Dem pushes Instagram to stop gun sales on site

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Monday asked Instagram to stop its users from selling firearms.

“A growing number of Instagram’s users are conducting unregulated gun sales through Instagram’s widespread mobile and Internet application,” Markey wrote in a letter to the company on Monday, citing a Daily Beast report from last month.

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Markey said he is concerned that “a significant number of unlawful sales of firearms may be occurring through Instagram’s mobile and online services.”

Markey noted the ability of Instagram users to remain anonymous and find gun sales through “an array of ever-expanding search terms” such as #gunsforsale, #gunstore and #guns_of_instagram.

Instagram users can “publicize products widely without registering as a seller or otherwise disclosing his or her identity” and then conclude sales offline, Markey wrote.

As a result, some sales could violate state and federal laws, such as selling “to those under 18 years old, to out of state buyers by sellers in states that have prohibitions on interstate sales or firearms, or by sellers who are declining to conduct background checks” when required, he said.

Instagram should follow online platforms like Craigslist, eBay and Instagram’s parent company Facebook in prohibiting firearm sales, Markey said.

“We should not allow Instagram to be used as Instagun.”