Florida Legislature DeSantis
(AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Florida has one week left before the 2021 legislative session adjourns on April 30. With a Republican supermajority of 102 lawmakers, you’d think that pro-gun bills would be piling up on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk right now. You’d be wrong.

Even worse, the legislature’s Republicans are trying to pull the wool over gun owners’ eyes.

On April 15, HB 1409 was debated and voted on in the House Judiciary Committee. HB 1409, which would strengthen the state’s preemption law, was introduced by GOP Rep. Cord Byrd and is fully supported by Gun Owners of America.

Luis Valdes, GOA’s FL State Director, speaking before the House’s Judiciary Committee on HB 1409.

The basis of the bill is simple. If a political subdivision of the state passes an ordinance that violates state preemption laws, then a person affected by the local gun control ordinance can seek damages by filing a lawsuit. The political subdivision can’t repeal or change the ordinance to make the case moot.

Rep. Byrd’s bill is on its way to a full floor vote in the House since it passed its final committee. But that doesn’t mean Rep. Byrd isn’t due for some criticism. Why?

Because back on March 17, Rep. Byrd said that, as the chair of the House’s Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, he won’t bring HB 123 (constitutional carry) up for a vote in his committee since it doesn’t have a Senate companion bill.

Yet Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pet project, the anti-riot bill (HB 1), which was just signed into law, had no Senate companion bill either.  Yet Rep. Byrd brought that bill up for a vote in his committee. In fact, Byrd’s committee was the first to pass HB 1.

Ron DeSantis bill signing
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

So why are the state’s gun owners angry with Rep. Byrd? Simple. We were lied to.

At first, Byrd stated on February 10 that he might bring up HB 123 at the half way point of the session. When that didn’t happen, I asked him about the bill, and he responded with the excuse that there was no Senate companion bill.

The thing is, no legislation needs to have a companion bill to move forward and Rep. Byrd knows it.

Florida’s Republicans are acting like they work at Disney World. They put a lot of effort into the special effects and costumes to make a world of make-believe seem real.

If they want a bill to move forward, it moves forward. So why is it that so much pro-gun legislation doesn’t seem to move forward? It’s because they really don’t have the will to make it happen.

With the legislative session coming to an end, we need Gov. DeSantis spend some political capital this spring, summer, and fall in calling for a special legislative session. Under the state constitution, the Governor can request a special session for whatever issue he deems important. Making Florida the 21st constitutional carry state is important and the question deserves a vote by the full legislature.

As state Senator Dennis Baxley said a few years ago . . .

Republican Lawmakers don’t support pro-gun legislation because they don’t hear any negative criticism from their constituency. They take the silence of gun owners as approval.

That needs to end.

 

Luis Valdes is the Florida Director for Gun Owners of America.

 

62 COMMENTS

  1. Looks to me like the solution is to pick one, or a few, RINOs and mount an attack to primary them or vote for the Democrat in the next election. They may be sort-of-OK on lots of other issues; but I suspect that these can’t be relied upon even for those other issues.

    The legislators need to be taught that there is a price to pay for being wrong on key issues. When that lesson finally sinks in then the 2A will become a true 3rd rail.

    There isn’t a lot to lose in FL if the legislature is solidly in control of the GOP. Losing a few Republicans who are willing to be sacrificial lambs for the Bloomberg cause isn’t likely to cause losses on other important issues.

    • Hey, these are the same a-holes that voted with then Governor Scott and little Senator Marco Rubio for Red Flag Laws and raised the long gun ownership to age 21 from 18. Why would anyone think they would vote pro 2A.
      Marion Hammer was Florida’s Hammer until the new generation of snowflake phoney you tubers ran her and the NRA into the ground. MAC, Iran 8888, Yankee Marshall, Not Enough Ammo and many more like idiots to just name a few. Oh and Adam I wannabee a lawyer.

      • LOL, it was Marion Hammer that spent the past decade defending Republicans that blocked Open Carry, Campus Carry, and Constitutional Carry. It was Marion Hammer that backed Red Flag Laws and the Bump Stock Ban.

        Mack The Knife, you’re one dull blade.

        • Yeah, had some problems, but, who is taking the New York concealed carry argument to the Supreme Court?? The top dog, the NRA. Pay your dues!!!!

    • Primaries is where it’s at. People usually ignore them, and just vote R or D in the general. Primary turn out should be heavily promoted to take out the weak Republicans and remake the party.

