The gun market is booming on Instagram.
The popular photo-posting app – bought last year by Facebook for $1 billion – has become the go-to place for folks looking to buy and sell firearms on the Internet, boasting a web of private owners and professional dealers with shotguns, handguns and assault rifles for sale on the open market, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
Instagram is not an e-commerce site, and has no stated policy barring firearm sales.
Users of the app can readily find “a chrome-plated antique Colt, a custom MK12-inspired AR-15. tricked out with `all best of the best parts possible,` and an HK416D .22LR rifle’’ by combing search words and hashtags, like #rifle, #ar15 or #forsalegun, the report noted.
“LWRC 10’ SBR FOR SALE!!! Come get it!” reads one recently-posted Instagram ad. “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.”
Potential deals are openly discussed in the Instagram comments section.
“Great setup,” a presumably interested user responds.
“Asking $3,000 for everything,” the seller writes back. “I’m really trying to get a package deal. Don’t need want to part it all out.”
Transactions then move from the public comments arena to private conversations via email and phone.
And the deals aren’t illegal.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has no authority on gun sales between private parties, and different states have different rules when it comes to buying firearms.
“There is no federal law prohibiting sales of firearms over the internet,” a Dept. of Justice spokeswoman told The Daily Beast.