Rep. Val Demmings, D-Fla., speaks to supporters as her husband, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demmings, left, listens during an election night gathering of family and friends after winning the race for Florida's 10th congressional district Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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By Larry Keane

U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) made public what had been expected and announced a challenge to Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ahead of the 2022 elections.

The very first question at the very first debate needs to be this: “Has your stolen service weapon been found? Can you say with certainty your stolen service weapon has not been used in a crime, or worse to injure someone?”

Given her law enforcement background, the pending nomination of gun control lobbyist and activist David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the current surge in criminal firearm violence, the question demands an answer.

With the Senate deadlocked at 50-50 and antigun legislation being debated in both chambers, flipping a Senate seat for gun control means severe consequences on law-abiding gun owners, Second Amendment supporters and the entire firearm industry.

The History

Rep. Demings has served in Congress since 2016 and has a long record of supporting strict gun control and receiving endorsements from major gun control groups along the way. Before Congress, her career was with the Orlando Police Department. She started there in 1983, rising to become Chief of Orlando Police in 2007, and retiring in 2011.

It was in 2009 when then-Chief Demings made news. Not good news.

Using the excuse that she was expecting visiting family guests with young children in her home, Rep. Demings placed her OPD service firearm in a duffle bag and left it out in her vehicle. Apparently neither Rep. Demings, nor her sheriff husband, believed in the effectiveness of safe and secure home firearm storage as is emphasized by the firearm industry.

Overnight, the car was broken into and the firearm was stolen. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the theft wasn’t made public until weeks afterward when a tipster alerted media. Rep. Demings was consequently censured and additional reporting shows the firearm has never been recovered.

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Rep. Demings tried to use her gun control bona fides to vault into higher office once before. She was a contestant in President Joe Biden’s Veepstakes pageant led by Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action, which is part of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety gun control group. The virtual town hall events were viewed as auditions for prospective vice presidential candidates.

During her audition, Rep. Demings touted a congressional hearing on gun control and described how she proclaimed to a witness, “I’ve enforced the laws. And now I write the laws!” She continued, “And believe me it makes such a difference to understand, to have seen up close and personal what some of the vulnerabilities were or some of the loopholes were in the laws during the time I enforced the laws.”

President Joe Biden wasn’t impressed and passed on Rep. Demings, choosing then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) instead.

The Stakes Ahead

Now Rep. Demings is hoping to bring that personal experience to the upper chamber by replacing Sen. Rubio. The contrast couldn’t be more obvious. Sen. Rubio co-sponsored S. 1522, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and scored an A+ on NSSF’s 2020 Senate Report Card. Rep.

Val Demings
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Demings is an ardent gun control advocate, who earned an “F” from NSSF on the same report card. To boost her support from antigun groups eyeing the race she recently introduced a package of gun control laws, including closing non-existent “gun show” loopholes, regulating so-called “ghost guns,” restricting lawful firearms already included under the National Firearms Act and more.

Rep. Demings has also made it clear she supports President Biden’s executive actions on gun control announced earlier this year saying, “President Biden’s orders are measured, evidence-based, and carefully targeted. They will crackdown on gun trafficking, ghost guns, and gun modifications…They will help local law enforcement remove guns from volatile situations before violence can erupt. Simply put, they will save lives.”

Those orders include banning the most popular selling semiautomatic rifle being purchased by law-abiding Americans today, promoting “red flag” laws that deny citizens Due Process, closing so-called loopholes (numerous fact-checkers flagged the president’s claims as false) and nominating the antigun lobbyist and activist David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

If Rep. Demings were today Sen. Demings, she could cast her vote that would confirm Chipman’s pending nomination.

The 2022 elections will include several hotly contested races. With Vice President Kamala Harris casting any tie-breaking votes, Republicans need only to gain one net seat to win back control. Second Amendment supporters will be closely watching key races, but Rep. Demings challenging Sen. Rubio in the Sunshine State is one that could have an outsized impact on the rights of lawful gun owners for years to come.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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  1. Leave no doubt that these gun grabbers are making a full press at the moment. Watch for some executive orders shortly to try and speed up the infringement on our rights. They don’t care if it has to be battled out in the courts, they have to show their constituents they are doing what they said, ban weapons.

