Facebook’s January ban instituted on private individuals advertising gun sales extended last month to included licensed dealers.
Breitbart.com reports the ban of Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders deals with those operating out of their homes with private sellers, regardless of private dealers following the law of doing background checks.
Not only is Facebook serious about its new policy, it’s also taking action, which Forbes reports Christopher Dover learned the hard way.
Dover, a trained firearms instructor in eastern Texas, had a Facebook group for gun dealers to advertise their weapons. The group had 16 local dealers and more than 900 members, Forbes reports.
“It was a different kind of group,” Dover told Forbes.
However, Forbes reports that despite Dover doing everything correctly, including having an administrator approve each post, Facebook shut down his group the morning of July 4.
A confused Dover told Forbes he checked Facebook’s policy and “private individuals” had been added, making the policy now read: “We prohibit any attempts by private individuals to purchase, sell or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition.”
Forbes reached out to Facebook spokesman Alec Gerlach, who said the new policy is “intended to keep peer-to-peer sales off Facebook.”
Facebook’s new policy is explained better under it’s FAQ page, Forbes reports, saying a dealer needs to be an online retailer or operate from a tradition brick and mortar storefront to advertiser on the social media website.
“It’s obviously not meant to include someone who has an FFL and is selling guns out of the back of their truck,” Gerlach told Forbes.
There’s no way of knowing how many of the roughly 140,000 federally licensed gun dealers in the U.S. operate from a home address, but Forbes reports a 1998 survey by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) found the number 56 percent.
Gerlach told Forbes that Facebook plans to execute its new policy on a “case-by-case basis.”