Not just for letting people know what you're eating! Illegal arms dealers, forced out of Craigslist, have turned to the social photography app to market their wares. And according to a new report from The Daily Beast, it's largely legal.
It's a federal crime to sell firearms to people prohibited from owning them, and to buy from a federal firearms dealer on behalf of someone else. But that's it. Person-to-person transactions, online or otherwise, aren't regulated on a federal level, and although background checks are encouraged before a sale is finalized, mandatory checks aren't the law of the land. Most gun laws are left up to the states, leaving plenty to slip under the radar and onto the internet.
The Daily Beast's Brian Ries describes one gun-sale post on everyone's favorite photo app:
LWRC 10’ SBR FOR SALE!!! Come get it! Includes AAC suppressor tip, ergo grip, 3 magpul pmags, 2 40 round mags, bungee sling, and about 500 rounds of .556. Message me if interested.
Negotiations begin in the photo's comments and from there move to more private media.
Instagram's user guidelines, which advise users not to "share photos or videos of illegal content" or "promote or glorify self-harm," don't mention guns at all. Unlike Craigslist, which bans weapons, Instagram isn't a commerce site and doesn't have rules about buying or selling... anything.
Hopefully soon the federal government will pass more gun-safety laws. In the meantime, maybe Instagram can consider adding some more guidelines.
[image via AP]