Instagram Gun Deals

Instagram Gun Deals

Firearms enthusiasts like shooting snapshots of their guns almost as much as shooting the guns themselves. And a cell phone photo is worth a thousand tweets … and a thousand bucks to an illegal gun dealer. Brian Ries explains:

“Users of Instagram, which has no explicit policy prohibiting the sale of firearms, can easily find a chrome-plated antique Colt, a custom MK12-inspired AR-15 tricked-out with ‘all best of the best parts possible,’ and an HK416D .22LR rifle by simply combining terms like #rifle or #ar15 with #forsale. These are handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, and everything in between being sold in an open, pseudo-anonymous online marketplace. With no federal law banning online sales and differing, loophole-ridden state laws, many gun control advocates are concerned about the public safety consequences of this unregulated market.”

“In August, a Brooklyn rapper who bragged about selling guns on Instagram and YouTube, where he posted photos of firearms and bags full of cash, led authorities to the largest gun bust in New York City history, netting the NYPD 254 firearms—and 19 indictments. ‘It’s both horrifying and comical,’ Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said of the scheme. ‘They had no concept of the violence and mayhem they were causing. It was all about money.’ Mayor Bloomberg added, ‘Weak gun laws at the federal and state level have a direct and growing impact on the safety of people in our city.'”

— “People Are Using Instagram to Sell Their Guns…and It’s Mostly Legal,” Brian Ries, Daily Beast


“Instagram being used to buy and sell guns without background checks,” Ginger Otis, New York Daily News

“You don’t need the Deep Web to buy guns online,” Miles Klee, The Daily Dot


“Facebook Makes Big Bet by Acquiring Instagram,” Dan Lyon, Daily Beast


“Markey Calls On Instagram To Ban Users From Selling Firearms,” Caitlin MacNeal, TPM Livewire


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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