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Facebook, Instagram Crack Down on Gun Sales

The sites made policy changes after pressure from a gun-control group.

By Jason Claffey

Facebook and Instagram will institute new policies to prevent potentially illegal gun sales after pressure from a mothers' group.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America lobbied the social networking sites for months, arguing the platforms make it easy for people to buy or sell guns—in some cases without a background check.

The sites have agreed to delete reported posts that offer to buy or sell guns without a background check. They will also block users under the age of 18 from viewing reported private gun sales posts from individual sellers or other pages used primarily for private gun offers.

"We are happy that these companies listened to American mothers and we believe these changes are a major step toward making sure people who buy or sell guns on their platforms know the law, and follow it," said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts in a statement.

This is the second time in recent months the group has lobbied for high-profile gun control measures. The group last year demanded that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz ban guns from his stores. In September, Schultz wrote an open letter asking patrons to not bring in guns.

Moms Demand Action is also demanding that Staples no longer allow customers to carry guns in stores.

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