NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer, 1995 (courtesy
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Marion Hammer is a force to be reckoned with. She was the first female President of the National Rifle Association (from 1995 to 1998). As an NRA lobbyist in The Sunshine State, Ms. Hammer led the campaign to reform Florida’s concealed carry laws — a gun rights restoration that spread across the United States. Not to mention her contribution to Florida’s equally significant adoption of a so-called “stand your ground” law. All that said . . .

Ms. Hammer has taken it on the chin over the last few years, as Florida politicians have somehow managed to thwart open carry, campus carry and Constitutional carry pushes — despite their success elsewhere in the country. Ms. Hammer is nothing if not combative. So when open carry died in the Florida legislature — again — Ms. Hammer reckoned it was hammer time.

Here’s her salvo against Florida Open Carry, via [Note: we will be publishing Florida Carry’s response later today.}

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders. License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts. When firearms, that are being lawfully carried concealed, accidentally become exposed to the sight of another person, license holders are being arrested for violating the open carry ban.

In Florida, there are 1.8 million law-abiding license holders. Every time they leave their homes, carrying a firearm, they run the risk of that firearm becoming exposed to the sight of another person and then being thrown face down on the street, arrested at gun point and treated like a criminal – because the wind blew open a jacket or they reached for something on a top shelf or a shirt got snagged and uncovered their firearm.

SB-148 would have helped stop some of the abuse but Florida Carry, Inc. opposed it.

You would think, particularly in view of Florida Carry’s recent loss in the Norman case before the Florida Supreme Court, that Florida Carry would be eager to pass legislation to protect license holders. Their lawyer defended a license holder, Mr. Dale Norman. Mr. Norman didn’t do anything wrong but because his firearm was accidentally exposed to the sight of another person, he was put face down on the ground, arrested at gun point, hauled off in a police car and prosecuted for violating the open carry law. The case went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court where they ruled against Mr. Norman.

But in Committee on Tuesday, 12/5/17, Florida Carry’s pursuit of perfection, became the enemy of the good. They testified in opposition to Sen. Steube’s SB-148 – Protection from Open Carry Abuse.

Was the bill perfect? No, it wasn’t. Was it better than existing law? Yes, it absolutely was better. Could it have been made better in other committees before final passage? Of, course. That’s the process. And this was only the first committee of three before it could go to the floor in the Senate.

But Florida Carry OPPOSED that bill.

Fortunately the Second Amendment supporters on the committee didn’t pay any attention to Florida Carry (they still voted for improvement) and the antigun Democrats were happy because they can use Florida Carry for cover.

But here’s what Florida Carry DIDN’T DO: They didn’t try to fix any of the bills or amendments to make them better. They didn’t do anything but show up in committee and testify against the bills.

They’re fond of talking about what happened in 1987 like they were there and but they weren’t.

NRA passed right to carry in 1987 and it wasn’t perfect but it was better that nothing and it was a start. Year after year we have worked to improve it and make it better. Today, 1.8 million gun owners have licenses to carry concealed because we know the value of working one step at a time and making things better while pursuing perfection.

That worked well for concealed carry license holders until 2011. That’s when Florida Carry arrived on the legislative scene and effectively killed open carry for CW License holders.

Florida Carry’s folks, using Florida Carry’s name, made a barrage of threatening and bullying phone calls to Senators. They screamed profanities and threats at Senators demanding full open carry for everyone, not concealed carry license holders.

A bill that we could have passed in 2011 to allow CW License holders carry openly or concealed and prevent abuse of license holders, died because of Florida Carry. If it had passed then, we might well have full open carry today but we’ll never know.

So here we are today, still fighting to do something to stop the abuse of license holders. We’re no better off than we were in 2011 and Florida Carry is still working to kill bills that aren’t perfect. Eating an elephant one bite at a time means nothing to them. If they can’t swallow the whole elephant in one bite they’d rather starve – actually they’d rather make YOU starve. They’d rather have nothing upon which to improve. They want it all — right now — or nothing.

However, Florida Carry didn’t kill those bills in committee on 12/5/17 but they made it easier for the antigun Republicans to kill them. Florida Carry’s open opposition to the bill made it easier for them to justify knifing gun owners in the back.

THAT’S NOT ALL. Florida Carry did in this committee hearing… but it’s just more of the same foot stomping for perfection at the expense of the good on Sen. Steube’s SB-134 Courthouse Carry. Their explanations of why they did what they did are pure pap. The only thing their self-righteous behavior does in the legislative arena is benefit the antigun organizations. Legislators will remember that – we will remember that.

Moms Demand Action should put Florida Carry’s representatives in red t-shirts and give them an award, because in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 12/5/2017 Florida Carry sided with Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action – NOT Florida gun owners.

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  1. As a lifelong Florida Resident and Lifetime NRA member I am sorry to say that Marion is WAY off base here. Actually….her directly this childish outburst at Florida Carry instead of where it belongs(Florida Republican leadership….particularly The Senate President) is not only counter productive it’s completely out of line.

    Florida Carry does much better in their response than I can(so read it) but this part of what she said is infuriating
    However, Florida Carry didn’t kill those bills in committee on 12/5/17 but they made it easier for the antigun Republicans to kill them. Florida Carry’s open opposition to the bill made it easier for them to justify knifing gun owners in the back.

