Freedom of Speech

Florida Bill Would Make It a Crime for Minors to Post Pictures of Guns on Social Media

Clearly unconstitutional, of course.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Introduced a few weeks by Florida state senator Jason Pizzo:

(1) 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, punishable [by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1000].

(2)(a) Any parent or guardian of a minor, or other adult responsible for the welfare of a minor, if the minor possesses a firearm in violation of this section, may, if the court finds it appropriate, be required to participate in classes on parent education which are approved by the Department of Juvenile Justice, upon the first conviction of the minor. Upon any subsequent conviction of the minor, the court may, if the court finds it appropriate, require the parent to attend further parent education classes or render community service hours together with the child.

(3) Any firearm that is possessed or used by a minor in violation of this section shall be promptly seized by a law enforcement officer and disposed of ….

This is an obvious First Amendment violation: The statute isn't limited to displays that constitute true threats of violence (there's a First Amendment exception for such true threats), or possession of guns by minors in violation of state law. Indeed, it would be a crime for a minor to post a photo of himself lawfully using a gun at a shooting range.

So would a minor's posting "a picture of a firearm" (not even a photograph of himself holding a firearm) as part of a pro-gun-rights—or anti-gun-rights—political post. So, for that matter, would be a minor's posting a photo of soldiers holding guns. But even if the bill were somehow limited to the minor's posting of photographs of himself holding guns (or BB guns or other perfectly lawful guns), it would still be an unconstitutional content-based restriction on speech.

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178 responses to “Florida Bill Would Make It a Crime for Minors to Post Pictures of Guns on Social Media

  1. Pointless Virtue Signalling at its finest. Gun control fans seem to be practicing “Who can lean furthest out the 10th floor window” lately. The winner is the one who falls out/gets overturned by SCOTUS, whichever comes first.

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    2. Pointless Virtue Signalling at its finest.

      Your confusion is understandable, but this blog is called The Volokh Conspiracy.

      1. Yeah, no surprise to see Kirkland defending a bill like this.

        1. I did not and do not defend the bill. I was correcting an apparent misunderstanding concerning the name of this blog.

          1. Keep chugging that anti-freeze Artie. Eventually you’ll do us all a favor and fall off the face of the earth. Moron.

            1. America hasn’t won a war in 70 years, Vinnie — excepting the Americans in the liberal-libertarian mainstream who won the culture war against conservatives.

              You’re ‘it ain’t over ’til I say it’s over’ routine is pathetic, but remarkably common among conservatives.

              Thanks for your obedience to the preferences of better Americans, Vinni.

              1. Grenada. Thank you.

              2. America hasn’t won a war in 70 years,

                If we paid Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf to say you’re wrong, would you believe it?

              3. “Liberal faggots haven’t let America win a war in 70 years, Rev.”

                Fixed that for you.

                Though I suppose the socialist UN faggots get some of the blame for Korea. Which, actually, isn’t officially over yet–ceasefire, not treaty.

                NV never defeated the US. They did defeat the South.

                Clinton claims we won the Balkans.

                Iraq and A-stan are in progress, so there’s no declaration yet.

                And of course, liberal faggots started the US involvement in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and arguably all the ME problems, due to Carter being the kind of surrender-monkey faggot they expected Americans to be.

                And that was after starting a war to keep their slaves.

                So I think it’s obvious the problem in wars is liberal faggots, who love starting them over slaves, but hate ending them over statism.

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                1. This comment thread is a trainwreck. How is it that every other comment section effectively deals with these drive-by bots, but reason hasn’t figured it out in *years*?

              5. Is there a Liberal-Libertarian mainstream?….Gee, then why do the DEMs hate Ron & Rand Paul sooo much?

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    3. The point is to indoctrinate the next generation. How many children going to jail for posting a gun will it take until people keep their children away from firearms altogether?

      1. How many families are going to fill up their college funds by having their kids post pictures of guns?

        1. How many “satirists” will we need to arrest to persuade the public that libel needs to recriminalized everywhere in our great nation? Surely Eugene knows that enticing pictures of guns — while not quite as serious a problem for public safety as inappropriately deadpan, and hence criminally deceitful, mimicry of academic administrators — nonetheless pose a problem that has to be dealt with by introducing new limits on so-called “free speech.” See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “parody” case:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. Yes, state legislators certainly can be odd. This is pretty much exactly like the proposed laws popping up every once in a while, which would require every head-of-household to keep a gun in the house. Same chance of passage too.

