The White House on Monday refused to say whether Facebook's recent decision to ban users from facilitating the sale of guns, parts and ammunition was the result of pressure from the Obama administration.

"We welcome this step," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday, just days after Facebook's Friday announcement. "We talked about how the Internet is a loophole" for people seeking to buy guns without undergoing background checks, he said. It's a "common-sense effort to prevent guns from easily falling into the hands of criminals or other individuals who shouldn't be allowed to access guns," he said.

The administration has met with social media and technology companies to discuss how to close the "Internet loophole" on gun sales, but Earnest said he "could not say" if Facebook's decision was the result of "any specific request" from anyone in the administration.

Facebook banned users from selling or facilitating private firearms sales, or sales of gun parts and ammunition, on the site. Licensed dealers may still post about their wares on Facebook but have to conduct the transaction elsewhere.