- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2013

The Facebook fan page for Pittsburgh Tactical Firearm, the owner of which has been running a giveaway contest for an AR-15, has been inexplicably closed — along with a second page that the owner started as a replacement for the first.

“I still don’t know what’s going on,” gun shop owner Erik Lowry said in The Blaze. He noticed the page was shut three days ago after hundreds of the page’s 27,000 followers called and emailed to ask what had happened. He tried to put up a replacement page, but that one was shut down, too, he said, in The Blaze. Mr. Lowry said he’s since asked Facebook officials for an explanation — at least 100 times — but to no avail, The Blaze reported.

He’s left to guess what’s going on. And what he thinks is the media site Vocativ, which published a story about gun shops that were using Facebook to promote giveaways, spoke with spokespeople for the social media site. In so doing, Vocativ alerted Facebook to Mr. Lowry’s contest.

Vocativ reported that Facebook has a policy prohibiting ads that promote weapons and firearms, but Mr. Lowry said his Facebook page wasn’t a sales site.

“There are no guidelines that say you can’t give away guns,” he said in The Blaze.

Facebook didn’t comment, The Blaze reported. And in the meantime, Mr. Lowry said he’s outraged.

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“This kind of censorship is unconstitutional,” he said in The Blaze.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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