    1. “This is pretty much exactly like the proposed laws popping up every once in a while, which would require every head-of-household to keep a gun in the house.”

      Such laws were fairly common in the colonial era. Are you suggesting they are unconstitutional?

      1. “Are you suggesting they are unconstitutional?”

        Not if you live in a pre-United States colony.

        1. How about if you live in the present day U.S.? If they are unconstitutional, what part of the constitution do they violate?

          1. You guys need to get out more – – – –

            Kennesaw (Georgia, for you yankees) is noted for its unique firearms legislation in response to Morton Grove, Illinois’ law mandating gun prohibition. In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21]:[21]

            (a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

            (b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

            1. Sure, and there’s several other cities besides Kennesaw with such laws. To my knowledge none have been challenged as unconstitutional. That might be because they are all small towns and none actually enforce the law, or it might be because such laws are constitutional.

              So I’m curious whether Purple & Pox think they are unconstitutional, and if so on what grounds.

              1. “So I’m curious whether Purple & Pox think they are unconstitutional, and if so on what grounds”

                I think one of your targets was pointing out something else… before there was a United States, there was no U.S. Constitution to violate (or not).

                I’m curious about how much overlap there is between people who were outraged (OUTRAGED!) by the ACA individual mandate, and absolutely silent on this kind of ordinance.

                As to the Constitutional question, I think a 4th amendment challenge to enforcement of the law would be successful… the town law enforcement has no way to know if the statute is violated or not without a fairly substantial search of the homeowner’s property…

                1. The Federal government lacks general police power. It has no authority to require individual citizens to purchase insurance.

                  The City of Kennesaw has police power. It’s not clear to me that requiring people to purchase or maintain guns squares with the Second Amendment, but if Kennesaw wanted to require residents to purchase broccoli, it has that power.

                  1. If you’re any kind of originalist or textualist, the idea that requiring people to own guns conflicts with the 2nd amendment is kind of absurd.

                    It’s a right to be armed. Ordering you to be armed can’t conflict with that right. Logically, it’s just impossible.

                    It’s not like freedom of speech, where what’s protected are private choices in regards to speech or religion, and so the right can be violated by compelling speech. The right to keep and bear arms has a direction to it: It aims to produce an armed populace. Ordering people to be armed can’t violate it.

                    You could argue that doing so might violate some other right, but even there you’d have a hard slog given the place the militia has in the Constitution, explicitly.

                    Now, if you’re a living constitutionalist? All bets are off, for those guys up can be down if they want.

                    1. “It’s a right to be armed. Ordering you to be armed can’t conflict with that right. Logically, it’s just impossible.”

                      There’s a fairly good argument that ordering anyone to be part of a militia, and take orders, conflicts with the 13th. That argument isn’t going to win if the U.S finds itself in a declared war again, even if it’s right, but it exists.

                  2. “The Federal government lacks general police power. It has no authority to require individual citizens to purchase insurance”

                    It does, however, have a taxing power. So if they want to lay a tax on people who don’t buy health insurance, they can do that under the Constitution.

            2. What is a “head of household”? If a couple insists that they are co-equal and that their household therefore has no “head”, would the law not apply to them?

              1. “You can check the ‘Head of household’ box at the top of Form 1040 if you are unmarried and provide a home for certain other persons”

                — IRS, Instructions for form 1040, page 16

        2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_Acts_of_1792

          Second Militia Act of 1792 (full text)

          The second Act, passed May 8, 1792, provided for the organization of the state militias. It conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. (This was later expanded to all males, regardless of race, between the ages of 18 and 54 in 1862.)

          Militia members, referred to as “every citizen, so enrolled and notified”, “…shall within six months thereafter, provide himself…” with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, ? pound of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.[5] Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen.

          ~~~

          I guess it’s true. Liberals are not only almost always racist, they’re almost always ignorant of history.

    2. The difference is that THAT law actually has some historical basis in the early militia acts. Aside from that, yeah, not a chance of it being adopted.

    3. Maybe the goal is to start convincing kids to get off social media, since the more shit like this that crops up, the more easy it will be to accidentally run afoul of stupid legislation.

    4. Exactly not alike. Especially since the legal definition of militia includes many people who aren’t aware THEY are the militia. (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

      Most state militias are defined the same way. There may be some age differences for some states.

