By Bob Owens
Oh, dear. Facebook has banned “gun sales” on its social media platform and photo-sharing site Instagram.
The simple fact of the matter is that this is nothing more or less than gun control theater, full of sound and fury, signifying very little, and may actually work in favor of gun rights.
“Online gun sales” were always a red herring. They simply do not exist, and never have. Here’s why.
- Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pintrest and other social media sites are just beginning to add payment functionality. Previously, you could not directly purchase any item via any of these sites, much less firearms.
- These sites only provided communications for offline, real-world transactions, the way Craig’s List does, or links off-site to another Web site with payment/cart functionality.
- Those sites with payment/cart functionality are almost exclusively Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), who can take our money online and facilitate a firearms transfer (and remain unaffected by the Facebook rule change).
- Except for very rare and narrow range of exceptions, those FFL transfers must go to another FFL, who then will require the purchaser to show up in-person, with government-issued photo ID, fill out an ATF Form 4473, and undergo an FBI NICS background check before taking possession of a firearm.
Read more: Bearing Arms