A reader writes:
Yesterday, March 7, 2017 was the first day of the Legislative Session for Florida and with that two 2nd Amendment related bills were up for debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The same committee where Open Carry and Campus Carry were killed last year by then Republican Committee Chair Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. As you know, there has been on ongoing issue this year in that same committee. This time with two Republican Senators . . .
Senator Anitere Flores, the Florida Senate’s President Pro Tempore. She’s the second most powerful Senator under the Senate President, Joe Negron. The other is Senator Rene Garcia (above).
The two bills up for debate were SB 616 and SB 646.
SB 616 was about Guns and Court Houses. It would not have allowed concealed carry in the court, it simply would have allowed licensed permitted concealed carry holders to check in their gun with the police/sheriff stationed at the court. Nothing more and nothing less.
SB 646 would have decriminalized accidental exposure of a concealed firearm. It would have made it a $25 dollar fine to the Clerk of the Court and a non-arrestable offense.
Both bills were scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 4pm. Myself and a number of Florida 2nd Amendment Supporters spent all day at the Capitol meeting with Senators that are part of the Judiciary Committee.
At 1pm we met with Senator Flores’ Office. We presented the facts and explained why SB 646 needed to be passed, especially after the unjust ruling from the Florida Supreme Court in Norman v State. Then we met with Senator Mayfield’s Office at 2pm.
Senator Mayfield’s Staff stated with no uncertain term that she supports SB 646 and she does not agree with the Court ruling in Norman v State. Mr. Norman lives in her district and she found it appalling to what happened to him.
At 3pm we met with Senator Garcia (above). With our group was a current FSU student that was raped on campus in 2014. She told Senator Garcia in person that she was raped on campus and then asked him if he would support Campus Carry. Senator Garcia flat out stated no that he will not support it. Senator was also asked if he’d support Open Carry and he said no.
At 3:30pm we then met with Sen. Steube to discuss SB 646 and of course the elephant in the room: SB 644 (Legitimate Open Carry) and SB 622 (Legitimate Open Carry).
We asked Sen. Steube if Senate President Joe Negron will use his constitutional authority to places these bills directly for a floor vote in the Senate and he stated that it does not appear that Senate President Negron will not do such an act.
We were unable to get word directly from Senate President Joe Negron. Also no word from the House on where their Pro Gun Bills are at the moment either.
We then attended the Committee Meeting at 4pm. The first 2nd Amendment bill to be heard was SB 616 (Courthouse gun check in).
During the debate. Sen. Flores openly stated that she will only vote for this bill because it is very limited in scope and she does not support Campus Carry, Airport Carry, School Carry, or Open Carry.
Senator Garcia then stated that he shares beliefs and supports Senator Flores’ statements and furthermore he then went on about mental health.
Senator Flores stated “I do not support guns on campus, I do not support having guns in airports and I do not support guns in school zones. I don’t support those things.”
Senator Garcia stated “I want to echo the sentiments Sen. Flores stated.”
I must say, Senator Debbie Mayfield stood strong in the opposition that is Senator Flores and her lackey Senator Garcia. Senator Mayfield said “I am one of those that believe it is a God given right for us to protect ourselves and to carry a gun.”
As of this point, Campus Carry and Open Carry is dead in Florida unless Senate President Joe Negron pulls these bills out of committee and move them directly to a floor vote.
Senator Greg Steube is fighting an uphill battle this year. Sadly, for a State under Republican control since 1996, it appears that once again Republicans are killing pro-gun Legislation by smothering it in the cradle via committee and worse it is being done by Senate President Joe Negron’s top lieutenant and the second most powerful person, Senator Anitere Flores.
Senator Flores was given a 100% A+ rating by the NRA in 2015 and the NRA endorsed her for her bid to run for Florida Senate in 2010.
Click here for a direct link to the one hour and thirty-nine-minute video of the Committee meeting. Below are the times when both turncoat Republicans show their true colors.
1:30:55 – Start Again
1:33:00 – States she does not support any pro-gun bills
1:33:55 – States she does not support any pro-gun billsSen. Rene Garcia1:34:35 – Start Time
1:34:55 – Agrees with Flores
1:35:08 – Rambles on about mental health and guns