A lot of people think the NRA does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to defending gun rights. While the NRA does great work, plenty of smaller state and local gun rights orgs score big victories, too. Take Florida Carry‘s noble efforts to effectively restore the gun rights of Bradenton, Florida’s public housing residents.
With a simple demand letter backed up by the letter of the law, Florida Carry convinced the Bradenton Housing Authority to rescind a firearms ban it had imposed on its residents. Chalk up yet another one for the good guys.
Lee Williams, of the Florida-based thegunwriter.com blog, publicized the BHA’s “no firearms” policy last week. BHA head honcho Ellis Mitchell Jr. (above) wrote to Williams and reluctantly provided a copy of their boilerplate lease language. In that lease, Mitchell wrote, “you will find clear language indicating that firearms are not allowed and is considered a lease violation”.
Florida Carry read Mr. Williams’ report and immediately got involved. After all, the BHA serves thousands of residents. Despite living in public housing, they still retain all of their rights as American citizens. Florida Carry wanted to make sure those rights include those protected by the the Second Amendment.
Florida Carry’s efforts paid off almost immediately. Mr. Williams broke the news Wednesday of the Housing Authority’s complete and total capitulation:
In his response, Mitchell thanked the pro-gun group for “bringing this matter to our attention.”
Mitchell also claimed that “the BHA had already begun the process of updating our lease to insure that all lease language complies with Florida Statues (sic) Federal and Local laws and that no lease language violates any residents’ rights under any statue (sic) law or regulation.”
In their letter, Florida Carry demanded that the BHA and their contractor, the Telesis Corp., must deliver written notice to their residents that:
- No firearm or weapon prohibition will be enforced unless the weapons are illegally possessed.
- The BHA respects the right to keep and bear arms.
- Any person legally allowed to possess a weapon may do so in any residence.
- Any person with a valid Florida Concealed Weapons Firearms License or a reciprocal license from another state may carry a weapon on property managed by the BHA and its contactors.
- All lease renewals must not contain any language prohibiting the right to bear arms.
- Any firearms laws cited in any BHA lease must fully quote and cite the applicable federal or state law.
In his response, Mitchell agreed to comply with all of Florida Carry’s demands, stating “we accept your demands outlined in your June 30, 2017 letter, and will notify all of our residents of the following within 30 days of July 3, 2017.
The NRA can’t be everywhere. There are plenty of local David vs. Goliath cases in which the NRA has no role. Instead, it falls to state and regional gun rights organizations do the heavy lifting.
This serves as just one example why you should not only belong to the NRA, but also your state or regional gun rights organizations, too. For the price of a box of ammo (or two if you buy the cheap stuff), your membership can make a real difference for you and your neighbors right where you live.