Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo and state Rep. Shevrin Jones have introduced virtually identical bills in their respective legislative bodies for consideration. The bills would make it a misdemeanor offense for a minor to publish a picture of a firearm on social media.
Known as SB 1310 and HB 1165 respectively, the bills provide that “A minor who posts or publishes a picture of a firearm, a BB gun, an air or a gas-operated gun, or a device displayed to resemble a firearm to a social media page, post, profile, or account that is openly viewable to the public commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.”
Minors who violate the proposed law could be subject to doing community service work. The community service would have to be performed “in a manner involving a hospital emergency room or other medical environment that deals on a regular basis with trauma patients and gunshot wounds.”
In addition, any firearm that is possessed or used by a minor in violation of the bill “shall be promptly seized by a law enforcement officer and disposed of” according to law.
Parents could face criminal liability under the proposed legislation too. A parent can be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree if the parent fails to properly store a firearm and a minor posts a picture of that firearm to social media.
Parents may also “be required to participate in classes on parent education” for a child’s first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, parents could be required to attend additional “parent education classes or render community service hours together with their child.”
If either of these bills become law, children will be unable to post pictures of themselves on social media even if they lawfully possess a firearm with proper supervision from their parents. If you take your child to the shooting range and he posts a picture containing a gun on social media, the child could be charged and the gun in the picture could be seized by law enforcement. You could face the same result if your child posts pictures of your latest lawful hunting trip and the pictures contain a firearm.
This is classic overreaching by the anti-gun crowd. Not only does it criminalize constitutionally protected firearm possession, but it also includes a mechanism for indoctrinating minors into an anti-gun way of thinking by requiring community service activities focused on gun-related violence.
Those of us that cherish our 2A rights cannot stand silent while anti-gunners introduce legislation such as this. We must stand our ground and let our voices be heard both individually and collectively through our membership in pro-gun organizations.
Both bills were recently introduced and have been assigned to legislative committees for debate and further consideration. At the time of this article, no scheduling information was available on upcoming events related to the bills.