Purchasing a Firearm Online
There are certain steps that must be taken when purchasing a firearm online, but thanks to member created Facebook Groups, people can get around those steps now.
Facebook members are creating groups for other Facebook members in their local area to join so that people that live in that area can buy, sell, and trade items ranging from vehicles, electronics, clothes, ect.. online. To read more about that, please see my article “Will Facebook Replace eBay?”
Selling Or Trading Firearms
I am a member of a few of these groups and constantly see other members selling or trading firearms. There is no mention of background checks. I even messaged a few sellers and asked if I needed to provide a background check just to see what I was told, and was told “I’m weren’t worried about it” every time.
I messaged an admin of one of these groups and asked them if buying and selling guns on Facebook was legal to see what kind of response I would get. I was told: “Yes, As long as its in your state. They don’t like it when ya sell out of state.”
I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but to the contrary, there are certain laws that need to be followed when purchasing a gun online:
1. Before purchasing a gun online, be sure to do your research on gun laws in your specific state. This is especially important since different states have different rules of what types of gun you can own.
2. Online gun dealers will run a background check on you when you try to order a gun. It’s the same background check a store would run if you tried to purchase a gun through them.
3. When you order the gun, it will have to be shipped to an approved local gun shop, where you can pick up the gun. This is to be sure it’s you that gets the gun, and nothing else goes wrong.
4. Be sure to bring proper ID with you when you go to pick up the gun to prove your identification.
No Easy Way
I tried to contact Facebook to ask them if this is something they allow, but there is no easy way to do that. I did post the question on their community page and it mysteriously disappeared.
I would be afraid to be an administrator of one of these groups on Facebook and allow this. What happens when someone uses one of these guns that they obtained from a Facebook group to murder someone? Will Facebook or the person(s) running this group on Facebook be held liable?
This article isn’t to discuss if and how our gun laws need to change, it is to point out and make the public aware that the laws that are in place now aren’t working. There are easy workarounds. Facebook is just one of the sources that people can use to circumvent a background check.