Updated: Aug 15, 2019
We’ve all seen the social media cowboys posing with their firearms, some of us are even guilty of it ourselves. You need to be aware that this social media faux pas could land you in hot water if you ever find yourself facing criminal or civil litigation following a shooting. I am not a lawyer, and I am not offering legal advice. What I am offering is my opinion based on my experience and training. The most important part of exercising your 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms is training and education. Education is understanding your state and federal laws, as well as understanding that criminal law and civil law are completely different. If you are involved in a shooting you will be subject to a criminal investigation. If it is determined that the shooting was justified, and no charges are filed, you may avoid the criminal court system altogether. However, you can be justified, not charged, and still face a civil lawsuit. A family member of the other individual(s) involved in the shooting may pursue civil damages. Should criminal or civil litigation occur, your social media posts and photos are going to become evidence used to build a narrative against you. The criminal prosecutor or trial lawyer representing the plaintiff will have one job. That job will be to paint you as a loose cannon that was just waiting for the opportunity to use that gun. If they can find posts and photos on social media that will help them paint this picture to a jury, or civil court judge they are going to use them. This is the very same reason that I do not modify my EDC, and I don’t drive around with gun and ammo stickers all over my truck. Simply posing for a selfie wearing a shirt that says “Guns Don’t Kill People, I do” will absolutely come back to haunt you in any form of litigation. I am not saying that you cannot do these things, if you choose to do these things that is your prerogative. What I am saying is, you need to be aware of how your actions, social media, and your posts can potentially impact you in the criminal and civil litigation following a shooting. Educate yourselves, do your own research on this subject, and draw your own conclusions. Education and training are your most important tools.