PRE-CRIME NATION: College Student Arrested, Stripped of Firearms for Posting Social Media Meme
22-year-old Connecticut resident Brandon Wagshol was arrested on Friday for posting a meme on social media that authorities claim indicated he showed an interest in committing a mass shooting.
Brandon Wagshol was just arraigned in Norwalk Superior Court. His bond was kept at $250,000, and the judge ruled he can only post it at the courthouse after a hearing. That way the prosecutor can put conditions on his release. @News12CT pic.twitter.com/RNl5UVOUZx
— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) August 16, 2019
He was arrested after law enforcement received an anonymous tip about the meme, which prompted the arrest of Wagshol as pre-crime becomes a reality as the Bill of Rights becomes a fading memory.
“What I understand is that he didn’t make any comments on Facebook, but there may have been other memes, as they call them, that he might have reposted,” said Darnell Crosland, who is representing Wagshol as his attorney.
In addition, Wagshol’s firearms were seized under Connecticut’s red flag law – in what will become the new status quo across the country if federal lawmakers get their way. The firearms found in Wagshol’s home were legal and registered to his father, but were taken anyway.
“I drove to Halstead New Hampshire from Norwalk CT in about 3 hours to acquire 30 round magazines and ammunition to circumvent what I viewed as an unconstitutional restriction on the second amendment,” Wagshol said in his witness statement.
“I purchased 4 30 round magazines and 120 rounds of 300 Blackout ammunition for firearm training. I plan on building an 80% rifle kit which I purchased online from Ceratec, in California. I plan on completing the 80% firearm at my friend Alex’s house in Easton. I did not have the intention of committing any mass shootings at all whatsoever,” he added.
“He made it clear to the police officers that he thought he was doing everything correct,” Crosland said. “He wasn’t trying to hide from the police and he gave a full statement for about an hour.”
Wagshol is a student at Central Connecticut State University. They have banned him from the campus and suspended him indefinitely pending his charges.
“We have placed Brandon Wagshol on interim suspension pending further investigation. He is also banned from campus at this time,” the university said in a statement.
Red flag laws have already been used over 1,200 times in Connecticut alone, according to News 12 Connecticut report. Legislators view this egregious violation of Wagshol’s rights as a victory for public safety.
“We didn’t have a red flag law — that never existed. Had that been in place that lottery shooting could have been avoided,” said Bob Duff, a Democrat state senator from Norfolk.
Wagshol’s bond has set at $250,000, and the judge won’t allow him to post it until after his next hearing on Sept. 6 in Stamford.