You Can Buy Guns On Instagram?

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When most people think of the photo sharing site Instagram, they picture an abundance of selfies or people boasting about their latest meal.

But if you know where to look, you can find more than just selfies — you can find firearms.

Finding guns for sale on the site is as easy as typing an assortment of hashtags into the search bar, like #guns #rifle #forsale. There you find pistols, assault rifles and more. In other words, users have morphed Instagram into an  amatuer online marketplace for firearms. And it turns out, it’s not even illegal.

As noted in a recent article by The Daily Beast, Instagram’s “terms of use” doesn’t prohibit selling firearms. The article goes on to say that, according to The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), firearms can be sold to an unlicensed person as long as they’re in the same state.

There are loopholes in gun laws that allow Instagram deals to fall through the cracks. “We are definitely concerned about the public safety implications of unregulated online gun sales,” said staff Attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Sam Hoove in an interview with The Daily Beast.

Instagram isn’t the only social media site that allows users to sell firearms. A quick search on Facebook and Twitter reveals posts like this one:

“Walther G22 .22 caliber–Comes with factory scope,laser, and hard case also comes with forgrip [sic] bipod. Bullpup design tons of fun to shoot great condition, stores 2nd mag on underside of stock. Asking $500 would prefer not to ship but can deliver within reasonable distance.”

guns bang bang
This issue is bigger than just Instagram, and some people are asking how can social networking sites regulate the sales of guns on their sites. But until the terms of use change, the sale of guns on social media sites will continue.

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