      Which is why I think every American citizen should be able to buy, at their own expense, the standard weapon issued to a standard Mark 1 Mod 0 infantryman. That way if actually called out for the militia, said citizen could be properly armed without relying on the government.

    5. The Kennesaw law (and similar laws) had several outs for people who did want a gun or were unable to have a gun.
      The Morton Grove ban did not have exemptions for people who wanted a gun and were able.

    6. The Kennesaw GA law had exemptions for people who did not want a gun or were unable to own a gun.

      The Morton Grove IL and the D.C. handgun bans? Morton Grove repealed their ban after the Supreme Court held in D.C. v Heller 2008 that the 2A protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for all traditional and lawful purposes, including possessing a hand gun in the home for self defense, and overturned the D.C. ban.)

  3. You might naively think the anti-gunners only object to the 2nd amendment, but the reality is that they find all of them offensive.

    1. Correct. Progressives are offended by anything that comes in the way of their quest for raw, unfettered power. The First, Second and pretty much all of the Bill of Rights and Constitution are offensive barriers to social justice.

      And they don’t stop with the Constitution either. The immigration laws are being twisted and distorted beyond recognition to ram through hundreds of thousands of “refugees” who don’t meet the letter or spirt of that word.

      I have started recommending to those who value our Constitutional Republic to vote, buy guns and ammo, and start training those of your friends and family in the right and center in gun use as well. Better to have it and not need it, than to end up like Venezuela.

      1. Yawn

        1. Indeed.

          1. Damn clock change.

    2. Get back on your meds.

      1. What’s with the hate speech, guy?

      2. The dark cloud of mental health is always descending upon Republicans but it always turns out to be composed of progressives and Democrats.

        He brought an American flag to protest fascism in Portland. Then antifa attacked him

        Quote:
        Paul Welch came to the downtown protest Aug. 4 to let his political leanings be known.

        With pride he clutched his U.S. flag as he moved among the crowd of like-thinking demonstrators.

        Soon a group of black-clad anti-fascist protesters, also known as antifa, demanded he lose the flag, calling it a fascist symbol. Welch refused, and a tug-of-war ensued.

        Video captured by Mike Bivins, a freelance journalist, shows what happened next.

        As Welch and the counter-protesters wrangle over the flag, another masked counter-protester begins to strike Welch’s body from behind using a weapon concealed in black fabric.

        That person then uses the weapon to club Welch on the back of the head, causing him to collapse instantly. The demonstrator with the weapon wanders off.

  4. My Facebook photo is actually a dog next to a gun. I don’t remember if I was a minor at the time I created my account, but the dog has been dead for years.

  5. This guy is my senator, and a complete tool. Of course, he was running against a corrupt Haitian so it was a pick your poison type thing.

  6. Someone should post a picture of a track meet at the start of the 100m dash, featuring the guy with the starter’s pistol in the air.

    1. or the back of a Massachusetts state quarter

    2. or a kid holding a Pop Tart

  7. Instead of making posting a image of gun on social media a crime would it be more effective to make it so a prosecute could not plea bargain down a gun crime? In to many cases a gun obtained illegally is used in a crime yet very rarely is an illegal weapon charge prosecuted. In other cases the person gets a gun, as in the school shooting in Florida gets weapon legally because the system failed the students that died when Cruz was able to get a legal gun because he was not entered into the system used to check for those who should not be given a gun.
    Also look at the shooting that happen in Chicago (and other cities also) where the shooters us stolen and other illegal weapons.

    1. That’s because liberal gun laws are intended to harass white conservatives, not to reduce crime committed by black and Hispanic thugs (the Dems’ base).

      1. Ah… so THAT’S why there are so few blacks and hispanics in jails and prisons.

        1. Yes, actually it is. Given their respective crime rates, otherwise there’s be even more of them in jails and prisons. They’re being under-incarcerated relative to their crime rates.

          It’s like the way that, if you normalize the figures for crime rates, whites are more likely than blacks to be shot by the police.

          1. Do you have any evidence of this?

          2. You’re not very good at math, are you, Brett?

      2. Is there any reason why Hispanics are more likely to be thugs than Slavs?

  8. You can join the military at 17.

    1. you can join the military at 17 IF one of your parentals co-signs. Otherwise, you have to wait to 18.

