Florida’s 2018 Legislative Session A Repeat of 2017…Pro-Gun Bills Killed in Committee

On Tuesday the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for three gun bills including church carry and the decriminalization of accidental exposure of a concealed handgun (see details below). They needed the committee’s OK in order to get a vote of the full senate during the 2018 session.

As predicted last month, however, the result was a Groundhog Day-like repeat of last year’s disaster. Senators Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) and Anitere Flores (R-Miami) sided with Democrats in killing all three pieces of legislation. Republican Senators Debbie Mayfield, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Rob Bradley, and Greg Steube voted in favor of the bills.

 Sen. Rene Garcia (R) speaking during the committee meeting on Dec 5, 2017

Sen. Rene Garcia took charge this go around as the lead anti-gun Republican stating:

“It’s not about the policy, but the process, and about what I think we as a Senate should be standing up for and holding our position,” Garcia said.

Sen. Anitere Flores, on the other hand, generally stayed quiet, bringing up the rear simply through her votes. Regarding the decriminalization bill, she later stated to CBS 4 News of Miami:

“Right now, the way that bill reads is, it allows temporary and openly displaying, that would allow brandishing, and that is a concern of mine,” Flores said.

Michael Bloomberg’s astroturfed Moms Demand Action was there in full force spouting all of the usual gun-grabbing talking points.

Once again, Floridians lost any chance of expanding their Second Amendment rights. This came as the final insult in a year that saw the US Supreme Court refuse to hear Norman v Florida effectively ending any judicial route to getting open carry in the Sunshine State.

I had the pleasure of working with Paul Henry of Liberty First Network last session and he is a Patriot and a Proud Floridian. A retired 25 year veteran trooper from the Florida High Patrol, he has fought tirelessly for Floridians and not just on Second Amendment issues. During his testimony, Henry brought up the fact that of all the gun crimes that have been committed in Florida’s crime capital of Tallahassee, none of them were committed by individuals with conceal weapon permits. The majority of the criminals responsible were repeat offenders and that restricting the rights of the law abiding only hurts the law abiding.

Eric Friday of Florida Carry stood up to recognize Sen. Steube as Florida’s most pro-Second Amendment Senator and thanked him for his hard work. Stuebe has been fighting the good fight — including against members of his own party – year after year in an effort to make Florida’s gun laws less restrictive.

Here is a breakdown of the three bills that were shot down by the civilian disarmament caucus:

SB-274 would have eliminated the unconstitutional restrictions that prevent churches, synagogues and other religious institutions from allowing private security or concealed firearms permits holders to carry firearms on church property if church property is ever used for day care or any type of schooling.

It was killed by a vote of 4-6.

SB-134 would have allowed persons with permits to carry concealed firearms to “check” their firearms at the security entrance of the courthouse and retrieve it upon leaving the courthouse. Further, it would have defined what a “courthouse” is to prevent anti-gun judges from attempting to create extensive gun-free-zones around courthouses.

It was killed by a vote of 4-6.

SB-148 was a bill to stop abuse of law-abiding citizens who are permitted to carry concealed firearms for self-defense. A permit holder whose firearm becomes temporarily and openly displayed to the ordinary sight of another person is not a criminal act this bill would have stopped it being a crime.

It was killed on 5-5 a tie vote created by Sen. Anitere Flores.


  1. avatar billy-bob says:

    Y’all deserve better FL. Get rid of these dems in disguise at your earliest opportunity.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Garcia and Flores are anti-gun?

    This is my shocked face.

    1. avatar How_Terrible says:

      Your avatar is perfect for this.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Ralph isn’t known as TTAG’s “Master of Wisecracks” for nothing, How_Terrible.

        Dropping unexpected 500-pound bombs of solid comedy *Gold* is what he does…


  3. avatar Tim says:

    Some mommas ‘demanding action’……..Papa like…..

    1. avatar Tom says:

      You can keep them… There’s maybe one in that group photo that isn’t a total dog & that’s because the pic is too small to be certain.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    As I have stated at least three times before on The Truth about Guns: Florida’s multibillion dollar tourist industrial complex is NEVER going to allow open carry in Florida. They figure that open carriers would scare away countless millions of tourists which would cost Florida’s tourism industry billions of dollars.

    Unalienable rights will always take a back seat to an entity which claims that exercise of unalienable rights will cost billions of dollars.

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      You know you have a good point. Out here in Arizona, where we do get a few tourists for the Grand Canyon, Tombstone, and the like, open carry of a firearm is almost seen as “quintessential” western, particularly if you are open carrying a revolver. Which may have made Constitutional carry that much more palatable. My dad, when visiting and not a big fan of firearms (although he knows better to say anything to me when I conceal carry) was delighted to see “cowboys” with actual revolvers and was asking all sorts of questions to one of them.

    2. avatar Hank says:

      “They figure that open carriers would scare away countless millions of tourists..”

      God I sure hope so.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


  5. avatar Defens says:

    According to several articles I’ve ready, Florida Carry was also testifying against these bills. Unwilling to work to incrementally improve Floridians situation, they instead chose to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Nice strategy.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      NRA attack on Florida Carry, written by Marion Hammer:

      Florida Carry’s side of the story:

      If forced to choose between taking Hammer’s word for it, or taking Florida Carry’s word, I’ll go with FC every time. Hammer is one of the top culprits of Negotiating Rights Away.

