Facebook said that it is banning the private sale of guns through its social network and the company's photo-sharing service Instagram.
The move aims to address concerns that Facebook and Instagram were being used to bypass the necessary background checks in buying and selling guns.
Facebook's move updated the social network's regulated goods policy. It was introduced in March 2014, banning users from purchasing pharmaceuticals, marijuana and all forms of illegal drugs.
Previously, the policy treated the sales of guns similarly to how it handled tobacco, alcohol and other products for adults. Users selling guns would be receiving a message that reminded them to follow all rules and regulations, and access to posts that contained advertisements for guns were limited to users that were over 18 years old.
An educational message was also shown to users who attempted to search for firearms for sale on Facebook or Instagram, and advertisements for gun sales were not allowed to be boosted.
The new policy, however, completely eliminates peer-to-peer sales for firearms, and if the social network sees any posts that would be in violation of this policy, the posts will be reviewed and then removed if necessary.
The United States continues to debate the issue of gun control as mass shootings break out in the country. President Barack Obama has been urging social media networks to enforce more control on guns being sold through their respective platforms.
Facebook's ban on gun sales was applauded by gun control advocates, as the move will help in cracking down on transactions, which could be in violation of the regulations.
"Today's announcement is another positive step toward our shared goal of stopping illegal online gun sales once and for all," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who also noted that he appreciated the willingness of Facebook in working with his office for the previous two years on the issue.
"Moms are grateful for the leadership shown by Facebook today," said Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts, adding that the advocacy group's continued relationship with the social network has led to its stronger stance on gun control that could help prevent firearms falling into the hands of dangerous people, leading to save lives.
Earlier in the month, the Obama administration revealed a plan to keep guns away from mentally ill people to strengthen gun control.