      1. Which means you can join the military at age 17.

        1. I joined the Navy at age 17 in 1964.

        2. Which means you may or may not be able to join the military at age 17.

          1. Your reasoning still doesn’t make sense. I was unable to join the military due to physical limitations (in particular, short tendons). This means you may or may not be able to join the military at age 18, or even 19.

            (I considered joining twice — once for the Navy, potentially as a nuclear engineer, when I was in high school, and once for the Air Force National Guard, potentially as a linguist, after having attended a year of college.)

    2. and JROTC even younger

  9. Just start purging the progressives. Seriously, does anyone really think we’re going to put and end to their bullshit without organized force of some kind? They’re openly communist, and are now a physical threat to people who support a sitting president.

    Debating them is absurd. Just make them go away.

    1. Remember when you could find heavy equipment training inside match books?
      Remember match books?

    2. I have a feeling the Florida Senate is going to put an end to this particular bullshit with no resorting to organized force.

  10. Despite some 20-30% of mass killings being linked to the media glorifying such tragedies, prohibiting the media from naming a mass killer is an obvious 1st Amendment violation. The voluntary moratorium “No Notoriety” is seen as a no-go by younger journalists, in particular.

    Banning a child from posting a picture of a gun on social media does nothing to prevent violence, is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment, and yet gun control advocates in the legislature propose such bills anyway. It’s as if they avoid productive laws and just want to punish others…

  11. Who thought of this idiotic law.

    First thing that came to mind…. Teenager posts a picture of something Fortnite related on Facebook or Twitch

    Government: ONE YEAR IN JAIL!

    Seriously, what type of idiots would write this?

    1. A bit of research explains where it came from, as the name of the Florida State Senator is followed by a (D).

      1. Shame on you for responding to my rant’s rhetorical questions with entirely accurate answers

        1. Chris Morton was right about them.

          The Democrat party really is my father’s Democrat party:
          * racialism
          * anti-Semitism
          * disdain for the presumption of innocence
          * organized violence against political opponents

          The despicable Kavanaugh farce tells me that were Emmett Till to be lynched today, the Democrat party would say (again) that he had it coming.

          http://www.cleveland.com/opini…..3500018036

  12. We gun nuts have been telling you for years that after they get (almost) done with the second, the will go after the first.

    Welcome to the revolution.

    1. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    2. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    3. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    4. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    5. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    6. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    7. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    8. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

    9. What’s this “after”. The attempts to overturn “Citizens United” are mostly attempts to infringe the 1st Amendment.

  13. Eugene, Eugene…..

    He’s a democrat. Which means he cares not a bit for the Constitution..

    1. Yawn

      1. That’s several yawns in the thread. Try taking a nap…

        1. Reflexively taking a partisan position is yawnworthy. Every time.

          1. Exactly! Although a nap does sound nice.

          2. So your goal coming here is to put everyone to sleep, then?

  14. Moving sideways, is it also a violation of Constitutional law to criminalize a minor’s publishing photos of his or her own body? It’s not illegal to possess a minor’s body, if one is in fact a minor, but photographing and publishing the photos can be a felony. Who is protected from what by this law?

    1. Well, minors are only responsible sometimes. They don’t have the maturity to responsibly post pictures of their firearms or private parts, but are sufficiently responsible (if you believe many progressives) to vote.

      1. Going right to the strawman? Never mind, then.

        1. Straw man: the concept of pointing out inconsistencies in liberal arguments.

          That’s not the definition of Straw Man that I’m familiar with.

          1. Apparently, there’s not a lot of things you ARE familiar with. Grow up, and then come on back.

        2. Why is it a strawman to observe that the same people calling for laws like this, also want to lower the age of voting to 16?

    2. There’s always the “I know it when I see it” exception to 1A.

      And “gun porn” is a cute phrase, but not a real legal thing.

  15. I think perhaps it is not parents who need parenting classes but legislators who need Constitutional Law classes.

    1. It’s possible that both are warranted.

  16. Obviously this (D) isn’t very smart. He should be writing a bill that would create the “Ministry of phtographic approvals”, have the HQ placed in whatever hellhole district he is in to lower the unemployment rate and require a fee before the photo can be “approved”. This could make more money than legalized marihuana.

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  18. Politicians have gutted the 2nd amendment to the point they are not afraid to go after the rest of our rights.

    States have also traditionally been very reluctant to recognize individual rights, even to the point that they fought cases all the way to the Supreme court, which had to force states to respect individual rights through incorporation.