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    Not unexpected. Florida is just “California Jr”. It’ll grow up into full fledged gun free hell hole in the years to come.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Not if we can manage to deport all the illegals. Deporting all the carpet bagging northern liberals would help too.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:


        A xouple hurricanes a year would also encourage some of the flotsam to move on into other waters.

        1. avatar Hank says:

          Right? I’m looking forward to the predicted uptick of the yearly hurricanes that will hopefully cause an exodus of the ninny nanny staters and cut down on any that want to move here. Yes, everyone, please keep thinking this state is just a massive swamp jungle full of gators, pythons, and crazed weirdos, that gets nailed by the storm of the century twice a year. Flee!!! Flee!!! Like wee dogs!!!

        2. avatar Tom In Oregon says:

          Piss on Florida… The rest of the states don’t want your illegals or retired liberals anywhere near them. Tighten your borders, boot your RINOs & stop accepting every piece of garbage that floats over on an old tire!

  7. avatar Harvey W. says:

    Ummmmm…….what’s that she’s doing with her hands?………

    Looks like “Action-Demander” has got a little self-luvin’ in the works…….and personally, I’m deeply offended.

  8. avatar FB says:

    Look at the first picture of this article and read this –>”The redcoats are coming, the redcoats are coming.”
    -Paul Revere

  9. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Florida’s 2018 Legislative Session A Repeat of 2017…Pro-Gun Bills Killed in Committee”

    Zzzz…IF the people of FL want change, then they have to change their “leadership”, because it’s obviously not working for them…

  10. avatar Anymouse says:

    Attempt 1: Primary out the 2 RINOs
    Attempt 2: Assuming it won’t flip the legislature, vote Dem general in hopes to get them out and a better person in next time.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Eh, it’s not that simple. Voting for the Dem part that is. A democrat victory can lead to further exploitation of gun rights here, as well as other rights. Higher taxes, more government spending, more nanny state bullshit. Plus they’ll try to “redistrict” and gerrymander and all that nonsense to secure their votes for the next election. As much as I despise RINO’s, I’ll take a RINO over an actual democrat any day, because on some things they will be forced to tow the party line. Stick to trying to get rid of the RINOs in the primaries.

  11. avatar Jay in Floriduh says:

    As the title said. Same crap as last year.
    Same RHINO bullshit same people. Dade County imports.
    With one as good as out the door. Flores wants to be the mayor of Miami. Small letters for small minded people. To get the Hispanic democratic libitards votes. Flores didn’t do anything unexpected. Hopefully her replacement might be a touch better. But being from Dade or the surrounding counties down there all of 3 or 4 voters. They will probably elect yet another RHINO. There are no real Republicans in Dade just RHINOs and libitards.
    Things may change for the better eventually.
    As my area Palm Beach County fills up with more ex North Easterners. Some seem to actually change their small minds after living here for awhile. Some even go out and buy some guns once they don’t have to put up with the slave state BS. Im not totally delusional but believe the world hasn’t ended down here yet.
    The 1st two items don’t bother me anywhere as much as the open carry missing out yet again. It is correct that there is too much in the way of tourist $$ to loose. At least there is in Dade.

  12. avatar Stereodude says:

    Supposedly about 400,000 people have fled Puerto Rico for Florida. It’s not going to get any better once they start voting. It will probably flip the state blue.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Then there’s the Cubans.
      The immigrant generation was mostly anti-Communists who’d rather die than live under Castro. But somehow they managed to spawn grandchildren who might as well be NYC progressives or Puerto Ricans as far as their political views are concerned.

  13. avatar Docduracoat says:

    I am with you Jay
    I am in southern Palm Beach county
    I do not live in the counties where these RINO’s come from
    So I can’t vote them out
    I contacted my representative and I also e mailed and called Anitere Flores office and Joe Negrons office
    (He is the President of the Florida Senate )
    I told Flores that I and others would contribute to and volunteer for whoever opposed her for Miami mayor if she voted anti gun
    It seems she does not care
    I will say that we just got thousands of Puerto Rican immigrants coming to Orlando after hurricane Irma devastated that island
    They are American citizens and can vote here
    The great majority of Puerto Rican’s vote Democrat
    That is a worrisome development

    1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      Its something we all who have been here for a long time have to learn to live with. Immigration from within the US. Now the number 3 or 4 state in population. Alot due to the uneasy life Libitards have caused in Northern cities. Some from storm damages. Mostly ignorant poor and will as you pointed out vote dimocratic. Unwillingly or unwittingly keeping themselves under the boot thats been on their collective throats all their lives.
      We however will survive all of this………..for the most part.

  14. avatar Chip in N. FL. says:

    It’s time we start open carrying antique replicas or completely enclosed pistols in holsters to bring awareness to the situation…Just like TX did for years before they got open carry!

  15. avatar rick3 says:

    I don’t know much about the situation in Florida specifically, but I do know that groups like “Moms Demand Action” have said many times that, since they don’t seem to be able to force things to go their way at the federal level, they’ll organize and force things their way at the local/state level. That’s exactly what they’re doing, and we POTG should have our own supporters, with some sort of recognizable item of clothes similar to the “Moms” t-shirts, flood every one of these kinds of state/local sessions. Good to see both the “Liberty First Network” and the “Florida Carry” groups represented this way.
    Ideally, our supporters would be dressed in business suits (get away from the “redneck illiterate in camo” stereotype), with maybe an armband or large lapel button.

  16. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Accidental exposure, har har. The hits just keep on comming

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