Teenagers are buying guns on Facebook, and the company is refusing to make one simple rule that would keep our kids safe.
Reports have emerged that a 15 year-old boy in Kentucky bought a 9mm handgun through a dealer advertising on Facebook, and took the gun to his high school's homecoming game. Thankfully, no one was hurt -- but things could have gone very differently.
Facebook says it doesn’t accept ads for weapons, but its terms of service still allow users to post pictures of guns they’re trying to sell -- meaning that gun ads aren’t just allowed, they’re free! These pictures, and information about how to buy the guns, are aggregated on popular Facebook pages that act as de facto classified ads for guns.
Tell Facebook to bar gun promotions.
Private sales are the biggest, most dangerous loophole in our gun laws. If you try to buy a gun a in a store, you’re subject to a background check, but you can buy a gun from a private citizen with essentially no oversight from the government. Google+, Craiglist, and eBay have all recognized the dangers posed by private dealers and banned gun sales and ads.
But Facebook and its sibling Instagram are standing by and fueling this deadly trade, which is keeping America’s streets flooded with guns. Users can find a wide array of firearms, including assault rifles, just by browsing hashtags like #forsalegun and #ar15.
It’s been over a year since the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, and our government has failed to do anything to get the most dangerous weapons off the street. But the websites that are being used for arms traffic can act immediately -- and there’s no excuse for them to sit idly by while more people are killed in senseless gun violence.
Tell Facebook to change its terms of service so that gun dealers can't use its platforms for advertising.
Authorities Consider Charges Against Man Who Sold Gun To Teen, WSAZ News. October 13, 2013.