Florida’s new Commissioner Agriculture & Consumer Services, Nikki Fried (D) has selected Mary Barzee Flores to be her Deputy Commissioner over Consumer Affairs. The Ag Department, among other things, is responsible for running the state’s concealed weapons permit program. The appointment of Flores isn’t a good thing for Florida gun owners. Here’s a little background of her on why this is no bueno.
A former circuit court judge, Flores was nominated by President Obama in 2015 to serve as a federal district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Flores was recommended for the judgeship by Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson after she was vetted by the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, a body appointed by Rubio and Nelson.
Fortunately for Florida, her nomination expired when the 114th Congress adjourned before she could be confirmed. After that, she went into private practice. However, in 2018, Flores decided to run for the House of Representatives. Here is a direct quote from her campaign website:
“I am 100% committed to taking on the NRA and enacting policies to end our country’s epidemic of senseless gun violence that for too long has left our most vulnerable communities to suffer in silence. Florida does not require background checks for private sales, and it is not alone in allowing this massive and deadly loophole to persist. 33 states have taken no action to close this so-called “gun show” loophole. Common sense gun reform is necessary to ensure the safety of our kids and our communities. Weapons of war have no place in our classrooms, neighborhoods, or public spaces. This is something I truly believe most of us agree with. But we’ve been stuck with inaction and death because the NRA has billions of dollars – they’ve bought and paid for a Congress that will advance their agenda and their profit margins upon command. The NRA won’t be able to buy me and I’ll make sure that Congress listens to the American people and mandates universal background checks, closes dangerous loopholes, and reinstates the federal assault weapons ban.”
– via marybarzeeflores.com, screenshot here.
Yes, she checked off all of the anti-gun left’s most-used talking points. During her campaign last year, she preached support for reinstating the Clinton “assault weapons” ban and enacting universal background checks. Her endorsements should give Florida gun owners cause for concern, too:
This features the Brady Campaign and Giffords, along with various other far left orgs that back gun control. Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action backed her during the 2018 campaign, too.
Fred Guttenberg, parent of a Parkland victim, was also behind Flores. Who is he? For the new website Heavy.com, Jessica McBride described him as “one of the strongest voices for changes to gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting.” He’s also a committee member for Ban Assault Weapons NOW. Those are the people driving a petition initiative to amend the Florida Constitution and outlaw semi-automatic rifles.
So, what does all this mean for Florida permit holders and gun owners? Expect our current CCW program to be put through the ringer. The streamlining that former Ag Commissioner, Adam Putnam and former Director of the Division of Licensing, Grea Bevis, put in place to make it far easier for Floridians to exercise their rights will likely be gone.
The online renewal, ability to apply at a county tax office, and generally quick turn-around will probably be undone. I predict that under Fried and Flores, it will be turned into more of a gun-grabber-style quagmire like those found in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California. Anything to make the process of exercising the right to bear arms more difficult.
Everything will need to be done in person, new fees will be assessed, applications will be denied for the smallest issue and hours and staffing will be reduced.
As the greatest gun salesman in history once observed, elections have consequences.