Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) on Monday asked popular photo sharing service Instagram to forbid individuals from using the social media platform to sell firearms.
“I write to ask that Instagram prohibit the use of its service to enable sales of firearms, consistent with policies adopted by online marketplace entities such as Craigslist and eBay,” Markey wrote in a letter to Instagram’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Systrom.
“I am concerned that such sales may circumvent or violate various state and federal laws and that, as a result, a significant number of unlawful sales of firearms may be occurring through Instagram’s mobile and online services,” the Democratic senator added.
Markey was writing Systrom in reference to an October article appearing in The Daily Beast which revealed the practice of using the photo sharing service to sell firearms.
“Instagram isn’t just for showing off your fabulous life anymore,” the article said. “Some photo-sharers are using the site to privately sell guns.”
Critics say this is dangerous because an individual does not have to register with the website as a seller in order to post a listing.
“Firearms sales that are initiated via Instagram’s technology enables a seller to publicize products widely without registering as a seller or otherwise disclosing his or her identity,” Markey said in his letter. “As a result, it is possible that some could be occurring to those under eighteen years old, to out of state buyers by sellers in states that have prohibitions on interstate sales of firearms, or by sellers who are declining to conduct background checks — despite residing in states where such background checks are required.”
Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday from TheBlaze.
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