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Bill would ban minors’ gun pictures on social media

By Myles Jenkins | Staff Reporter
On March 26, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Google Images.

 
Three years ago, Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo stated in a Facebook live video that “If you post it on social media, that’s probable cause for us to come get the guns out of your house.” Pizzo, a Democrat, said in the video: “That’s it. It’s now on you to explain why you have a gun in your house and why it’s on social media.”

At the time Pizzo was stumping for a bill that would deny the right to keep and bear arms to young adults old enough to vote, marry, sign binding contracts and serve in the military. This was coupled with him wanting parents to call the police on their child if they posted pictures and videos with guns on social media.

Pizzo said the legislation targets minors posting photos with guns in a threatening manner.

Representative Shevrin Jones of Broward County is an advocate of the bill.

Pizzo is now sponsoring a bill that, juxtaposed with “lock up your safety” violations, makes “posting or publishing of a picture of a firearm, BB gun, air or gas-operated gun, or device displayed to resemble a firearm to social media” by minors a criminal act that will result in guns being “promptly seized by a law enforcement officer and disposed of.”

Rep. Jones said that he wants kids to also complete community service in hospitals where trauma patients and gunshot victims are treated.

There are students who have mixed emotions about this bill. Jelani McGlan, a senior at Florida A&M, agrees with its intent.

“Obviously I don’t think minors should be posting guns, let alone owning them.” McGlan said. “I do believe confiscating BB and air-soft guns is a little excessive. Every teen doesn’t have bad intentions and if they are going to confiscate BB guns for being posted, they should take away real guns from adults who post guns to social media just to glorify them. Guns are for protection.”

Other students think that Rep. Jones’ proposal would be effective.

“I think that minors getting to see what people go through as far as the recovery process after they’ve experienced a traumatic experience like this could be vital,” Lanae Sewell, a graduating senior at FAMU, said. “It may change the way they look at firearms. Inevitably you’ll have some who take the experience wrong and feel that this is more of a reason to carry and post firearms, but they’ll just have to learn.”

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