People Are Selling Guns On Facebook By Listing Them As Costly Stickers

Mayukh Bari25 August 2020 10:22AM IST
2 min read299

Sellers are pretending to sell stickers of gun makers' logos to sell guns on Facebook. This is violation of the company's marketplace policies.

Wall Street Journal started to investigate the issue when they found out that a seller listed unbelievably costly stickers of gun manufacturers on Facebook's marketplace. When WSJ contacted the sellers, they revealed they actually intended to sell guns, not stickers. Facebook prohibits the private sale of firearms and ammunition on its marketplace, and their quarterly report in early August said that Facebook removed 1.3 million firearm-related articles of content between April and June.

But this isn't the first time that sellers tried to sell guns. In another report from 2019, WSJ revealed that in one case the seller tried to sell a semiautomatic AR-15. In a recent incident, a Mississippi seller posted a $450 sticker for sale sporting the logo for Glock and asked for interested buyers to message them privately for more details, according to the report. When the Journal contacted the seller privately, he revealed that he was really selling a .40-caliber pistol.

Also Read: Facebook India To Remove Content By Public Figures That Violates Community Standards

Three other sellers with sticker listings also confirmed to sell real weapons when WSJ contacted them. The outlet also found more than 40 results for "gun sticker" and "stickers" that included photos of gun makers' logos. The revelation prompted a slew of Democratic senators, including 2020 vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, to demand an explanation from Facebook on how it moderates gun sales on its marketplace.

Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that dozens of would-be sellers across 10 U.S. cities were advertising rifles and handguns on the site, but disguising them in posts as gun cases or empty gun boxes, often accompanied by photos of the cases with gun-manufacturer logos.

The private sale of firearms is legal in the U.S., and sales across state lines are meant to be funneled through licensed gun dealers. But in reality the majority of sales are not regulated and states are very little concerned about that. The widespread demonstrations protesting police brutality and civil unrest have also been cited as a potential contribution to the growing number of illegal gun purchases in the US.