The report said 16 states and the District of Columbia require background checks for private firearm purchases.
Federal law prohibits gun sales to anyone under indictment or convicted of a crime punishable by a year in prison, fugitives, drug addicts, those who are adjudicated mentally defective, immigrants in the U.S. illegally, anyone dishonorably discharged from the military, anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or subject to a court order of protection after being judged at a hearing to be a physical threat to a partner or child. The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System lists people prohibited from buying guns.
Tom King, president of the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association, acknowledged that Facebook is allowed to set its own rules, but he looks at the new restrictions "as a kind of limit on our First Amendment rights." Although his group doesn't sell guns, he questioned whether they could be blocked if somebody reports the Rifle & Pistol Association's Facebook page anyway.
"This is something that could greatly get out of control very quickly," King said.