Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has caved into pressure by the Obama administration and will ban private gun sales. The policy will also carry over to the CEO’s photo-sharing service Instagram.
“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, said in a statement released Friday. “We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated-goods policies to reflect this evolution.”
Obama and his ideological allies have pushed Zuckerberg to crack down on individuals who advertise firearms on the social-media sites, the New York Times reported Friday. The site has 1.59 billion monthly visitors.
The practical effect of the ban, which applies to private, person-to-person sales, will lump individual gun sellers in with drug dealers and those who illegally traffic pharmaceuticals. Licensed gun dealers will still be able to freely operate – for now.
Facebook’s decision comes less than one month after Obama issued executive orders changing the way gun sales are monitored and carried out, redefining a gun “dealer” to include many people who sell even a single gun annually. The president announced the decision Jan. 5.
“The goal is keeping bad actors away from firearms,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters after the announcement, WND reported. “These rules will provide clear notice to those individuals who try to hide behind the hobby exception when they are selling for a profit or for a business.”
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., called Obama’s plan “a form of intimidation that undermines liberty” after the executive orders were unveiled.
“He knows full well that the law already says that people who make their living selling firearms must be licensed, regardless of venue,” Ryan said, WND reported. “Still, rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens.”