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Should Facebook Allow Businesses To Give Away Guns?

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Should Facebook Allow Businesses To Give Away Guns?
[ Social Media]

Pennsylvania gun store Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms was running a giveaway for an AR-15 on Facebook, when the social network shut it down without warning.

Should gun sellers be able to run promotions for guns on Facebook? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Few things are causing more arguments these days than guns, and major Internet companies have made it more difficult for gun sellers than for most types of businesses to get their products in customers’ hands. Facebook is no exception.

In this case, Facebook shut down the store’s entire page, though as pictured above, the store has another one that is currently running. That one, however, is focused on survival courses.

According to The Blaze, the contest had been running for a couple months before Facebook shut down the page, along with another page the store had tried to replace it with. The Blaze interviewed the store’s Erik Lowry:

“I still don’t know what’s going on,” Lowry told The Blaze in a phone interview.

Lowry said three days ago he awoke to calls and emails from fans asking where his Facebook page had gone. Lowry used the page to keep Pittsburgh Tactical Firearm’s more than 27,000 followers updated on store and stock information and Second Amendment news.

Lowry has reportedly been sending Facebook message after message without response, though Voativ recently ran an article about gun giveaways on the social network, which shared a statement from a company spokesperson, saying, “Our Ad Guidelines prohibit promotion of the sale of weapons and the Ad Guidelines apply to pages with commercial content on them. Ads may not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.”

Lowry thinks the article is what led Facebook to take notice.

In an update, Vocativ shared another quote from Facebook: “Facebook strives to create a safe and trusted environment for everyone that uses our service.”

Facebook’s guidelines in this area haven’t always been the same. In fact, an update in 2011 lifted blanket prohibition of promotions (including give-aways) for tobacco, dairy, gambling, prescription drugs, gasoline, and yes, firearms, as reported by InsideFacebook.

As Josh Constine wrote in that article, “This does not make these kinds of promotions or sweepstakes legal — it merely means Facebook will differ to local laws rather than enforce its own.”

And in some places, such giveaways are legal.

Somewhere along the way, Facebook began taking a different approach. Facebook’s Ad Guidelines can be found here. The relevant section simply states, “Ads may not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.” The Pages Guidelines also clearly say, “Ads and commercial content (including Page post content) are subject to the Advertising Guidelines.”

Facebook is far from the only Internet company to have gun-related restrictions in its terms. Earlier this year, for example, Groupon decided to pull all gun-related deals. This caused a significant amount of controversy.

Michael Cargill, a gun rights activist, concealed handgun instructor, and owner of Central Texas Gun Works, called for a nationwide boycott of Groupon, saying his contract with the company had been “abruptly terminated”, after then Groupon CEO Andrew Mason “decided the company would no longer associate with any business related to firearms,” according to shooting sports news site Ammoland.

Last year, Google stirred up some similar controversy when it removed guns from shopping results. Additionally, Google has strict terms prohibiting guns and gun-related products in AdWords.

Are these companies making the right call when it comes to guns? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Should Facebook Allow Businesses To Give Away Guns?
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  • http://www.linkagoal.com jason lee

    Why has it become such a huge issue if a persons doing business on Facebook. he’s not directly harming anyone and neither is he illegally using Facebook… i just don’t get it

  • Giles

    I’m just glad that I live in Australia where assault rifles and even semi automatic rifles are banned. We can still purchase hunting rifles as long as we have a license, suitable background checks and a gun safe LOCKED and BOLTED to the floor to reduce gun theft. These are routinely checked by the local friendly police who respect responsible gun owners. Death by gun is 30 times higher in the USA than in Australia. Sure we have our fair share of crime, but most people are sane enough here to trust the gov’t, trust that our military is capable if needed for defense only, and not want equipment designed to kill people en mass freely available at all. The murder rate in Aust is 1.0 per 100,000 versus 4.8 per 100,000 in the USA. The USA murder rate is worse than many third world countries (even those with active civil unrest and serious tribal & ethnic clashes). There is something seriously wrong in the US when you look at the murder rate by country statistics on Wikipedia.

    We have a large number of guns in the community, but they are genuine farmers, hunters and club members. They don’t need assault rifles, big clips, hand guns and paranoia (though some think they do). Believe it or not, with fewer guns out there and an understanding that guns don’t solve problems, the world is a better place.

    Anyway, reap what you sow.

    • Pizzaman7

      America is the land of the free. I have my gun at my side almost everywhere I go. I just went to see Ironman 3 with it. If some lunatic would of tried something I would of been prepared and had a much better chance of survival than most and I could of protected those around me. I would rather pull out a gun to protect myself than try and call 911 in a stressful situation and wait minutes for help….if you can even make that call.

      Australia is becoming a victim of worsening crime and you even alluded to it. The statistics are clear. Gun control areas have higher crime. Evil exists in the world. Chicago is a perfect example. They try their best to take away people’s constitutional rights and one of the worst crime statistics in the country. Criminal activity flourishes in gun free zones because they know that they have plenty of time before anyone can come out to stop them.

