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Facebook Introduces Measure To Ban Private Firearm Sales On The Site

Facebook has officially take a side in the gun control debate.

On Friday, the social media network unveiled a policy designed to limit private firearm sales and trades on the site. The new measure, which targets person-to-person transactions but not those facilitated by licensed sellers, will also apply to Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012.

Monika Bickert, the head of product policy at Facebook, explained,

Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another. We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.

According to TIME, the new policy will prohibit individual users from advertising the sale of unlicensed firearms, a practice that has become increasingly common over the past several years (in fact, The New York Times reports the network is one of the world's largest marketplaces for illicit firearm sales).

In addition to unlicensed weapons, the social network's new policy prohibits the sale and trade of gun parts and ammunition. Similar measures, like banning the sale of illicit substances like drugs and prescription pills, are already in place.

Citations: Facebook Says It Will Ban Gun Sales Between Users (TIME), Facebook Says It Will Ban Users from Selling Guns (Cosmopolitan), Facebook bans private gun sales (USA Today)