From the Orlando Sentinel:
Gun-control advocates say they’ve collected more than 103,000 signatures, enough to trigger the next critical step before a proposed ban on the sale of assault weapons could go before Florida voters in 2020.
Leaders of the political committee Ban Assault Weapons Now gathered in Orlando on Monday to announce that its draft constitutional amendment met the signature threshold to go before the state Supreme Court for review. The event came just days before the third anniversary of the shooting at Pulse night club where 49 people died in a hail of gunfire from a shooter armed with an assault-style rifle.
An Islamic terrorist and self-proclaimed solder of ISIS, who was under investigation by the FBI. Little details like that matter.
“Right now, we can do something to prevent the next mass shooting,” said Gail Schwartz, chairwoman of the committee that goes by the acronym BAWN and the aunt of Alex Schachter, one of 17 people killed at the Parkland high school shooting last year. “We’re here today to offer you a chance to do something to create a positive change for our state.”
After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Schwartz partnered with families touched by the Pulse shooting to try to prohibit the sale semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition — either in a fixed or detachable magazine. The amendment, if approved, would also require people who legally owned assault-style weapons before the ban to register them with the state.
As other states and the Brady Bill have shown, a new gun ban would be totally useless to prevent crimes. The registration of existing guns would have virtually no compliance.
“We have a gun Autobahn right now,” said Christine Leinonen, whose son, Drew, was killed at Pulse. She was joined at the announcement by Mayra Alvear, whose daughter, Amanda, was also killed, and by Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, who survived the 2016 shooting at the club just south of downtown Orlando.
“The Second Amendment says guns should be well regulated. And we know that by banning assault weapons, that’s not going to solve every gun problem in America, but it’s a piece of the puzzle,” Leinonen said.
Somebody’s high school failed them in both civics and reading comprehension. I’m pretty sure the Second Amendment says a militia needs to be “well regulated” meaning “squared away,” and that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” So pretty much the opposite of what he said.
The group still faces an uphill climb if the amendment is to make it on the ballot. It needs an additional 600,000-plus signatures to reach the required 766,200 statewide by Feb. 1, 2020. Signatures must come form 14 of 27 congressional districts. They also face a series of new hurdles for proposed constitutional amendments brought by a law (HB 5) signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week.
More winning for DeSantis.
State records show the organization has raised $430,000 toward the effort. Schwartz said her group must raise more money to overcome the new regulations on ballot initiatives.
The new law requires those collecting petitions to have a Florida address and register with the state. It also would impose fines ranging from $50 to $250 for petitions submitted 30 days after they were signed. The assault weapons ban drive will be among the first tested by the new regulations.
This is a direct rebuke of the cheating fuckery that occurred in Washington State to get gun control on the ballot up there.
State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, sponsored an assault weapon ban each of the last three years, but never got a single hearing on his bill. He said the new law that makes it harder and potentially more costly for proposed amendments to reach the ballot is rooted in fear among his fellow lawmakers in a heavily Republican House and Senate.
As it should be. Restricting Constitutional rights by ballot initiatives should be hard if not impossible.
“They are scared of this ballot initiative to ban assault weapons in the state of Florida,” he said. “The reality is that citizens are frustrated with a Legislature that is not listening to them. That is why they have gone to a citizen-led constitutional ballot initiative time after time in this state.”
Democracy is great and all, but frankly, I don’t want the people that voted to reelect disgraced Sheriff Israel anywhere near a ballot on gun control.
Charles Hart, Chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee, said he opposes the proposed ban, calling it a move to take away rights from law-abiding citizens.
“My heart goes out to them, but there are other ways to deal with gun violence without taking away the fundamental right of millions of law-abiding Americans,” Hart said, adding he favors harsher sentences for those who commit gun violence.
“These people are sick who do these things,” Hart said of mass shooters. “It makes no sense to me that we’re punishing people who are good for these bad apples.”
Yes, this 100%.
Republican State Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs, said he fears an assault weapons ban would create a false sense of security, and criminalize gun owners. The focus, he said, should be on mental health.
“I think they’re well-meaning, but I believe their efforts are greatly misguided,” said Smith, a former U.S. Marine. “I wish this groundswell of support was focused on addressing mental health.”
Big Government loves security theater. It’s much easier to make law-abiding people suffer because they want to obey the law than it is to stop criminals from engaging in crime. Security theater inconveniences the law-abiding while doing little to hinder real crime.
The ultimate security theater is the Gun Free Zone, and we’ve seen just how well those work.
State Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat whose district includes Pulse, said she’s optimistic the ban will make it on the ballot.
“I feel pretty good that we’re going to collect enough signatures,” Eskamani said, noting her office collects petitions throughout the year. “I feel pretty confident that the motivation, the passion and the right people are leading the cause.”
Give some people the option to vote to stamp the boot in another person’s face and they will check the box with alacrity.
The Florida Supreme Court will do what it does. Some amicus briefs may or may not make a difference there.
There are two things Florida gun owners interested in retaining their freedoms need to do if this makes it to the ballot.
First is explain why this initiative will do nothing positive. Ignore that there will always be anti-gun people and reach to the moderates.
The good news here is that the Parkland Report has been released. Hammer home that the death toll was the cause of the disgraced Sheriff Israel, the chicken shit Scot Peterson, and the ineptitude of the BSO. Restricting the rights of thousands if not millions of law-abiding people will do nothing when a grifting Sheriff bumble-fucks a response to one criminal act.
Likewise, the Orlando response to Pulse Shooting was less than Johnny-on-the-spot and the FBI failed to capture the threat the shooter posed when they investigated him and made his father an informant.
The government can’t guarantee your safety, they admitted that and use that as their defense in lawsuits. Florida gun owners shouldn’t have to pay for the price of government failure.
Second, and this is the big one: go to the polls and election day and vote against that ballot initiative. I don’t care if you do or don’t vote for a single politician, do not stay home. Go and at least check the “no” next the assault weapon ban question.
This can be defeated, you just have to work for it.