It Takes Less Time to Buy a Gun on Facebook Than to Figure Out Your Privacy Settings

Fifteen minutes.

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Here’s a scary fact for you. While conducting an investigation into the illegal sale of guns on Facebook, it took VentureBeat reporters less than 15 minutes to set up the purchase of a semiautomatic 7mm rifle and 90 rounds of ammunition (without a background check or even ID) on the social network. That’s less time than it takes to figure out your privacy settings. 

Even though Facebook isn’t an e-commerce site and doesn’t allow gun advertising, the market proliferates on private pages. A federal law enforcement officer told VentureBeat“We look at Facebook and others as emerging threats for unlawful gun transactions in the United States.” In fact, some guns brought on school grounds by minors have been purchased on Facebook.

There arecurrently more than 81,000 signatures on a Change.org petition asking Facebook and Instagram to crack down on the private sale of guns on the social media platforms. It is a cause that has been taken up by Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.

“We are talking with a number of organizations around our policies on guns,” a Facebook spokesman told the LA Times Tuesday.

Of course, Facebook isn’t the only social site with a gun problem. Reddit completed at least 159 firearms transactions in the last six months. A Mother Jones investigation found more than 1,000 listings under the subreddit GunsForSale in that timeframe — some employing background checks, others not.

We can only wait to see what’s in store on Snapchat.

8 comments
TexTopCat
TexTopCat

Facebook only allows messages between two people that want to exchange information.  The topic of the messages should not matter to Facebook.  Apparently, there is no illegal or immoral transactions taking place.  So, why is this article news worthy? 

mrocket1
mrocket1

Private sales and transfer of firearms are not illegal. There is no background check required unless one purchases a new firearm from a dealer.

PatRiot2
PatRiot2

As it should be.


Privacy settings on Facebook are intentionally obscure, because you can affect FB revenue if you tighten your security settings too much.


Purchasing a firearm is the necessary first step towards exercising your natural, Constitutionally-protected, SCOTUS-endorsed RIGHT to keep and bear arms in defense of yourself and others.


I don't see a problem here whatsoever.

DavidFarmer
DavidFarmer

What a crap article, just one more try to stop private sales and ownership of guns. Any person can sell a gun to another person legally and they do not have to be registered. Can you sell your own car with out using a car dealership? Can you sell a hammer with out using a tool store? Same thing as selling a gun, it's yours to sell how ever and when ever you wish unless you are a dealer then there are federal guidelines. So either the author of this article is an idiot or a shill for Obama.

crypticPunk
crypticPunk

Complete and total trash.


I have bought guns on arms list and Facebook.  Most of the sellers take a day or two to get back to you if they get back to you at all.  Then You schedule a meeting in a public place. I usually use my gun club or a local gun range, and then you are lucky if the people actually show up.  Everyone I know then asks to see your drivers license and pistol permit.  Because you will go to jail if you sell a gun to a felon and he uses it in a crime.  It's not 15 minutes and it's not easy.  If you want easy, go to a gun store. You can buy a gun in a gun store in 15 minutes (Long guns in my state use the FBI instant background check, takes 2 minutes) Handguns can take 30 minutes or more if they are backed up at the State police.  The article and their facts are just crazy.


Also no one is advertising machine guns, or guns with no serial numbers on any online system.  That is always illegal, No one is that stupid. Face to Face purchases are legal in most states. There is no selling via online that the liberals are yelling about. No one is buying a gun without a face to face meeting. And if you are selling guns to someone in another state, you have to go through a gun dealer. No exceptions. Every state in the union.  Time magazine used to be a place where good reporting could be had. Now they are just reprinting lies from people that don't know what they are talking about.

teebonicus
teebonicus

Since you can't "buy" a gun on Facebook, anyone reading this article should assign the appropriate level of skepticism to its content.

There is no mechanism for completing a sale. No "Cart", no "Checkout", no nothing.

IT IS A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE.

Anybody with like interests (like buying or selling a gun or anything else) can make contact to arrange anything they want.

DaveDavis
DaveDavis

What they don't tell you in the article, is that its all perfectly legal to do, as long as both parties are of legal age to own a weapon, and the purchaser must not be prohibited from owning weapons.

If the purchaser DOES so, and is BANNED from owning weapons, they face felony charges, so, a law is already on the books to indict someone if they do break the law.


I guarantee one thing, gangs and bad guys DONT NEED facebook to get a gun, they will just steal one if they need it.


TimHawkins
TimHawkins

@mrocket1  In Illinois you must do a background check even on private sales and transfers.