Residents react to Facebook's new policy that targets illegal gu - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Residents react to Facebook's new policy that targets illegal gun sale posts

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

There's a Facebook policy change that's causing a stir. Over the next few weeks, the social media giant will delete and even limit certain gun-related posts.

The company says it will scrutinize posts that involve illegal gun sales, the sale of guns without a background check and will also enact restrictions to prevent young users from seeing gun-related posts.

Local residents have shared a mix of opinions and many online have accused Facebook of targeting gun owners and supporters.

"We knew that some of the ‘pro-control' groups were really pushing Facebook and we assumed that Facebook would come out with something," explained Gun Rights Across America Alabama Representative Stephen Burton.

He says he saw this coming.

The changes mean Facebook will take down posts of guns for sale that would not require a background check or would cross state lines. New efforts will also limit who can see certain posts.

"Making it to where people have to be 18 and over to see these posts where guns might be sold," added Burton.

Immediately following the announcement the Internet lit up with chatter about the new rules. One online petition, ‘Keep Facebook fair and its rules content-neutral!', accuses the social media website of targeting gun enthusiasts. It gained hundreds of signatures after the announcement.

Meanwhile another online petition ‘Prohibit gun sales on Facebook & Instagram immediately' started by the gun control group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, also received online support with hundreds of folks who applauded Facebook's move.

But Burton doesn't think the changes are a big deal.

"We think that people should follow laws, local and federal laws. That's never a bad thing to remind people what those laws are," he said.

Scott McIntosh with Hoover Tactical Firearms is also on board. He says the illegal sale of firearms on websites like Facebook is a known problem.

"People are getting guns without background checks. So guns are falling into the wrong hands. I'm not surprised Facebook is doing that. Actually it's a good thing," McIntosh added.

Facebook published a statement online that explained the changes will apply to the sale of commonly regulated items as well like alcohol and will also affect posts on Instagram.

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