“Facebook may announce company policy changes for gun-related pages in the coming weeks.” That’s the rumor that’s making its way around in recent days.
Facebook, like other major websites, has been under pressure from ex-Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun “(Illegal) Mayors Against Illegal Guns” and the “Moms Demand (Knee-Jerk) Action” civic group. Why? To keep guns out of the hands of children and felons.
There’s even a petition on Change.org to prohibit gun sales on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, which has over 94,000 signatures.
Just so everyone’s clear:
- It’s illegal to sell a gun to a child
- It’s illegal to sell a gun to a felon
- It’s illegal to see a gun to a person outside of your home state without going through a Federally Licensed Firearm Dealer, filling out the required forms, and undergoing that state’s required background check
In short, if people are doing any of these things, they’re already committing crimes.
But that’s not the intent of Bloomberg’s anti-gun group or the knee-jerk reaction Moms group. They don’t want people like you and me talking about the tools that we use to defend ourselves and our families. Additionally, they want people who haven’t undertaken this responsibility to think that those of us who do are the “bad guys”.
Facebook doesn’t sell things (other than ads), but last week a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat, you can’t “promote the sale or use of weapons in advertising. We encourage people who come across any illegal activity to report it to us.” Notice how the Facebook spokesperson lumped using weapons in advertising with “illegal activity”?
Since Facebook already prohibits guns in its ads, and that’s the only thing you can buy or sell on Facebook and Instagram, one would argue that the damage has already been done… Facebook is already prohibiting a lawful industry from advertising on its platform. I guess that’s not enough for the Rights Smashers in the anti-gun groups. They’re reportedly going after Facebook to remove all gun-related pages and communities, too.