New Facebook Rules for Advertising Guns

    Facebook has published rules for people advertising guns (or other restricted items) for sale. It boils down to ensuring only 18+ year olds can view these advertisements and that language such as “no background check required” is allowed.

    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.

    The NSSF begrudgingly says that the rules are reasonable but thinks they should have been consulted.

    NSSF Statement on Facebook Firearms Policy

    Facebook today acted to provide clarification to its policies on postings concerning firearms and agreed to provide educational messaging on its platform. We are in agreement that all applicable laws should be observed in the private transfer of firearms. We would have welcomed the opportunity to provide our industry’s perspective, however, and regret that we were not consulted. Facebook’s clarification will not affect the lawful commerce in firearm and ammunition products for NSSF members and their customers.

    What will be interesting is how these rules apply to users in the rest of the world, if they apply at all. I have seen Facebook pages dedicated to selling DIY guns in some of the worlds most dangerous and notorious places.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!