      In non-swing districts, the primary effectively determines the winner.

        • FL have write in?

          Of course there is a write in slot, but why would you (1) waste a vote by writing in someone who can’t win or (B) NOT voting at all? As seen in the current US Senate and House MAJORITY is everything and leaving the possibility of a D in a seat that came down to few hundred votes (like GA Senate seats) means the difference between control or bystander… I’d rather have control…

        • “why would you waste a vote by writing in someone who can’t win”

          So you can tell yourself that you’re a good person for not supporting someone that failed the purity test.

        • Good news for the fence sitters… Open Primaries only FAILED by less than 3%, it will be back on the ballot again… That means wide open CA style “Top two winners get a trophy voting” Fun times… So General elections could be Dem vs Dem in Brevard, Miami Dade, Orange BUT R vs R in Pinellas, Volusia, the Panhandle… Can’t wait, Everybody will be able to “feeeelz” good without that nagging twinge of guilt… (Me being SARCASTIC)…

      • How does that help?. Biden is going to make community college free tonight. You should see if your school has a civics course.

    • As former VP Pence said:

      “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican…and in that order.”

      I concur. I’m a conservative Christian myself, and not beholden to any Party. Very disappointed that anyone in office elected under the (R) banner would ever act to forestall our God-given liberties. If you want to act like a Democrat, then change parties.

    • I know what you mean by calling them RINOs, but really they’re the REAL Republicans, and yes, they’re a bunch of despicable sellouts. There’s an opportunity to remake the party.

      • Most politicians are law and most lawyers are sharks.
        Something to debate. Would a knife wielding shark defeat an alligator.
        I’m saying the alligator would probably win if it could get the shark in shallow enough water.

        • “Would a knife wielding shark defeat an alligator.”

          Only if the shark had frikk’en laser beams on his head… 😉

    • “Gotta make the primary Into a knife fight in a life boat”

      That paints a perfect picture of where we find ourselves right now IMHO. Too bad we can’t find another boat, one with a rudder and a good Skipper. Thanks… Carry on and God Bless!!!

  2. Get used to it. Republican politicians are just as corrupt as Democrat politicians. We have been lied to for years. The only reason that people of the gun like Republicans is that Democrats are even worse.
    Just because Trump was elected as a Republican doesn’t make him a party leader, as a matter of fact, many Republicans worked very hard to make him disappear, since he was taking on major corporations and trying to get the infrastructure built back up.
    It is obvious that a severe depression is coming, it took WWII to pull us out of the last one. The politicians want control over the people before it gets real bad and that means totalitarian rule. We must fight to remain free.
    Keep your powder dry.

    • Trump wasn’t fantastic either, just because all presidents since at least Reagan have been a train wreck doesn’t make Trump wonderful.

    • Just as corrupt…but worse in that unlike Democrats, who have the dubious honor of legislation that at least *claims* to achieve something, Republicans stand for doing nothing at all. The only thing our “conservative” politicians have managed to conserve is their own second-class status at the elite soirees where the progressives plan the rape and looting of America. But hey, at least they’ve got a seat at the table, right?

      I hate the Democratic party and want to see it die the ignominious death it deserves, but the Republican party as it now exists needs to die, too.

      • “Republicans stand for doing nothing at all”

        In the past few decades they stood for worshiping corporate money and feeding the Military Industrial Complex. What do we have to show for it?

        • “…and feeding the Military Industrial Complex. What do we have to show for it?”

          Some seriously cool military hardware like stealth technology, for one… 😉

        • What do we have to show for it?

          For starters, over 4000 dead American soldiers, killed in a war of lies in Iraq who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

          And about a $3 trillion gift to the military industrial complex… And thanks to trump, we’re providing billions in arms to Saudi Arabia, who did play a major part in the 9/11 attacks.

        • I’m not disagreeing with you Miner, but do you think it’s more likely that Saudi Arabia will use their newly purchased arms against the USA or against Iran and Iran proxies? It’s difficult to be objective when everything begins and ends with partisanship. For the record, I don’t trust Saudi Arabia as far as I can throw it.

        • If I was prez I’d dump a lot of money into the military complex.
          Nothing says ” Dont Tread On Me” like a UniverseEndingPerpetualFussionNuetrinoBlomb

        • You’re hanging out on a forum calling someone a “prog moron” without offering any sort opposing viewpoint, yet you’re telling me to grow up? That’s a good one! And I’m supposed to think you’re a serious person? It’s hilarious how the so-called “limited government” “fiscally conservative” Republicans LOVE to overpay and waste money as long as it goes toward enriching companies that fulfill military related contracts, and the usual gang of lobbyists, consultants, and politicians.

