'Gun for sale' popping up on Instagram pages

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As the gun debate continues across the country, we've found a new way people are selling guns in our area.

Instagram is a social media site, tailored to younger crowds and some fear required background checks may be overlooked.  Selling guns online is legal. It happens all the time.

"I've purchased firearms via the Internet by sending guns to dealer who conducted a background check," said Paul Valone, a gun rights expert.

Valone has taught classes about local, state, and federal laws for years. He's noticed this new trend.  And says selling guns on sites like Instagram is the same thing as selling them in a local newspaper.

"There's nothing more nefarious about selling firearms on the Internet than any other product," he said.

Some say there is a concern about using social sites like Instagram to sell guns. We checked out local Instagram pages and found some users selling several guns. Many times, they are negotiating the sale on their public page.

Instagram user Misty Vess says she recently got hooked on the social media site, and is worried that selling guns on the site prevents important background checks.

Valone agrees that background checks are a must. He says while buying and selling guns on Instagram is legal, shipping a gun is where you have to be extra careful.

"It's illegal for an individual to send a gun to another individual. It's illegal to transfer handguns between states," he says.

Valone says the if you sell a gun on Instagram you have to do it through a licensed firearms dealer to keep everything legal.

We reached out to North Carolina State Attorney General Roy Cooper for his take on the issue. His office sent us a statement saying it doesn't matter on what site the guns are sold, as long as it's done legally.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.