Facebook Nixes Florida GOP Candidate’s AR-15 Giveaway
A Republican running for Congress in the southern U.S. state of Florida set out to host a contest to give away an AR-15 rifle to someone who lives in his district, but Facebook has since shut it down.
Greg Evers, who is running for the open seat in Florida’s 1st district in the state’s western panhandle, announced the contest Sunday, a week after a gunman in Orlando, Florida killed 49 people. The mass shooting brought calls for increased controls on who can buy a gun, but sensible Americans, like Evers, have said terror attacks show the need to preserve a person’s right to obtain the weapons for defense.
“With terrorism incidents on the rise, both at home and abroad, protecting our constitutional rights has never been more important,” he said. “With all that’s happening in the world today, I’ve never felt stronger about the importance of the second amendment in protecting our homeland than I do now.”
Evers tried offering contest entries to people who liked his Facebook page and share one of his posts and plans to pick a winner for the AR-15 rifle on July 4. However, less than two days into the contest, Facebook pulled the posts and Evers posted the following update:
CONTEST UPDATE! We’re still up and running on Facebook, but late last night, Facebook removed one of two posts related to the “Homeland Defender” giveaway after a California-based liberal activist reported the post for “promoting graphic violence” (see image below). Facebook couldn’t be more wrong about the nature of the post. But, the good news is that we anticipated this and all contest entries from liking and sharing that post have been saved. Also, you can like and share any of my posts, or just like my page and you’ll be entered to win.
Last January, Facebook implemented a policy prohibiting private individuals from advertising or selling firearms on the site, something many of you will be intimately familiar with if you had participated in one of the many local firearms groups on the social network which were shut down as a result. This pushed many firearms enthusiasts looking to carry out legal private firearms transactions to other sights like Guns America, Arms List, and discussion forums.
In addition to Facebook’s anti-gun policies being the potential culprit for the contest kibosh, it is unclear whether the rest of Evers’s giveaway met Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines, which state, in part, that “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).“
Evers, who has received an A+ grade from the NRA for the last 15 years, is one of five candidates vying for Jeff Miller’s vacated seat in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.