Renewed Calls Come as Washington Post Reports Facebook has a 10-Strike Rule for People Selling Guns
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization, and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Everytown’s grassroots networks, released the following statements calling on Facebook to actually implement its policy prohibiting firearm sales after the Washington Post reported that Facebook employs a “10-Strike” rule for people selling firearms on Facebook, in violation of Facebook policy.
“By handing not just one, but nine, do-overs to people buying and selling guns – sometimes without a background check – it’s hard to distinguish Facebook from any unregulated online marketplace for guns,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. ”At a time when the nation is once again reeling from gun violence, Facebook is putting profits over personal safety.”
“Facebook’s 10-strike rule for prohibited gun sales is beyond shocking – it’s incredibly dangerous,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Gun violence is tearing apart our communities and yet Facebook is more concerned about giving gun sellers not just a second chance, but 10 chances? That’s not accountability, that’s complicity.”
Everytown and Moms Demand Action have led numerous campaigns calling on Facebook to improve its policies regarding firearms. In 2014, Facebook took its first steps to crack down on illegal gun sales on its platforms – deleting reported posts offering to buy or sell guns without background checks – following a campaign led by Moms Demand Action. In 2016, Facebook created a policy prohibiting all private sales of guns through its platforms – though today’s Washington Post report lays bare their failures in implementing that policy.
Everytown Support Fund’s report on the magnitude of the online firearms marketplace is available here.