There are a ton of gun control laws on the books, but there are also a lot of policies about guns among private enterprises.
A prime example of that is how Meta, back when it was just Facebook, instituted a policy that forbids gun sales on its networks. That includes both Facebook and Instagram.
I’ve sold guns on Facebook, back when we could. While I regret it, it’s just because I still wish I had the firearms themselves.
For a New Mexico man, though, not only were the policies insufficient to stop him, even gun laws weren’t enough.
A traffic stop in El Paso helped lead to the arrest of a New Mexico man accused of illegally selling guns on Instagram during a five-month investigation by federal law enforcement agents, authorities said.
Marquez Martinez, 25, of Albuquerque, was arrested May 11 on one count each of dealing in firearms without a license and illegal possession of a machine gun, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico officials said.
Martinez is accused of illegally selling guns between January and May on an Instagram social media account.
The investigation into Martinez began Jan. 9 after a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,Firearms, and Explosives agent found posts on Instagram advertising the sale of firearms and posting about “firearms that had been previously sold with a ‘glitch,’” a federal complaint affidavit states.
A “glitch” is a slang term used for a Glock switch, which is a machine gun conversion device that can be mounted to the back of a handgun. Once mounted, the device allows the handgun to operate as a fully automatic weapon, officials said.
It should also be noted that New Mexico, where Martinez is from, is a universal background check state. It doesn’t look like he conducted any background checks at all for his allegedly illegal arms sales.
Yes, yes, I know, criminals don’t do background checks. However, some seem to think universal background checks will somehow curtail the illicit gun trade.
In this instance, though, neither federal laws, state universal background check laws, nor Meta’s policies did squat to stop Martinez from allegedly selling guns illegally.
And let’s be honest, he wasn’t even doing it intelligently. He was putting his business out in the public where literally anyone could see it. Despite that, it still took several months to make an arrest, which tells you an awful lot about law enforcement, apparently.
At the end of the day, Martinez allegedly broke all the rules meant to stop him from doing what he did. They were meaningless to him, which is par for the course for those who wish to break the law.
Laws that only restrain the law-abiding are anathema to individual freedom, particularly when it also runs afoul of the Constitution itself. What Martinez is accused of doing shows that for those so inclined, the law isn’t a deterrent to criminal activity.
And let’s face it, this isn’t someone who was a master criminal, either. Those guys don’t sell their illicit goods on Instagram.