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  • 07.14.16

Congressman writes to Mark Zuckerberg: Why can you still buy guns on Facebook?

A day after reports that Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson bought a semi-automatic rifle from someone he met on Facebook, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom demanding to know why guns are still for sale on both platforms—despite a recent ban on such transactions. (It’s not clear if that particular gun was used in the attack on police officers last Thursday.)

In the letter, Markey noted that his own congressional staff was able to find guns for sale on both platforms, adding:

I remain deeply concerned that gun sales on Facebook and Instagram — or sales posted online but negotiated and concluded offline — may circumvent or violate state and federal laws, resulting in numerous unlawful sales of handguns, assault weapons, and other firearms. We want all communities, whether online or offline, to be safe for their members. I continue to urge Facebook and Instagram to adopt safe business practices and prohibit postings for firearms sales.

In an email, a spokesperson for Facebook told Forbes: “We prohibit people from using Facebook and Instagram to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms. Any content that violates this policy will be removed as soon as we become aware of it—whether it is in groups, on profiles, or on pages.”MB