          By the way, how’s that audit coming along of the Pentagon? You know, the one that was finally supposed to begin back in 1990 for the first time ever? Fast forward THIRTY YEARS, and they said (last year) “Oops we screwed it up AGAIN. Give us another decade or so and we’ll straighten out this mess.” *wink, wink* So you’re perfectly okay with that Mr. Grown Up? I’m not because it’s my money they’re paying themselves with. You want to know how to afford the greatest military on the planet? Stop the senseless wars that aren’t making us any safer and quit wasting my money!!

        • @neiowa – The phrase “Military industrial complex” was coined by that infamous “prog moron”, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Get a clue.

    • We have one of those anti-gun Republicans here in Georgia. His name is David Ralston and as Speaker of the Georgia House he has blocked every pro-gun piece of legislation he can.

    • “It is obvious that a severe depression is coming, it took WWII to pull us out of the last one.“

      Well you know, it took the Obama/Biden team to pull us out of the Republican depression-lite of 2007–2008.

      Hopefully the Democrats can repair the damage done to our economy by Trump and his supporters.

      • “Hopefully the Democrats can repair the damage done to our economy by Trump and his supporters.”

        How is it possible to be that far out of touch with reality? If it wasn’t for the unnecessary, unproven, anti-scientific lock downs and local government-forced business closures, Covid could have been a blip on the economic radar instead of INTENTIONALLY devastating our economy (and now our debt) to both somehow blame on Trump, and then use as an excuse to print unlimited amounts of money to “come to the rescue” of the problem they themselves created.

        Now the (highly paid) “experts” on CNN are even saying we should now treat potential exposure to the virus as INDIVIDUAL RISK MANAGEMENT. That’s hilarious! Where were they over a year ago?? I literally said that right here on TTAG multiple times from the very beginning.

        • “How is it possible to be that far out of touch with reality?”

          Here’s how:

          https://youtu.be/uuaZlhe6Pmg

          Every time I see any one of several bylines here, including miner’s, the Three Stooges rendition of Three Blind Mice comes to my mind. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this explains it all.

        • Three Stooges rendition of Three Blind Mice comes to my mind. Maybe it’s just me,

          Not just you, different tune but same result…

      • I would call you stupid or moron but that would require me to believe your lack of intelligence was subconscious. Wilful ignorance is far worse.

      • “Rooooosevelts Depression“

        You might note that Republican president Coolidge and Hoover were the architects of the great depression, FDR was handed a ruined economy and a nation in social upheaval.

        Students of American history know that FDR was not elected until 1932, and did not take office until 1933 in the midst of the Republicans’ Great Depression.

  3. Those are not Republicans those are Jim Crow Gun Control RINOs. And they are accustomed to doing what they want because no one stands in front of these legislative committees and informs them that their pompous denial of rights is nothing new. It’s straight from the behind of Jim Crow Gun Control. And all that’s missing are the sheets, pointed hats and burning crosses.

    • Whatever you want to call them, the term RINO has become so common that I believe MOST “republicans” are just that. All I see is 99% of leftist or fake conservative crooks, and a tiny minority of POSSIBLY honest politicians. Republicans, or RINOS definitely screwed us over the 2A after the H.S shooting in Broward Cty. Rick Scott is a republican (or RINO) and so is Rubio, plenty more on the state level, that’s a lot of RINOs (or republicans?) in FL alone.

  4. It can’t change. I live here and know many, many people with more than two dozen NFA items and they will not even write their rep am email. Florida is on the way to be a Connecticut with palm trees. The state GOP is pathetic and more purple than red.

  5. We need to elect great people to office. Politicians cannot become great by grandstanding, putting on a show, and then backing away from their principles. They may be successful in holding their seats, but they cannot be great.

    To be great in government requires believing deeply, understanding your deep feelings, loving your country, loving your constituency, and fighting ferociously for the Constitution. It requires having actual principles, a solid moral foundation, and courage. It requires going to your constituency for the support needed to do that which is right, not that which is easy.

