In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, many progressive celebrities and politicians have begun spreading inaccurate information on social media regarding guns.
Actor Boris Kodjoe tweeted the following:
The tweet has over 1,900 "likes" and has been shared over 500 times as of this publication. It is, of course, wildly inaccurate.
In 1934, the National Firearms Act was signed into law in the United States, regulating "fully automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and destructive devices such as bombs or grenades," writes Sean Davis of The Federalist.
In 1986, the law was tightened with the Firearm Owners Protection Act. This legislation makes it illegal to own or purchase a fully automatic firearm made after May 19, 1986.
As for machine guns made prior to May 19, 1986, Davis writes:
The pre-1986 machine guns may be sold only by a FFL/SOT and must be registered with the ATF. Easy peasy, right? Not really. The process of registering a NFA item with the ATF is costly, invasive, and time-consuming. Federal law requires extensive background checks of anyone wishing to own a NFA item such as a machine gun. If you wanted to purchase a machine gun today, it would take close to a year, and you would be required to submit fingerprints and a photo to accompany your background check. Each NFA item also requires its own tax stamp, which costs $200. Once the ATF decides that an individual is permitted by law to own a NFA item, it adds that individual’s name, address, and biographical information to a federal gun registry and matches it to the serial number of the licensed NFA item.
After backlash to his initial tweet, Kodjoe acknowledged his mistake, but changed the topic to avoid apologizing:
Rather than simply admit he was incorrect, Kodjoe instead pivoted to general gun violence. Additionally, as of this publication, Kodjoe hasn’t deleted the egregiously inaccurate tweet in which he claims "pretty much anyone" can get a machine gun.
With a Twitter following of over half a million people, Kodjoe has a responsibility to delete the tweet containing patently false information. The longer he waits, the more people will be misinformed. However, it might simply be the case that Boris Kodjoe doesn’t care about the fact that his tweet is misinforming people because it helps perpetuate a general anti-gun ideology.