Several online marketplaces began heavily policing merchants after last year’s shootings in Connecticut. Amazon is one of the e-tailers that suspends accounts of users who violate weapons guidelines. Facebook has started enforcing their own guidelines, which has affected gun sellers.

Facebook guidelines state that the promotion of weapons, ammunition, or explosives is not permitted. Recently a gun seller’s Facebook page was deactivated, one that had been established for a significant amount of time and had accrued almost 30,000 fans. Although social media sites and online marketplaces have their own regulations that address firearm transactions, there are still ways for enthusiasts to buy firearms online. Facebook is notorious for amending its privacy guidelines without informing users, and updates about their ad guidelines are similarly handled. Since 2011, Facebook removed restrictions for gun promotions and instead relies on local laws based on where the gun seller and buyer are located. When ad guidelines change, users typically only find out once their page is deactivated, and the reactivation process is often frustrating and lengthy.

If your business relies on individuals buying firearms online, take time to review user, ad and promotion guidelines provided by each site that you use. Consider having your content reviewed by an attorney to ensure your online content meets site regulations as well as federal, state, and local laws. Buying, selling and transferring firearms requires proper documentation, without the appropriate paperwork both the seller and the buyer could be exposing themselves to criminal implications. Using a gun trust to own weapons helps reduce legal liabilities. If you are considering using a gun trust to buy firearms online, compare gun trusts here.