    Alberto Camus made the point that a person defines himself by drawing a boundary and announcing to the world, “This is who I am! Beyond this line you shall not cross, you shall not intrude. This is who I am and you cannot take that away ”

    We need to elect people who have drawn that boundary, otherwise, the local, state, and Federal swamps will drown them and bury them in fetid, stinking muck.

    • You cannot elect great people to office with a pay to play, two parties system. The candidates are pre screened, then selected again, then the people get to choose (kind of, depends on voting machine and so on). Albert Camus was a fascinating man and a great philosopher, where did you find this quote? I am not familiar with it.

      • M,

        You may want to read ‘The Rebel’, by Camus. The phrasing I provided is not a verbatim quote, but my attempt to encapsulate one of the salient themes in that book-length essay.

        Yes, we do get some great people in office, despite the pay-to-play system. I suggest Govs. DeSantis and Noem as examples. Not perfect, but fighters, people with principles.

        Still, your point is well-taken. Our political and governmental systems are Inferno-level corrupt.

  6. Darkman
    As a member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition I pass this on as an example of what can be accomplished with hard work and a Desire to be Free. This is the effort of thousands of Citizens voters. Stay Strong in Your Fight…Keep Your Powder Dry
    From, Richard Rogers: Iowa Firearms Coalition Board Member and Lobbyist
    Despite any anxiety you may have due to recent anti-gun, anti-liberty developments in Washington, D.C., you’re probably feeling pretty confident that here in Iowa, your Second Amendment rights are recognized, protected, and respected by the law.
    But let’s imagine for a moment that you live in another state…
    THAT state requires you to:
    Apply for, qualify for, pay for, and wait for a Permit in order to buy a gun
    Apply for, qualify for, pay for, and wait for a Permit to CARRY a handgun – and furthermore
    A local official has absolute discretion whether to grant that Permit to Carry and as to what restrictions to place on it
    That “personal protection” is NOT considered a valid reason to issue a Permit to Carry
    There is NO appeal available to those denied a permit – and no refund
    The permit application process must be repeated EVERY year
    All permit application information is available to the public and regularly published in newspapers and online
    As a result, fewer than 1 person in 100 is ever granted a permit
    For those (nearly everyone) who do NOT have a Permit to Carry, the weapons laws are so strict that:
    An ammunition magazine containing even a single round is considered to be “a loaded firearm”, even if no gun is present
    The mere act of carrying a firearm may be considered “going armed with intent”
    Instructing a youth under age 14 in the safe handling and use of ANY handgun is a serious crime – and a felony on the second offense!
    A permit holder commits a crime if he/she does not possess and display it on-demand to any peace officer
    Hunters in the field are prohibited from carrying a defensive handgun
    It is a crime to carry a defensive handgun on an ATV or snowmobile, even WITH a Permit to Carry or ON ONE’S OWN PROPERTY
    Carrying a stun gun or a knife with a blade over 5” under one’s coat or in a purse is a serious crime
    Firearm sound suppressors, short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns are classified in the same way as machine guns and possession is a felony
    Local governments, library and park boards, etc. feel free to place local restrictions on your right to keep and bear arms. If you decide to petition your legislators at the Capitol, you will find yourself disarmed at the door.
    Those citizens who may be forced to use reasonable defensive force to repel aggressive force against themselves or their families may have a “duty to retreat” and can be subject to prosecution if a prosecutor, judge, or jury believes they should have done so.

    Even if you were one of the LUCKY few who were issued a Permit to Carry in that state after jumping through all the hoops, you’d probably feel that your Second Amendment rights were being pretty seriously infringed upon. Right now, you are probably wondering what state that is (Illinois? Massachusetts?) and are grateful for being an Iowan.

    Well, the state described above was Iowa just a decade ago.
    We Iowans are fortunate, in that over the course of the last ten years, our legislature has removed every single one of the restrictions on our Second Amendment rights listed above. The last of them will fall away on July 1st, when the latest changes to the law go into effect.
    These changes did not happen by chance but are a testament to what determined and sustained effort by a few citizens can accomplish. Fifteen years ago, four men who were unhappy with Iowa’s terribly inequitable “may issue” weapons permit system, began to organize a movement to change the law to a “shall issue” system, as so many states had already done since the late 1980s. That movement quickly grew from a coffee klatch to an email bulletin board group and then to a statewide organization called Iowa Carry, Inc. The movement gathered attention and strong support and by 2010, legislators and the Governor were convinced to change the law and enact a very good “shall issue” system.
    Iowa Carry had accomplished its singular goal and was forced to make a decision. Should the group disband – or should it broaden its goals and become a permanent organization? It chose the latter course, became Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC), and officially affiliated with its allies, the National Rifle Association.
    Since that time, IFC volunteers have worked continuously to further improve Iowa’s laws and regulations governing weapons, use of force, hunting, etc. Working with our partners at NRA, we have had tremendous success in persuading legislators to do the right thing, especially in the last five years.
    -Richard Rogers, Iowa Firearms Lobbyist and Board Member

