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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-mistakenly-invoke-the-constitution dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Most of the time, Facebook allows its users to hawk goods or solicit donations on Pages or Timeline postings, comparing such activity to placing a physical note on a bulletin board at a supermarket. Now it plans on regulating users who rely on this method to sell what it calls 'regulated' items, which includes firearms. 'Any time we receive a report on Facebook about a post promoting the private sale of a commonly regulated item, we will send a message to that person reminding him or her to comply with relevant laws and regulations. We will also limit access to that post to people over the age of 18,' Facebook announced as part of the new rules. The social network will also prevent users from posting any sort of items 'that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law,' which means no offers to sell firearms across state lines or without a background check. Presumably, Facebook will have filters in place that allow it to scan for such content. Facebook is a private network, of course, and not (despite its ubiquity) a public utility — meaning it can do whatever it wants with regard to Terms of Use. But that likely won't stop some people from complaining about what they perceive as the company overstepping its boundaries."
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

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  • Encryption... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by canadiannomad (1745008) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:41PM (#46413599) Homepage

    So if I were to try to promote the use of encryption in private communications, would that be "a willingness to evade or help others evade the law?"
    Nothing to hide, and all that...

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:43PM (#46413623) Homepage

    I can sell assault weapons for cash all day long in my state to private people without even getting their name. and "GASP" most of my "DANGEROUS ASSULT WEAPONS" are unregistered as well..

    Oh the horror....

    That said, the last place I would sell them is to twits on Facebook. Cripes even ebay twits are not worth dealing with. There are plenty of great private gun selling sites that have people that understand the values and have clues...

  • by loony (37622) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:02PM (#46413813)

    They are a private company and can (or should be) allowed to impose whatever rules they want... Its only the federal government that is required to adhere to the bill of rights. So until the Constitution gets amended, we can argue about how illegal background checks, waiting periods, and registration by the federal government are - but there is absolutely nothing you can say about FB doing whatever they feel is right.


  • by harrkev (623093) <<kfmsd> <at> <>> on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:05PM (#46413849) Homepage

    First, how do you even define an "assault weapon." An "assault rifle," as defined by Wikipedia [] is capable of select-fire (AKA machine gun). Those are 100% not OK to just sell, as you need a $200 federal permit, and the approval of a local law-enforcement agency.

    However, the term "assault weapon" is more fuzzy, at least according to Wikipedia [].

    What I absolutely love is how the definition (to borrow from Wikipedia again) includes:

    In discussions about firearms laws and politics in the U.S., assault weapon definitions usually include semi-automatic firearms with a detachable magazine and one or more cosmetic, ergonomic, or safety features, such as a flash suppressor, pistol grip, or barrel shroud, respectively.

    Wow. Adding a safety feature and cosmetic features changes the categories. This makes as much sense as taking a street-legal car, painting it red, adding a rear spoiler, roll bars, and suddenly it is a race car that is not legal for street use.

    Seriously, all of this talk about assault weapons gets tiresome. If somebody was shooting at me, the color of the rifle and the presence or absence of a pistol grip would be the last thing on my mind.

  • by x0ra (1249540) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:08PM (#46413867)
    And we, gun owners, are free to criticize FB to do so.
  • by harrkev (623093) <<kfmsd> <at> <>> on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:13PM (#46413907) Homepage

    I use the liberal definition. It's scary and black.

    That definition did not work out so well when applied to people. Nothing makes me think that it will work much better here.

    After a shooting, the government tries to make us safer by restricting the rights of the 99.999% of the people who did nothing wrong.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:19PM (#46413957) Journal

    However, the term "assault weapon" is more fuzzy, at least according to Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia has it right, in its own "being unbiased in the wording" way.

    "Assault Rifle" is a technical term in warfare. It first applied to a particluar select-fire rifle short enough to avoid getting hung up when popping up through the hatch of a tank to fire at surrounding infantry (or otherwise going through tight spaces), and since has been applied to others with simiilar characteristics. This trades away some accuracy for rapid fire and rapid movement.

    "Assault Weapon" is a term invented by antigunners and defined in particular laws, to confuse the population about proposed gun control laws by making them appear to be banning military design Assault Rifles when they actually ban a hodge-podge of civilian guns based on some arbitrary (and juristiction-specific) set of characteristics typically unrelated to any objective standard of danger or functionaity.

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:49PM (#46414197) Homepage Journal

    That's not necessarily true.

    I can pass a background check. I have passed a lot of them.

    I still understand how someone could like the idea of the government not having a record that they own a gun.

