Florida Politician Hits Some Snags With His AR-15 Giveaway

He violated Facebook's terms in his contest announcement post.

AR-15s at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Tracing Center. — REUTERS
Jun 21, 2016 at 4:20 PM ET

Greg Evers, a Florida state senator, has earned an A+ from the NRA during his terms in elected office. He proudly displays the lifetime member seal from the organization on his website. So, now that Evers running for a United States Congressional seat and looking for an edge in the Republican primaries, he has decided the best course of action is to have an AR-15 giveaway.

The contest, which began just a week after a man armed with a similar weapon killed 49 people and injured 53 more in a Florida nightclub, urges people to like or share Evers’ Facebook post to be entered to win a “Homeland Defender Collector’s Edition AR-15.” The gun has the Second Amendment engraved on it and upon which once rested the right jowl of Evers himself, according to one of the photos. A winner will be randomly selected on July 4, naturally. They must be a resident of Evers’ district, an adult, and pass a background check.

More Facebook Drops Hammer on Gun Giveaways Following Vocativ Investigation

But there have been problems with this giveaway. Facebook’s rules regarding gun contests have changed over time (it was once forbidden to give guns away at all), but there is this rule for promotions:

Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. 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 making one of the entry requirements sharing his post would appear to violate that rule. And, it seems like it did. The post has disappeared.

“When we were made aware of it, we found the post to be in violation of Facebook’s terms and removed it,” a Facebook spokesperson told Vocativ.

Evers has since posted another promotion for the contest which says that “You can like and share any of my posts, or just like my page and you’ll be entered to win.”

This still appears to violate Facebook’s policy on sharing to enter contests. Facebook declined to comment on the specifics of the second post, and as of this writing, the post is still live.