Dan Bilzerian struck a deal to release a public service announcement on firearms safety in exchange to avoid jail time, but his shot at educating America’s youth seems to have been an intentional misfire.
The self-described “King of Instagram,” Bilzerian doesn’t tend to play by the rules, and his plea deal with Bureau of Land Management won’t likely be well received by those who struck it with him.
Last December, the 2009 WSOP NLHE Main Event challenger was arrested at LAX on a fugitive warrant for possessing bomb-making supplies in Clark County, Nevada, the district where he resides in Las Vegas.
According to the criminal complaint, Bilzerian was in possession of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in the making of TNT.
After detonating a homemade explosive to blowup a tractor-trailer cab at an unofficial shooting range outside Vegas, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had a warrant issued for his arrest.
Public Lip Service
This week Bilzerian released the PSA to his YouTube, but it’s receiving less-than-stellar reviews. Titled with an explicit caption, the video more adequately displays his lack of enthusiasm for the overall message than actual firearms safety.
Taped at his home office, Bilzerian reads from a calculated script and makes no effort to give any energy to the video while doing everything he can to relay to his 7.4 million Instagram followers that he thinks the PSA is a bunch of BS. He covers an array of important topics, from gun safety to blowing stuff up.
“As an avid shooter, please remember to shoot responsibly and follow the rules,” he halfheartedly says. “Just because you can buy an exploding target doesn’t mean it’s legal to mix and explode.”
Prison or PSA
Facing up to six years behind bars, Bilzerian reached a plea deal with prosecutors in order to escape prison time. Instead of incarceration, he was ordered to pay $17,231.50 in site cleanup costs and pled guilty to a lesser charge, a misdemeanor for failing to extinguish a fire in the open that came with a penalty of $2,768.50.
An even 20 grand to avoid 2,190 days in the slammer is certainly a great deal, but the agreement came with one other catch in the way of a PSA, resulting in Bilzerian agreeing to deliver a convincing message on YouTube regarding the dangers of firearms for the BLM.
The felony charges, the crimes warranting a potential jail sentence, were dismissed. “It is largely unnecessary to go further based on the conditions of the plea and the facts of this case,” prosecutor David Stanton told reporters at the February court hearing.
Of course, Stanton likely didn’t expect such a yawner production from the Playboy King who routinely posts pictures and videos showing his life of luxury featuring scantily clad women, stacks of cash, and private jets.
Prosecutors probably expected a well-produced video that would go viral explaining the dangers of firearms and explosives.
Instead, they got a video that is so terrible it might just be awesome, sort of like Dan himself.