  7. Oh you mean the same kind of buttheads who screwed us after the school shooting in Broward County? I can’t believe it, I never saw that one coming! Florida is more and more of a purple state than a red state, will eventually be a blue state, so a lot of crooks left or right are trying to position themselves somewhere in the “middle” on many issues.

  8. M,

    You may want to read ‘The Rebel’, by Camus. The phrasing I provided is not a verbatim quote, but my attempt to encapsulate one of the salient themes in that book-length essay.

    Yes, we do get some great people in office, despite the pay-to-play system. I suggest Govs. DeSantis and Noem as examples. Not perfect, but fighters, people with principles.

    Still, your point is well-taken. Our political and governmental systems are Inferno-level corrupt.

  9. Sounds like something Rubio would oppose.
    A list of the opposing RINOs should be made public and all Florida residents should call them 5 times a day to remind them you support this bill. That is correct, 5 times daily.

    • Don’t forget to flood their Email and attend every public meeting they are at. Keep their feet to the fire and let them know your vote and support for them depends on how they vote on issues of Civil Rights and Freedom from Government.

  10. I want my governor, Ron Desantis to tell the legislature to bring him a constitional carry bill, a Second Amendment sanctuary bill, and a bill to restore the age of firearms purchases to 18, and that he will promptly sign them.

    • Well, Rep. Sabatini introduced a bill this session that would do exactly that and it died in the very same committee that Constitutional Carry did.

      Ron DeSantis promised he’d be pro-gun and he’s done nothing.

  11. Typical Republican cowardly duplicitousness. Same damn thing happens here in Michigan. Strong Republican majorities in both chambers. When a Republican governor is in office, they sit on their collective hands and advance very little, in many cases nothing of any consequence with regard to 2nd Amendment friendly legislation. Get a Democrat in the governor’s mansion, the legislation starts to flow, with them knowing damn well it’s not going to make it past the governor’s desk. Disgusting.

  12. As the late great Rush Limbaugh pointed out often, and far more eloquently than can easily fit into a little comment box, politicians have very little incentive to actually “solve” the problems that people care about enough to actually get out and VOTE over. In this example, there are huge numbers of citizens who will reliably turn out and vote for whomever they perceive to be standing up for their gun rights. That is good for the politicians who want to endlessly win reelection campaigns! However, if those “pro gun” politicians ever actually pass strong legislation that settles the whole issue of your 2nd Amendment rights once and for all, YOU’LL HAVE NO REASON TO GET OUT AND VOTE FOR THEM ANYMORE. That is a serious loss for those who NEED your votes to stay in their coveted positions of political power.

    Liberty minded Americans tend to want to actually live the American dream of simply being largely left the hell alone, and simply be free to live out their lives with minimal interference from the ugly beast of government. That means we do not live out our lives constantly plotting and planning on how to impose our will upon everyone else like the left does, and so when liberty’s immediate problems appear to be solved, at least for the moment, we don’t invest much, if any, time / effort / money into politics. We’d generally rather just be free to avoid the ugliness of people obsessed with political power to the point that they base their entire lives around it.

    So in a perverse sort of way, the worst thing “pro gun” politicians could do is to get strong state legislation passed that solidly solves our 2nd Amendment issues. Once you are satisfied, you won’t have any inventive to work / donate / vote anymore, and will likely then happily return to your normal life of not even thinking about government at all, or at least as little as possible. It simply isn’t in our nature to want to boss everybody else around like leftist tyrant wannabes, and we sure as hell do not want to be bossed around either. It simply isn’t who we are as a free people.

    Admit it: If they passed strong pro-2nd Amendment laws at the state level to solidly protect your rights, you would finally be free to pretty much ignore politics as you would prefer to anyway. To the politician this loss of reliable voters is simply not desirable, and so here we are.

    “Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges” (The more corrupt a republic, the more numerous it’s laws) – Tacitus

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