RPT-U.S. gun traders rush to set up new sites after Facebook firearms ban

Wed Feb 3, 2016 6:01pm EST
 
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(Repeats with no changes)

By Dustin Volz and Julia Edwards

WASHINGTON Feb 3 (Reuters) - U.S. gun traders are setting up new websites to arrange deals after Facebook Inc barred private gun sales on its platform.

With gun rights and safety registering as a hot-button issue on the U.S. presidential campaign trail after several mass shootings last year, Facebook said on Friday it would no longer allow users to arrange private gun sales via the site.

Reaction was swift among some Facebook gun trader groups, hundreds of which are based in the United States. Some of them immediately began advertising other gun-dealing websites.

In a chat room outside Facebook on the Firearms Enthusiasts Club website, users complained their gun trading groups had been deleted from Facebook and urged others to spread the word about their site.

"I just lost Cheap Guns Minnesota which had close to 18,000 members," said a user by the name of "The Guard Dog." "So PLEASE spread the word about this site to every group in EVERY state."

The administrator of the Facebook group Central Florida Gun Talk changed its name to Central Florida on Monday and directed the group's 2,055 members to another site outside Facebook set up quickly in response to the ban.

Another Facebook user posted that the gun community had "grown dependent on Facebook" and the ban "will backfire" by forcing gun traders to unmonitored sites where users share less information about themselves.   Continued...