    Now the public needs to be reminded that she did not report her weapon missing for weeks after it was stolen from her car. And she was law enforcement at the time.

  2. Proof that systemic racism is no longer a problem in America.

    Fascism accepts folks of all colors now.

    • Nope, ain’t no racism out here boss!

      “In Mississippi, a local high school faces backlash for changing its class ranking system after two Black girls were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian.

      Ikeria Washington and Layla Temple were named West Point High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2021.

      However, on graduation day, school officials added one more valedictorian and another salutatorian. Both of those students are white, which has sparked criticism from parents and alumni on social media

      In a Facebook post addressing the concerns, the West Point Consolidated School district explained the two methods to determine a student’s class ranking: GPA and QPA.“

      • What yeah the black folks lost and they did gpa’s wrong by not counting advanced placement classes…. And they let them keep it… why don’t you go mine you own business troll… dumb son of a bitch

  3. Never like both the husband and wife. Too political and both are opportunists to sell out the populace.

    • I dont think she’s that bad looking. Kinda cute in her cop outfit. She’s probably got a glock in her pants though. Cant do gocks no matter what the appearance of the person is.

    • Because they’re the kind of ugly that radiates out from the core. Doesn’t matter how pretty or hot they may have been once, or how they make themselves up; eventually the poison bubbles up and becomes visible.

    • The best you can state is that she isn’t as obese as the average black woman. Cut NO. Ugly does indeed go to the bone. See also Camel

      Did she get to be a FOUR STAR chef due to the content of her character or to the color of her skin???

    • “What happened, I thought FL was the gunshine state?”

      It was, at one time.

      It’s simple – Florida has no income tax, and it’s warm in the winter, so it attracts Leftist scum from the high-tax north east Leftist-controlled states who move down here and vote for the same shit they ran away from, screwing us who live here…

    • It is. The problem that major population centers are blue. Rural and non major population centers are still red. For example, Orlando Blue. Brevard County Red.

  4. A gun grabber really can not represent a gun owning public and uphold there oath of office to uphold and defend the constitution. There agenda just does not make it creditable . THAT is what common sense tells you.

  5. Demmings should stick with her local (Big fish in a small pond) advantage… Statewide against Rubio (even though HE is a bit wishy-washy) she will get her ass handed to her… Her paricipation in the Trump impeachment trials will definitely not help, but since she can’t run for both seats that will open the door in Orange County for a possible Conservative (of course I’m joking) make that a “moderate” Democrat… And she can enjoy unemployment on her fat cop retirement and her old mans salary as Mayor of Orange County…

  6. How come top cops in all the big cities always seem to have a uniform that is fancier than anything worn by a too important to die South American or African dictator and president for life?

    • That photo is the only tangible evidence she was important once. Then her employer saw through the veneer.

    • Three-star Admiral sleeve insignia with four stars on the epaulets – because obviously the administrator of some insignificant municipal bureaucracy is equivalent to a Numbered Fleet Commander and/or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

      • Remember when the leftists went after black conservative democrat Sheriff David Clarke? They called his modestly adorned uniform a “toy uniform”.

  7. Just another incompetent affirmative action appointee. And her achievements are?
    I’m hearing crickets.

    • And her achievements are?

      Are you forgetting?, She was a part of the team that argued FOR conviction at Trumps impeachment “trial” in the Senate, with all of two years as a U.S. Congressman and no “legal” background other than being a cop… She’s a Progressive Liberals HERO… Just what we need more of in the United States Senate…

  8. Red flag Rubio needs a come to constitution meeting or well end up with this racist commie.

  9. As disappointed as I am in Little Marco, this woman is leftist poison. No way will she get my vote.

    • I had great hopes for him. He needs to. Be a Benitez cuban and defend the constitution

      • I was one of his original supporters. Sent him $20.00 when he was 40 percentage points behind loathsome Charlie Crist. Still, I don’t regret voting for him, as he was the best of the worst.

        • Yeah I contributed to Rubio, couldn’t let Charlie get in the door (poor old Charlie, heard he might try to take out DeSantis, good luck with that), then Marco won, went to Washington and immediately got corrupted by McCain and the RINOs with that “Gang of Eight” Bullshit… The only good thing I can say about him is that in comparison Val Demmings would do A LOT more damage than he has or will…

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