Florida Lawmakers are Trying to Pull a Gun Rights Switcheroo

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Florida Judiciary Committee
GOA’s Florida State Director Luis Valdes addresses the House Judiciary Committee.

The current Florida legislative session adjourns on April 30. Republicans hold a 24-16 majority in the Senate and a 78-42 majority in the House. Given those margins and the current climate in the country, you might think that pro-gun rights bills would be flying through the legislature (or that Capitol would be open to the people). You’d be wrong.

Despite the state having some of the lowest Covid-related restrictions in the country, no one can enter the capitol to meet with their lawmakers to voice their concerns since the Republican leadership has decided to keep it closed…even though they love to advertise the state as being open.

They also have a number of pro-gun bills that are stalled and worse, they’re throwing crumbs at gun rights supporters and expect us to be happy about it.

GOA’s FL State Director, Luis Valdes speaking before the House’s Judiciary Committee. Telling them to support Constitutional Carry.

One such example is HM 1301, which was heard and debated in the House Judiciary Committee on Monday.

The text states the measure is . . .

Expressing the consensus of the Florida Legislature that the President’s proposals to restrict the right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding citizens violates the Constitution; provides Florida Legislature, on behalf of the residents of this state, intends to use all of its lawful authority and power to resist or overturn any federal gun-control measure that violates the right of Florida residents to keep and bear arms.

They want it to appear that the Republican-majority legislature is fighting for responsible gun owners in the Sunshine State, especially after President Biden’s rambling about further restrictions of Americans’ gun rights. Well, that isn’t the case.

In reality, Florida’s Republicans are acting like they’re running Disney World. They put a lot of time and effort into the special effects and costumes to make a world of make-believe you see seems real.

For starters, HM 1301, which was introduced by Rep. Jason Shoaf (R), is a House Memorial, not a bill. There is a big difference. If passed, a bill carries the force of law. A memorial is the method by which the state legislature addresses or petitions the federal Congress to air a grievance and nothing more. It’s meaningless.

So if HM 1301 passes, the Republicans in the state legislature will have written what amounts to an angry letter to Congress about Biden’s gun control push…and nothing more. This is what the legislature would rather spend its time on than bills that would actually protect or advance gun rights in the state.

Yet even this piece of legislative do-nothingism was hotly debated and contested in committee. Republicans and Democrats argued and flung mud at each other as if this bill actually had teeth.

This is how the Republicans in the Florida legislature are spending the precious few weeks they have left. They wasting time on “pro gun” virtue signaling rather than advancing constitutional carry (HB 123) or a true Second Amendment sanctuary bill (HB 1205).

So GOA was there and we made sure to specifically point this out for them. As GOA’s Florida state director, my job is to amplify gun owners’ voices at the capitol, and let them know that HM 1301 is nothing but an insult to the state’s gun owners.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing on HM 1301, Rep. Cord Byrd (R) who also chairs the House’s Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, was in attendance. That’s the subcommittee where HB 1205 and HB 123 are currently stalled.

I pointed that HB 1205 is bill they should be passing, not the fakery they’re pushing. It’s a true Second Amendment sanctuary bill with actual teeth. If HB 1205 were passed, state and local law enforcement officers who enforce Biden’s gun control meausres would be held personally liable as they’d be stripped of their qualified immunity and could be sued as an individual.

But Rep. Byrd’s has chosen, as committee chair, not move the bill forward. This is the same Rep. Byrd who, as a lawyer, advertises his legal practice as one that’s centered on Second Amendment rights and firearms related issues.

Byrd claims he’s not advancing the bill because there’s no Senate companion bill. The truth is far simpler. The bill isn’t moving because House Speaker Chris Sprowls doesn’t want it to, and Rep. Byrd is following those orders.

Utah, Iowa, Montana and Tennessee have all passed constitutional carry bills in their legislatures and signed them into law this year. But Florida, with 102 Republican lawmakers holding a supermajority, can’t even advance its bill out of committee.

It’s appalling where Florida is under the current leadership. Constitutional Carry and the Second Amendment sanctuary bill face uphill battles if they’re going to pass this session.

 

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

 

33 COMMENTS

  1. Same thing every year since the 90s. Only getting worse. Soon Florida will transition to Connecticut style laws. Constitutional Carry is a nonstarter.

  2. Doesnt matter if they’re outnumbered, the more you prove them wrong (or stupid), the more they dig in!! Some of our alleged republicans could take a lesson from them, especially when they’re in the right and everyone knows it.

    • “Some tactics of the Left are not worth adopting.”

      From the article:

      “no one can enter the capitol to meet with their lawmakers to voice their concerns since the Republican leadership has decided to keep it closed…“

      Same here in West Virginia, The elementary, middle and high schools are all open, the colleges and universities are all open, restaurants at 100% capacity, bars at 100% capacity church is having services at 100% capacity but the Republican governor and Republican super majority in the legislature have shut the capital down for the entire 60 day legislative session.
      The elementary, middle and high schools are all open, the colleges and universities are all open, restaurants at 100% capacity, bars at 100% capacity church is having services at 100% capacity but the Republican governor and Republican super majority in the legislature have shut the capital down for the entire 60 day legislative session.
      But they’re having fancy dinners with the lobbyists regardless.

