Jerad Miller, a man accused of going on a shooting rampage with his wife in Las Vegas on Sunday, was talking about buying guns on Facebook weeks before the shooting, according to gun control activist group The Brady Campaign.
Miller and his wife are the suspects in a shooting that left two police officers and another man dead, police investigating the shooting say. Miller and his wife then killed themselves.
At the end of the Facebook post, Miller indicated he was just joking. But given the circumstances, the discussion is disturbing, says Dan Gross, president of the gun control activist group the Brady Campaign.
The Brady Campaign circulated this copy of the post on its own Facebook page:
Although this post is hardly evidence that someone used Facebook to illegally obtain a gun, Gross and The Brady Campaign have been complaining since March that Facebook isn’t doing enough to prevent that very thing from happening.
In March, Facebook changed its policies about the sale of regulated items, such as guns. If someone complains about a for-sale conversation, Facebook will warn those involved to follow the law. Facebook also says it has outright banned posts that discuss breaking the law. It explains:
“For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify ‘no background check required,’ nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer.”
The Brady Campaign isn’t satisfied with that. In a press release, it says:
“In March, we said Facebook’s new gun policy didn’t go far enough. … The post has remained live on Facebook for a month, demonstrating the inadequacy of Facebook’s gun policy.”
But a Facebook spokesperson counters that Facebook is doing a lot, telling us in an emailed statement:
“While this online discussion is certainly disturbing in light of recent events, we have not been made aware of any connection to an actual gun transaction offline. We offer strong educational and enforcement efforts around the discussion of the sale of regulated goods, including firearms.”
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