      Trust the police and the government ! What a crock. Police have guns to protect themselves. You get some bad officials in government and they will lord over you and you have no way to defend yourselves. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao are prefect examples of government disarming their people. Millions of deaths usually ensue.

      No thank you. I have a right to protect myself. I am a responsible adult. Government officials make a lot of bad decisions. Our founding fathers knew that if citizens have access to guns they have a way to defend themselves and rise against a tyrannical government.

      There are 23 million people in Australia versus 315 million here. Hard comparison to make. We have gangs here and other issues but those are societal not because people have guns. When I buy a gun I have federal and state forms to fill out even if I buy off the internet and I have to do so for every gun I buy. I can’t be a felon nor can I have mental illness issues. There is a tremendous amount of mis-information perpetrated by the gun grabbers that want full bans. We have a lot of laws here for gun ownership. All law enforcement has to do is enforce what they already have.

      Guns are equalizers. Bad things happen if one side has them and you don’t.

      • Pizzaman7

        Oh yah I forgot to mention my guns are in safes too. I have one with a finger print scanner. They are loaded and ready to go and I can get them out and be ready in seconds. Most gun owners use safes to keep the guns locked up…you would hate to have your own gun being used against you.

        All of this is preparation to be ready if something goes wrong.

        Being over-prepared is better than not being prepared.

  • http://www.imensosoftware.com/ Software Development Company

    No, Completely Not.

  • John Bligh

    I’m amazed that Facebook’s decision is even being questioned in this respect. Facebook’s success is built on an international community, a large proportion of which comprises young people. Most of us have firearm laws which are far stricter than any in the US. We don’t want our young people growing up in a cyber community that even entertains anything that even approximates easy accessibility of firearms of any type. Facebook has acted responsibly and I can’t even begin to understand how this is being interpreted as censorship.

  • http://www.opace.co.uk Adam

    In my personal opinion, as long as it isn’t breaking the law within the state or country then it shouldn’t be an issue.

    As long as the people receiving the weapons qualify when it comes to whether or not they are eligible, i don’t see an issue. It’s the wording I guess that makes people think it’s bad. It makes it seem like they are handing guns out to anyone and everyone.

    This is a bad move by Facebook.

  • Marvin Permetner

    Guns are the tool not the problem. This is the same company that would welcome the Harvard crowd defending people like the Boston Bombers with the cry of excessive force, but deny the fact that violent crime has went down in every state as they have enacted a permit to carry law.

  • DR

    So if we can decide what ‘businesses’ we will and will not promote, would it be permissible to disallow advertisements from companies owned and operated by minorities?

  • Shannon McRee

    No matter your feelings on the subject of guns or the Second Amendment, it has expanded now to the First Amendment also. Don’t miss the “Freedom of Speech” issue raised by removal of this Facebook page arbitrarily because it dealt with a subject the “powers that be” at Facebook don’t like. Nameless, faceless, minions who disagree with this page and decided to remove it because it wasn’t something they “felt good” about may well decide to censor anything else that they arbitrarily “feel” that they don’t like. Even those of you who don’t mind losing their Second Amendment rights may not be so happy when your First Amendment rights are taken next.
    I’m personally unwilling to lose any of my ordained freedom and will fight to the death for both mine and yours. If your rights mean nothing to you, go ahead and book your reservation at the concentration camp now.

  • Larry Andersen

    Guns Save Lives!!! Yes you must allow that. This is something every family should own. The worst feeling in the world , would be a armed robber at your front door. Think officer Mike will save you, Think Again…Facebook promotes tons of tools, this is just a tool…

  • http://mycheap-acoustic-guitars.com robert dollar

    Just another instance of a large company caving to the progressives. Gun control, just like the Affordable Care disaster, has nothing to do with safety. It, as everything else the left tries to cram down our throats, is about CONTROL! Control of the ill educated, unwashed masses who absolutely terrify the elitist know-it-alls, who know that the agenda they are pushing on America will only end in disaster.

  • Richard Goodson

    I don’t see anything wrong with the web content about gun ads as long as they are legal. Therefore I no longer veiw sites, facebook or other sites, that close their websites,or ban users just because they agree with “insein Obama and his gun grabing constituents.I condider myself a law abiding citizen born and raised in our fast fading ‘united” States. I served twice in the military,to preserve our
    constitution.therefore I vehemently disagree with anyone that tries to take them away,or who agrees with the ones that condones the ones that are working to take them away!

  • Gee Are

    NO! This is absurd. There are more than enough guns on our cities streets. Many of these free guns will end up in criminal hands.

  • Phil

    ALLOW FIREARM GIVE AWAY. STOP TAKING OUR FREEDOMS AWAY.

  • Phil

    Absolutely. Facebook should be proud to defend our constitutional rights.

  • http://Yahoo.com Alan

    yes I think they should be able to win the gun if the person can legally own one. Keep the politics out of it. You should not take the rights away from one and not the other.

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