North Texas Daily

Denton Facebook group unfazed by new gun policy

Denton Facebook group unfazed by new gun policy

February 09
22:03 2016

Tiffany Ditto | Staff Writer

@TiffanyDitto

A private Facebook group from Denton set up to buy, sell and trade firearms is defying the social media company’s wishes – and President Barack Obama’s.

The Denton Area Firearms Group is among the many targeted by Facebook’s new policy to ban private groups devoted to selling firearms. Facebook made the announcement in late January following Obama’s executive order to reduce gun violence across the nation.

Bruce Dareing made the private group and has a license to sell firearms. His page violates Facebook’s policy because many members who use the page as a medium to sell guns are not licensed. Still Dareing remains confident his page is exempt from these new terms simply because he is licensed.

“[Facebook’s] new policy only affects unlicensed individuals, and I’m licensed,” Dareing said. “My federal firearms license is a type seven, which means I am a manufacturer. I make and sell them.”

Facebook is relying on users to report pages that are breaking their new policy, at which point they will review the pages. Facebook has ensured that legitimate gun selling businesses will not have their pages taken down, but are focusing on prohibiting individuals from using the site to sell to other individuals. This also expands to the private messaging feature of the site. Facebook, however, is contending that they will not read private messages.

Dareing said that if Facebook does take down the group’s page, the group will still buy, sell and trade as a community.

Members can post weapons they would like to sell on the page and then be contacted by others who would like to buy. While a background check is not required for person-to-person gun sales in Texas, Dareing offers to run background checks on any members wary about who they are selling to.

“Any sale I’m involved in I do a background check because of the terms of my license,” Dareing said. “If [members] are unsure, I can run a background check on the person for them.”

Dareing moved to Denton about year ago. He currently owns and operates Dareing Arms, located at 93 Love Trail in Valley View, Texas. Dareing said the operation of the Facebook page is similar to that of Craigslist.

“It’s a minor concern but there’s really nothing I can do about it,” Dareing said. “In the state of Texas it’s perfectly legal to sell person-to-person without a background check. It’s the selling of property.”

Obama’s executive action, detailed here, aims to expand upon the legislature’s definitions. They say that the courts point to several factors that determine which side of the line one’s activities fall. These include: “whether you represent yourself as a dealer in firearms; whether you are repetitively buying and selling firearms; the circumstances under which you are selling firearms; and whether you are looking to make a profit.”

Dissenters argue Obama’s plan does little to deter gun sales because of the way these terms have been defined. National Rifle Association spokesperson Lars Dalseide said person-to-person gun sales are not affected by Obama’s executive action because these sales are not a business. They are occasional or one-time transactions.

“The president’s examples don’t actually pertain to what the law really is, so what we were getting is more political rhetoric,” National Rifle Association spokesperson Lars Dalseide said.

The legislature has defined “engaged in business” as a “person who devotes time, attention, and labor in dealing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principle objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.” The legislature also explicitly states that this “term does not include a person who makes occasional sales.”

Dareing said he doesn’t know how many guns the page has helped sell.

“I wouldn’t know if it was one or 100,” he said.

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