      So who’s tactics are you talking about?

      • The desire to keep the plebes out is bipartisan. I can guarantee you that Democrat-run states are doing the same behind-the-scenes wining and dining minus those pesky voters — but their states are still mostly closed.

        That’s the only real difference. And it is a pretty big one, come to think of it. As infuriating as their elitist hypocrisy is, I’d rather be in a state governed by R than D any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

        As for the Left’s tactics, Sam, I’d say that depends on which “some” you’re talking about. Most of their political tactics are working. I’d love to see our side develop some that work.

        • Ing……..You’re right about wanting to be in a state governed by a Republican rather than a Democrat. Here in IOWA, our Governor is a LADY REPUBLICAN who recently signed constitutional carry, and also said Iowa would not accept and / or take responsibility for any of the illegal kids coming across the border; she said that was BIDEN’S responsibility, not IOWA’S.

          I intend to send her a THANK YOU card for her actions.

  3. Nationwide, Florida included, we need to replace every GOP RINO legislator with true conservatives. My political donations go only to Trump’s PAC and the Tea Party, here in the Lehigh Valley.

    The GOP could have stopped the steal. Instead, they were complicit. Replace EVERY GOP candidate who is not a strict Constitutionalist.

    Yup, we have to fix the election-rigging. Some states like Florida and Idaho have already done so. Amazingly, Georgia may be doing so. Pennsylvania, where I live, does not seem interested. We have a real fight on our hands, here. Sleeves rolled, dukes up.

    • Is the problem that Florida’s GOP politicians are RINOs or is it that few Republicans (or Democrats) would get elected if they were true conservatives? As an outsider, I keep hearing that political power in the state lies with retirees who moved there from the northeast. There are conservatives in Florida. (Otherwise, it would be impossible to elect a sheriff like Grady Judd.) But there are no longer enough of them to dominate state politics.

      • hearing that political power in the state lies with retirees

        Yes there are a lot of Liberal retirees settling in FL, but they are mostly concentrated in Broward, Miami-Dade and the Gulf Coast from Tampa to Naples… Fortunately the Hispanic vote has been able to hold on to Mimi-Dade, but now Orlando is leaning left and could fall completely in the next few years…

        • Orlando is already pretty “woke” if you ask me, of the major cities I think Tampa might be the most “conservative.”

        • Tampa (and areas south) is pretty much solidly Democrat…

          U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) (D), State Representative Vernon Jones (Tampa) elected as Democrat but switched parties in Jan 21… Michael Scionti: Elected to the House in 2006, reelected subsequently Democratic Whip 2006-2008, State Senator Janet Cruz (D), Hillsboro county (Tampa)

  4. As I’ve said many times, the GOP has NO balls.
    They cave on almost everything they say they stand for. Having a majority you would think that they could pass almost anything they REALLY wanted.
    You can’t play nice with Democrats… you would think that they would know that.
    Politicians are almost always jerks. & they don’t work for the people.

    • It’s not that the GOP doesn’t have balls. They just don’t care… We pretty much have a one party system with the illusion of choice. All the conflict is just political theater. We’re at the tail end of the “long game.”

  5. The truth here is that the Republicans want to keep guns legal for them, but limit the regular Joe from having one.

  6. Chris Sprowls is a New York transplant who only won his “heavily Republican” district by 2% over the Democrat incumbent… Sprowls is a textbook RINO with BIG Conservative ideas but a BIGGER left leaning Ideology… Hopefully his primary opponent will take another run at him and maybe move him on out… TOO many RINOs in FL House AND Senate… Including Senate President Wilton Simpson… which makes his pick for majority leader suspect as well… BUT FL voters beware as Wilton has expressed interest in the Dept of Agriculture in 2022 (issues concealed carry licenses) we’d be better off with the Democrat that’s in there right now…

  7. “As for the Left’s tactics, Sam, I’d say that depends on which “some” you’re talking about. ”

    Lying to, and playing smoke and mirrors with, their voters.

    • Don’t sweat it, nothing will come from it.

      The so-called ‘Commission’ is just a scrap Biden is throwing to the yapping dogs.

      We just had a second current Leftist member of the SCOTUS (after Ginsburg a few months back, before she died) saying leave the size of the SCOTUS the hell alone.

      Let them make their little ‘report’. Biden can claim he “did something”. Cooler heads will prevail…

  8. Here where I live in the Ft Myers are after getting rid of a John Boehner fan who 2 years ago thought a carbon tax was a good idea we elected a big black guy who Trump liked by the name of Byron Donalds. I voted for him because he won the primary, by 1% of the vote. I met him previously and spoke with him. This is a very white district. This guy has gone to DC and is the real deal. A Conservative who gets it. He is not making friends in DC and we like it.

  9. The republicucks totally approved all anti 2A legislation passed after the school shooting in Broward County. They’re not as insane and rotten as the socialists, but they’re not far behind when it comes to your freedom and rights, it’s the last of their problems.

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