    Sorry..Florida Carry had ZERO impact on these bills getting killed. These bills NEVER had a chance because the Republican party and the Senate leadership want them killed. Republicans have RAN the entire Florida state govt for probably over 20 years now….COMPLETE control of Legislature…and every single year it’s the same story.
    Republicans PROMISE during the elections all this stuff will pass…then they get elected..and nothing happens. The Senate kills it every time…and their excuse is that the COMMITTEE killed it.
    Yet who puts the people on that COMMITTEE? The Senate President…who could completely bypass the committee and bring it to the floor for a vote? The Senate President.

    And Marion sings the same song every single damn year ..”Oh don’t worry..the session isn’t over yet. We are working on stuff. Trust us…we are going to get it done”. And it never happens. And the next election cycle they beg for money to “pass open carry this time!”…and they give the same people who kill this every year the same A+ rating(not just the Committee people..but the Senate Pres and leadership as well).

    It’s naked politics at it’s most sickening.

    If Marion spent the time attacking fellow gun rights people instead calling out the Senate President or saying “YOu’ve guys have screwed us every single year…so next election cycle we are picking a Republican to take down” maybe things would change.

    • We took down the blocking committee member last year after he gloated about killing it, and yes, were rewarded with more NRA A rated Republicans with Anita Flores who likes moms demand action photo ops.

      Nothing but silence from the Senate leadership but we can assume by their actions and inaction that this is their desired outcome.

  2. Marion Hammer is next to useless. She has been on my shit list since her misguided lies about machine guns and bump-stocks in October. The fact that she tries to lie about other allied organizations just confirms my thoughts on her.

    • And New Jersey. And Maryland. The list keeps growing because once Bloomberg et al. have conquored a state, it never gets undone.

      This year the US Supreme Court had the opportunity to fix both the Florida problem and to throw out the horrible Maryland laws but they declined.

      Our elected officials are the last best hope to create meaningful change. If they refuse to do so, as the do-nothing US Congress has done, then the Dems will win and take everything away nationwide. The time to act is NOW while the Republicans have the majority, not later once Bloomberg’s gang has seized power.

      • Cheesus Christmas. Florida is nowhere near the legal black hole that CA, NJ, and NY are. So now we abandon Florida because it’s not 100% guts, guns, and glory? Thanks a lot, true-blue friends. And you call progressive hoplophobes snowflakes.

  3. Isn’t this the same woman who said the NRA doesn’t want people to have machine guns and that
    Bump stocks should be banned?

    Seems like this old hag should fade from public view.

  4. We owe Marion Hammer a great deal for her past work.

    Sadly, her more contemporary work has been far less groundbreaking. In fact, for most of the last decade, Ms. Hammer’s record is one of consistent failures to advance pro-gun measures in Florida.

    Now, Hammer comes out and hammers Florida Carry, blaming them for (yet more of her) legislative failures. The weaksauce is strong.

    Dear Marion, maybe it’s time for you to retire from lobbying.

  5. “When firearms, that are being lawfully carried concealed, accidentally become exposed to the sight of another person, license holders are being arrested for violating the open carry ban.”

    To borrow from us, POTG, “concealed means concealed”.

    In my burg, the momentary uncovering of a firearm would be violating the concealed carry law. If the person who reported the uncovering felt threatened (for any reason, or none), the carrier is charged with a second crime – menacing. Legend is cops always manage to “convince” someone reporting “uncovering” to think hard about how they felt when they saw the mainspring housing pin.

    BTW, I perceive there are not enough pro-gun people in Florida to vote out politicians who are otherwise “voting the right way”.

  6. Why was Mr. Norman arrested? The first paragraph below clearly states that an accidental flashing is not illegal. This was from

    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly
    carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this
    section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully
    carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of
    another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in
    necessary self-defense.

  7. Mark is completely correct
    We have immunity from arrest for accidental, brief exposure of a concealed firearm
    So what is Marion Hammer talking about?

  8. Go ahead and talk crap all you want and ra, you’ve done absolutely nothing to stop the band of bump fire stocks, and to get rid of the nics fix which is absolutely unconstitutional and absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the gun control Act of 1986 where you back the regulation of machine guns. Now with Wayne LaPierre still running the NRA at Full Speed Ahead to get rid of our 2nd Amendment rights and disarm us. Why don’t you as an NRA president realize that you must stand up for at free gun owner in America and fight against every violation of the Second Amendment not just what you think are important but everything must be fought

  9. I’m having trouble understanding why Florida Carry would even consider coming out against ANY bill that moves the 2A agenda forward even one step. Even bills that have no hope of passing are useful, they can serve as a means to out Anti-2A legislators. With the Tree of Liberty looking more and more like it needs refreshment now is not the time to be divisive.

  10. I’ve been carrying since 1972. Both as law enforcement, and an individual civilian. My opinion is- you are better to carry concealed as you now have that element of surprise, When an individual sees an open carry gun he or she can attempt to deal with it, knowing exactly what the are facing. Concealed, you pull your weapon and the element of surprise works in your favor.. this is my opinion.

  11. Completely agree with you Dave! Open carry just invites trouble, loss of the element of surprise, possible grab for your gun, and mostly the chance of a person seeing your exposed gun freaking out and calling the police!
    I stay concealed!

  12. Dave (Something-or-other) and Bob Moore would rather conceal. Hooray. Now everyone knows that.

    Why they feel the need to decide how OTHERS carry is beyond me.


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