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Facebook to crack down on illegal gun sale posts

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NEW YORK (PIX11) – It’s no longer a place for illegal gun sellers to get their product out. The New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday an initiative with Facebook to stop illegal gun sales on Facebook and Instagram. Minors won’t be able to access gun sale sites.

“This is a meetup place where people can communicate, but up until now it has not been regulated with regard to sales of illegal firearms. This is about public safety.”

“You have to check a box showing that you have read all the instructions, you have to post language on your page if you are going to engage in language about gun sales,” added Schneiderman.

According to the New York State Attorney General, it is an initiative supported and helped by gun control advocates like “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”.

People searching for guns will be reminded about the laws regarding background checks and licensed dealers.

Moms we spoke to applauded the move, but said it might be hard to police these posts.

Guns for sale

“I think it’s a good idea to get illegal guns off the street,” said Viola Chaka of Canarsie.

In a statement, the NRA said:

“The NRA enjoys 150 times more support on Facebook than Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. That’s why Bloomberg and the gun control groups he funds tried to pressure Facebook into shutting down discussion of Second Amendment issues on its social media platforms. Bloomberg failed. NRA members and our supporters will continue to have a platform to exercise their First Amendment rights in support of their Second Amendment freedoms.”

“We have seen too many examples of the horrible tragedies caused when people who should not have guns get guns,” said Schneiderman.

John Feinblatt, the Chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns said,

“Our campaign exposed how simple it is for dangerous people to get their hands on guns, no questions asked – not only on Facebook and Instagram – but across the Internet.  Unfortunately, the ‘private sale loophole’ allows anonymous parties to sell guns without background checks, and there are simply too many ways for criminals, minors and other prohibited gun purchasers to get them easily – with just the click of a mouse.  We are grateful that Facebook and Instagram are making major moves to prevent these sales from happening via their platforms. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to draw attention to these critical safety issues and hold corporations and political leaders accountable to do their part to prevent gun violence.”