    BTW, that's what opposition to "Universe Background Checks" is about. It would create a backdoor registry.


  • by Bartles (1198017) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:06PM (#46414339)
    How does a database keep someone from shooting up a school?
  • by Bartles (1198017) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:09PM (#46414353)
    I think we need a federal database of everyone that has had an abortion. How would you like that?
  • by Arker (91948) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:21PM (#46414461) Homepage
    Your assumption is that any expression of distaste for a background check is an indication the buyer would not pass one. It's an errant assumption.

    No one wants to go through the background check because that creates a paper trail that any future administration could then use as a list of people that need to be rounded up. So quite naturally people are not willing to go through it in a situation where it is not legally required.

    You are required to keep a record of the transaction with the serial number. If the weapon you sold were used in a crime later, it will be traced back to you. The original retail sale is on record, that person (if not you) will then produce the name of the person he sold it to, which is either you or will lead to you via reiterating the same process. If you cannot produce the weapon or produce a receipt showing who you sold it to, then you're in trouble. But until and unless there is a criminal investigation to justify the intrusion, that information is no one's business.
  • by reboot246 (623534) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @10:59PM (#46415565) Homepage
    He's not saying that. What he's saying is that it's hypocritical for politicians (and their minions) to have armed guards, and for us peons to not have the same means to protect ourselves. Even if all guns were confiscated, criminals would still have guns. That's why they're criminals - they don't obey the law.

    I've always thought that somebody who has their own armed guards (politicians, celebrities, sports stars, etc) speaking out against firearms was hypocrisy to the extreme.

    Oh, why do nearly all of the Federal agencies have their own armed officers now? Why have they been buying millions of rounds of hollow point ammunition? Why have they been buying sniper ammunition? Why does an FDA agent need a firearm? How long before they decide that they're the only ones who have firearms. Hmmm?

    Stay in your country if you like it so much, and stay out of our discussions. You don't vote here.
  • Re:Simply put... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by x0ra (1249540) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @11:02PM (#46415579)
    I'm gonna be negatively commented out, but I disagree with that law. It has become too damn easy to create "felon" out of non-violent crime. Heck, you can become a felon over sheer copyright infringement, or because you were in the wrong place when you were 15 and got caught smoking marijuana... As a result, your constitutional right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness is made void, without any chance to redeem yourself.
  • by x0ra (1249540) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @11:08PM (#46415609)

    It doesn't. The only thing a database provide is for gun confiscation by an authoritarian state. This objective is the real objective of nowadays anti-gun movements, complete disarmament of law abiding citizens. Cf. the behavior of the RCMP in Canada during the High River flood, they used the then-illegal former long gun registry to invade homes an cease guns. They are doing the same now with the recent prohibition of the Swiss Arm Classic Green, and the CZ-859.

    It was also rather fun in the intro scene of the original Red Dawn to see the invading force get all the 4473 form to cease gun from citizens.

  • Re:Simply put... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @12:18AM (#46415959)

    Did you REALLY just cite Venezuela as some kind of utopia brought about by gun laws?

    That's a special kind of stupid you got going there.

  • Re:Simply put... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by x0ra (1249540) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @12:44AM (#46416085)
    What we called today the "Wild West" was probably more civilized than some poor metropolitan area today... As for the gun ban argument, have a look to Australia and UK, whose rate of violent crime has never been so high, while they have utter strict gun law.
  • by QuantumPion (805098) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @09:23AM (#46418065)

    We should have laws for things that are inherently wrong, like murder. Owning a gun is not inherently wrong, and therefore should not be prohibited since the attempt to do to won't prevent criminals from getting guns illegally anyway.

  • Re:Simply put... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ai4px (1244212) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @09:27AM (#46418093)
    Shockingly, recently release stats say that by the age of 25, 40% of men will have been arrested. Could it have anything to do with us continuing to pass more and more laws which in turn make ordinary citizens into criminals? Naww....

    There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @10:29AM (#46418545)

    No - laws should punish things that are actually wrong. Theft, rape, murder, etc. Anything that it is claimed simply facilitates the breaking of another law without causing direct harm itself should not be illegal.

    In the terms of this site - the DMCA is wrong, because (as is obvious) the pirates are gonna pirate stuff regardless. The law only prevents legitimate uses.
    Banning guns or complicating the process is wrong, because murderers are going to get guns and kill people anyways.

    Put simply, laws do not PREVENT crime. Never have, never will. All they do is define what crime is, so that we can identify those that have done society wrong and punish them accordingly.

I wish you humans would leave me alone.