If Facebook were serious about private gun sales safety, they never would have taken away the safest place it could possibly be done.
Until firearms friendly Alternative Social Networks were created because of it, like our very own Meanwhile In Montana Marketplace and Montana Gun Trader, Facebook was by far the safest place to buy and sell firearms privately online in Montana and around the country. At least until they blocked gun trader groups. To some extent I guess we can thank them for motivating us to build our own sites.
Why was Facebook the safest place for private gun owners to buy and sell guns online?
Profiling Buyers and Sellers and Identity
Using Facebook, people could check people out without ever meeting them in person first. You could check out their pictures for identity purposes, timelines for content to see whether you even want to deal with them before meeting in a parking lot, see their friends, pages they follow, etc. Sometimes simply looking at someones timeline might help you decide whether you even want to inquire about the gun. If part of a group, other members can even give a personal referral. If you were an active member of a group, you could see their activities.
Free In-State Criminal Background Check
If a person were to pass your personal profile check first and now you know what they look like, before even contacting them you could check the Montana Correctional Offender Network to find out of they have a felony record in Montana. On Facebook or not, this has helped me personally from selling guns to felons on two occasions over the years.
It is only legal to sell a gun privately to another citizen of Montana. You can see their location and then simply verify it when you meet them by checking their drivers license.
What other factors do you believe made Facebook the safest place online to buy and sell guns privately?