Gun owners expected positive things when they elected Republican Greg Steube to the Florida state senate. Senator Steube has rewarded their fair by introducing a number of gun law reform measures.
The measures received large majority support in the House. They were stymied in the Senate, bottled up in the Judiciary Committee. The Republican former Chair of that committee lost his primary last year. Senator Steube is now the Chair of the Judiciary Committee.
In a cycnical twist, Republica Senator Anitere Flores (R) Miami, formerly a staunch Second Amendment supporter, reversed her position. Prepping for a bid for Miami Mayor, she’s now cozying-up to Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and blocking reform measures from passing out of Committee.
The Committee has five Republicans and four Democrats. One swing vote determines if a measure will pass, if Committee members vote on party lines. Senator Steube still hopes the legislature can pass an open carry bill — but it’s not what millions of Florida gun owners hope/expect/demand. From newschief.com:
Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who has been among the leading proponents of Second Amendment rights since joining the Legislature in 2010, said he will eventually take up a major gun bill in his committee.
That could be a proposal (SB 644) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms; a proposal (SB 622) that would allow them to carry weapons on college or university campuses; or an even more wide-ranging measure by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.
SB-646, scheduled to be heard in the Judiciary Committee on March 28th, does not legalize open carry. It removes criminal penalties for open carry and provides for the payment of a civil fine of $25. It also allows for temporary open display of a firearm by people who are carrying concealed weapons. From the bill(pdf):
A bill to be entitled An act relating to weapons and firearms; amending s.790.053, F.S.; deleting a statement of applicability relating to violations of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm; reducing the penalty for a violation of specified provisions relating to openly carrying weapons; making a fine payable to the clerk of the court; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; providing that a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm who is lawfully carrying a firearm does not violate certain provisions if the firearm is temporarily and openly displayed;
It is unclear how Senator Flores will vote on this mild reform. The NRA is urging members to contact their State Senator to vote in favor of SB-646.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch