Deadly guns and flamethrowers sold on Facebook and Instagram – despite Meta ban

Guns, ammo and weapon parts can be bought on Facebook and Instagram despite a ban on sales by Meta, new research claims.

Since 2016, selling weapons, ammo or explosives on the social media platforms has been banned. This includes 3D-printed parts which can be used by people to assemble their own guns.

However, according to the watchdog Media Matters for America, users can buy everything they need to build high-powered automatic weapons in a matter of clicks.

This includes all the parts needed to build an AR-15, the deadly rifle capable of firing 150 rounds every 15 seconds that has been used by numerous school shooters in America. It even includes listings for flamethrowers.

Media Matters says it found 'dozens' of listings on both Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping., including 'raffles' with assault weapons as 'grand prizes'. It was also possible to buy full magazines of ammo and even deadly 'armor-piercing' rounds.

Camden Carter and Spencer Silva of Media Matters said: "While Meta prohibits the sale of firearms, gun parts, ammo, or other potentially dangerous products on its platforms, the company is failing to prevent users from buying or selling nearly every part needed to build an AR-15 on Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping."

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Responding to the claims, a Meta spokesperson told The Guardian that "any sale of guns or gun parts is a clear violation of our commerce policies."

Ashley Settle said: "We take action if we detect—or are made aware of—anyone attempting to circumvent this policy, including by banning the seller from our platforms and applying penalties to their account."

Meta has been approached for further comment and this article will be updated with any statement it provides.

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