.
Think about that last statement. Do they really believe that convicted felons are prevented from getting a gun because of background checks?
A 1997 survey of prisoners found that 80% of the inmates got their guns from friends, family, or illegally, while fewer than 1% got them from gun shows. Only 12% got their guns from retail stores or pawn shops. Maybe we should start a petition to ask criminals to start obeying the law if petitions work so well.
Facebook made it’s stance on the issue clear. The social network which also owns Instagram is not an ecommerce site and so members are not buying or selling anything from Facebook.
The social giant has already taken steps to prevent the advertising of any “firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, bb guns, fireworks, explosives, pepper spray, knives, Tasers or weapons of any kind, including those used for self-defense” through it’s sponsored listings.
But there are swap groups on the site which allow members to buy and sell things in their community. The transactions always take place between the members directly, though.
Unless the items are illegal Facebook does not police these groups and this leaves the individuals to follow their own state laws. Any illegal items or activity can be reported to the network.
The Moms Demand Action group will most likely not be satisfied even if Facebook does change it’s policy on this issue. If they really wanted “gun sense” they would go after the criminals who keep getting let back out onto the streets.
By the way, every gun dealer that posts guns on Facebook always runs background checks with every purchase as this is part of having an FFL. And even in private sales it’s up to the seller to determine if the person to whom they are selling can legally own a firearm. If they can, this should not even be an issue.
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