Mr Chipman, a former SWAT team officer, and a concealed carry permit holder, added: “I would not be surprised if they [Facebook] had no idea what is happening. Their lawyers were probably satisfied nothing illegal was occurring.”
The situation grew out of the gun-friendly state of Virginia, where it is legal for non-residents to obtain a concealed carry licence by taking a test online.
Due to reciprocity agreements with other states those licences can be obtained by people sitting at computers, or on their smartphones, in 30 other states, around 70 per cent of America.
The rules in their home state may be much more stringent. For example, thousands of people in Texas alone have obtained non-resident Virginia licences, which are then valid in their home state.
Had they sought a Texas licence they would have needed to spend four hours being trained in a classroom, and demonstrate proficiency loading and shooting on a firing range.
Travis Bond, a firearms instructor in Dallas, told local television there: “It’s not smart at all. It’s crazy in my view.”
The adverts on Facebook, thousands of them, urge users to “Jump on the LEGAL LOOPHOLE” which is “STILL IN EFFECT FOR NOW!”. They tell people to “BEAT THE BAN! before “GUN-GRABBING DEMOCRATS” change the law.