Facebook and Instagram are cracking down. The world's largest social network, and it's photo sharing site, plan to make a major change to their policies. They plan to block certain gun sale posts.
Currently it is legal to post a photo of a gun, and sell it as a private gun owner, without conducting a background check. It's legal if you follow all state and federal laws. The two social media sites don't believe that's enough. With this change, if you post it, they'll police it.
"The internet is the crime scene of the 21st century," that's what the New York State Attorney General says, in light of the announcement. The world's largest social network, Facebook, and it's photo sharing site Instagram, are making waves with their announcement.
The sites will delete posts that offer to buy or sell guns without back ground checks, and bar minors from viewing gun offers posted by individuals or groups. "As long as you're not threatening someone, intimidating someone, or stalking, people are allowed to post and speak however they want on Facebook. Where you start breaking the law is when you sell that weapon illegally," says Vanderburgh County's Chief Deputy Sheriff David Wedding.
Wedding says it's not illegal to post a picture of a gun and sell it to another person, if all state and federal laws are followed. Wedding says it's up to you to know those laws. "When they go to sell it, they need to make sure they are doing to the right thing and follow the law," says Wedding.
Wedding believes the real internet policing starts at home. "I think the root of the problem is parents. They should be watching their children all the time on Facebook, know what they are doing, and who they are talking to," says Wedding.
"Its better to do it in a store, not only Bucks and Jake's, but any fire arm store in the Tristate and Evansville. You know you followed the law to the letter." At this gun store, Mike Koonce, says their steps are the legal steps. "If you want to purchase a firearm, we fill out a federal form called 4473."
Buying online, paper work can be an option, buying from the professionals it's not. They cant say if posting a gun sale on social media is right or wrong, but at Bucks and Jake's Outfitters they agree, the legal way is the only way. "If it's done legally, conforming to all federal, state, and legal laws, I don't' have a problem with it."
Evansville and Henderson police departments say this national trend that has not become a problem in the Tristate as of now