    1. It is my understanding that the Bill of Rights was lobbied for by people who saw the federal government as a threat tp the rights of the people, and who apparently considered the state governments to be more likely to protect the rights of their citizens. The federal government was seen as a potential tyrant, and the state governments were seen as the paladins of liberty.

      1. “considered the state governments to be more likely to protect the rights of their citizens. The federal government was seen as a potential tyrant, and the state governments were seen as the paladins of liberty.”

        This was indeed the position taken, until 1868. There’d been this war, see, and as a result of that, the federal government became the guarantor of rights, against the states who abused them. It’s been that way ever since.

        1. You are forgetting the 1876 Cruikshank decision that gutted the post Civil War Civil Rights Act and other protections. Cruikshank through a torturous reading of Slaughterhouse 1873 established the idea that Bill of Rights protections applied only to infringement by the federal government, and not infringement by state or local governments or by private parties.

          The 1960s Civil Rights Act and the Supreme Court decisions in Guest and Price were the vitiating nails in the coffin of Cruikshank. But a lot of restrictive state and local gun control laws were built on the Cruikshank decision. Along with a lot of Jim Crow and segregation law.

          Ref: Levy, ”Encyclopedia of the American Constitution”, on Cruikshank.

  19. This is indeed an uncommonly dumb law. Probably the most clearly unconstitutional law I’ve seen in the 10+ years I’ve been on this site.

    We also seem to be at a high water mark for Civil War 2 lusting to purge ze libs in the comments here.

    Guns and campus speech seem full of that these days. I’d be threatened by the rise of this if there was any evidence it was anything other than the same impulse of impotence that lead to the law at issue here.

    1. Civil War 2 lusting to purge ze libs in the comments here

      Eh…ebbs and flows of the culture wars. Still, I’d pay $5 for a AmericanPatriot / Rev. Arthur PPV cage match.

      1. I wouldn’t give odds on either one actually being capable of fighting in any meaningful non-slap-fight way.

        1. I’d give decent odds on their being the same person.

          1. When people say they are something, believe them. It’s at least a little bit true.

  20. “We also seem to be at a high water mark for Civil War 2 lusting to purge ze libs in the comments here.
    Guns and campus speech seem full of that these days.”

    The fun part is the part of “campus free speech” that involves demanding the removal of Civil War monuments from campus. (Scare quotes because of the number of the demands that involve actually pulling down the statues in question.)

    Back in my day, the big burning issue was the administration’s decision to cut down a historic tree in order to build a golf course.
    http://trystingtree.com/

  21. Going through family photos I found one mailed to me while I was in service. Family seated on the tailgate of Dad’s stationwagon at the old homeplace on the mountain, my brother (a minor) holding a .22 rifle. Dad often took us there to target paractice, chase crawdads in the creek, hike the woods.

    There was no social media in those days, just family albums, but people today treat their social media like family albums. If a minor were to post such a photo under the proposed law, the minor, parent or guardian would be liable to punishment.

    Why? 2018 Feb 14. Security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, saw former student Nikolas Cruz walk into Building 12 with a rifle case and recognized him immediately as the “Crazy Boy” who school staff predicted as most likely to return and shoot up the school. Failure after failure by school and Broward County Sheriff authorities to act an a timely and effective manner, late calling a lockdown, setting up a 500 ft perimeter rather than entering. When Coral Springs PD, arrived they immediately entered Bldg 12 in accordance with FBI Active Shooter Incident training and protocol. “Unprepared and Overwhelmed”, South Florida Sun Sentinel, 28 Dec 2018.
    \cont’d\

    1. \cont’d\

      Criminalizing gunowners in response to the Parkland failures is like burning Beatles’ White Albums as an answer to the Helter Skelter murders. Government deals with its failure to control criminal behavior by criminalizing previously noncrimes.

    2. ” Family seated on the tailgate of Dad’s stationwagon at the old homeplace on the mountain, my brother (a minor) holding a .22 rifle. Dad often took us there to target paractice, chase crawdads in the creek, hike the woods.”

      Lots of people have childhood experience with firearms. I went to a summer camp, operated by the YMCA, that had a rifle range. I was 8 or 9 the first year. Lots of people have adult experience with firearms, as well. Nearly all of them refrain from murdering people.
      The goal would be to decrease the number of people who do choose to murder. You have the people on one side who say “not if it limits ME in any way!” and people on the other side who say “we don’t care how it affects you if stops one murderous rage”. Neither of these is tenable as a long-range solution, yet neither side will contemplate working with the other on a real solution, with the staggering result that no real solution is reached. So twits on one side propose stupid laws, and twits on the other side pretend that all the laws contemplated are equally stupid.

      1. You presume that there is a fixable problem in there that the two sides can work together on.

        There have always been lunatics. And unless we make some fundamental breakthrough in mental health, there always will be lunatics. Some of those lunatics want to hurt people. Evidence across time and multiple cultures shows that they will find a way. Gun control objectively does not work when the underlying problem is mental health.

        So, no, until there is consensus on the problem, there is no way to “work together” on the solution.

        1. I’ll agree with Rossami, there are nations with essentially 100% gun control yet they still have murder by guns.

      2. I’m still waiting to see a proposal that will actually have done something to have prevented a mass shooting that has already occurred.

        It seems that every time a mass shooting happens, lots of laws are proposed…and NONE of the laws proposed would have stopped the last shooting that happened, or any other shooting, for that matter.

  22. I recently posted a picture of my four-year-old grandson’s first attempt to shoot a BB pistol (under my supervision). I thought the picture amusing, because he quickly tired of shooting from a few feet away and walked up to put the barrel inches from the target.

    I’m well past anyone considering me a minor, but if he had an older brother who posted the picture, how would society be harmed? I don’t see how the age of the poster matters.

    And if a nine-year-old brother posted such a picture, would we really put him away for a year? Is this a contest to see who can most effectively breed contempt for the law?

    1. The sooner all persons are classified as criminals then the sooner they are not allowed to have a gun. there is a purpose to making more laws and gun control is one of them

  23. Why do you imply that a picture of “possession of guns by minors in violation of state law” is an exception to the First Amendment? Photos of crimes being committed are protected by the First Amendment, unless they are child pornography.

    1. Photos of crimes being committed are protected by the First Amendment

      Like most everything, it depends on context. If you’re a third party you’re probably afforded 1A protections. But if you, as the illegal actor, post a selfie of the illegal act, you’re not afforded 1A protections.

      1. ” If you’re a third party you’re probably afforded 1A protections. But if you, as the illegal actor, post a selfie of the illegal act, you’re not afforded 1A protections.”

        Yes, you’d be afforded 1A protections. You can’t be punished for taking a selfie while you burglarize a house. You CAN be punished for burglarizing a house, with or without a selfie, and having taken a picture while you were doing it can be used as evidence against you.

        And so on for all the other ways you can be breaking the law when you decide to take a selfie.

        Now, there is a very narrow range of offenses where the criminal act involves communicating something to another person… a threat, an extortion attempt, or the like. Again, though, it’s the fact that the act you chose to do (threaten, or extort) is a crime, not the way you chose to do it. If you go into a bank and say “this is a robbery”, even if you have no weapon, it IS a robbery if you try to leave the bank with money that isn’t yours.

        1. You can’t be punished for taking a selfie while you burglarize a house.

          Such a social media offering could be classified as “advocacy of an illegal activity”. As it is not necessarily advocacy of a specific illegal activity, there’s some grey area. But I don’t think 1A is absolute here.

          1. But it isn’t advocacy. The photo itself no more advocates burglary than it advocates the evils of burglary.

            If it were advocacy, which it is not, it definitely, not just “not necessarily,” wouldn’t be advocating a specific illegal activity, such as “burglarize this particular home at a particular time. It also would not be directed at producing imminent lawless activity, as Brandenburg requires.

            1. Please read “advocates the evils of burglary” as “advocates against burglary.”

          2. “Such a social media offering could be classified as ‘advocacy of an illegal activity'”

            Covered by the first amendment. Allow me to illustrate:

            Everyone who reads this should carefully consider their personal situation, then, if you perceive unjust laws, you should intentionally violate one or more laws they find unjust. Fill up the Birmingham jail. Justice too long delayed is justice denied.

            1. Martin Luther King, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, 16 April 1963
              … there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

  24. This seems broad enough to include minors aspiring to become police officers that repost recruiting pics of LEOs in uniform.

    1. Or fans of GI Joe. Or Han Solo… he shot first. Or any of a fairly significant number of fictional characters who go about armed. Batman is presumably OK… there were a couple of issues VERY early on where he carried a gun in a bat-holster, but they decided that Batman doesn’t like guns fairly on, and it works with his character, seeing as the driving force that created Batman was the young Bruce watching Thomas and Martha Wayne get shot by Joe Chill.

      It’s a dumb law, and you won’t find anyone who says otherwise, probably including the poor sap who wrote it.

  25. Oh Thank God! Nothing terrifies me more than pictures of guns. Especially BB guns. I was shot with a BB gun and it hurt. Now I’ve got PTSD (Pussy Traumatized by a Stinging Derri?re.)

    I’m a victim so my opinion matters the most.

  26. I assume this also covers little green army men, super soakers, bug a-salts, extended thumb and forefingers, and selectively nibbled peanut butter sandwiches

    1. “I assume this also covers little green army men”

      Not the one who only has a walkie-talkie. I always thought he was a little underprepared.

      1. Those walkie-talkie guys could call in artillery barrages or air strikes.

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  28. I love how these blatantly unenforceable laws get passed in the first place. Congratulations, now you have to jail every single person who plays video games with guns and posts on fb/youtube/twitch. Imagine the headlines. Breaking news: Florida charges 30m American minors with misdemeanor for playing Fortnite and Call of Duty.

  29. The fact that it is clearly unconstitutional is not enough to keep it from passing, and even being enforced.
    Civil forfeiture comes to mind immediately, in particular ‘forfeiture’ without convictions, or even charges.

  30. Suppose they post a picture of the state of Florida. Would that count?

  31. Unserious legislation, not unlike the GND. Politics as (poor) performance art.

  32. Florida is the home of crazy Lefties and banjo strumming toothless righties

  33. Yes, it’s a civil right. But sometimes you have to suppress a civil right you like, to get rid of a civil right you don’t like.

    /FL Senator Jason Pizzo.

    1. ^ unsourced sarcasm (notice lack of quotes)

  34. Alex Harris, “Scandal-plagued Daphne Campbell loses state senate seat to Jason Pizzo”, Miami Herald, 28 Aug 2018.

    Pizzo was an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office. The incumbant Democrat state senator from the 38th Florida Senate District had too many problems. Spending a million dollars of his own money and winning the Aug primary made the Nov election a mere formality: Pizzo was unopposed. The 38th is so Democrat that no Republican wasted time running.

  35. It is probably also a violation of your 2nd Amendment Rights – how can you know if someone else might post a picture of you with your favorite arms, or hack your account and make it look like you did it?

    There is a bigger problem here. Politicians are free to propose and enact laws which violates our rights (millions of charges, each worth 10 years in prison). Eliminate the special protections for legislators, and this nonsense would stop in a moment.

    1. It’s not just that politicians may enact unconstitutional laws with impunity. All government employees may violate the Constitution with impunity, from a teacher who forces a child to say the Pledge of Allegiance, to a judge who posts the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, to a prosecutor who refuses to turn over clearly exculpatory evidence. The worst that usually happens to them is an injunction telling them to stop doing it. It ought to be a crime to violate the highest law of the land, where there is no question that it is violated. I’m not talking about punishing people who lose a constitutional argument in the Supreme Court, but about those who violate well-settled rules such as in the examples I just gave.

  36. Nice, simple analysis. Pity they will just weasel-word it to go ahead and punish people in some way, somehow, anyway.

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  38. Many times these postings are essentially incitements to violence by immature individuals and should be treated as such.

    1. LINK: Florida Senate – 2019 SB 1310
      By Senator Jason Pizzo

      790.111 Minors posting firearms on social media.?

      28 (1) A minor who posts or publishes a picture of a firearm,
      29 a BB gun, an air or a gas-operated gun, or a device displayed to
      30 resemble a firearm to a social media page, post, profile, or
      31 account that is openly viewable to the public commits a
      32 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
      33 775.082 or s. 775.083.

      The bill is not limited to “incitements to violence” but treats posting or publishing a picture of a firearm or lookalike regardless of context as a misdemeanor offense by a minor.

      D.C. v Heller 2008
      Held:
      1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

      The traditional lawful purposes recognized in my state under law include civilian marksmanship practice, hunting, defense of self or others, protecting live stock, recreation shooting, collection as curio or keepsake.

      A posting a picture of a firearm in the context of tradionally lawful use is criminalized by that bill, not just a posting intended to be an incitement to violence.

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  40. Your confusion is understandable, but this blog is called The Volokh Conspiracy.

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