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Luis Valdes writes:

2017 was supposed to be the game changer for Florida Politics and Gun Rights. Donald Trump was elected into office because Florida was one of the key states that voted for him. Gun Rights Blocking Former NRA ‘A’ rate Republican Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was voted out of the Florida Senate. Gun Rights Hating Republican Senate President Andy Gardiner was out due to being term limited. And the man that actually wrote the majority of the Pro-Gun Legislation in the Florida House and now Senate was made Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Senator Greg Steube. He took Senator Portilla’s spot.

Yup, 2017 seems like a sure win Florida. The Gunshine State was actually going to progress again on the restoring resident’s Second Amendment-protected firearms freedom.

In December of 2016, Senator Steube submitted a number of bills. One of them was SB-140. A wonderful omnibus bill that would give Florida permitted Open Carry, permitted Campus Carry, and the removal of numerous gun free zones. It was even scheduled to be passed in Steube’s own committee. A body made up of nine folks total. Five Republicans and Four Democrats. All of the Republicans have good NRA ratings and backing. Yup…. Everything looked good.

Then once again, the usual happened. In early January SB-140 was scheduled for a vote in committee. The vote was postponed since Senator Anitere Flores (R) (above) and Senator Rene Garcia (R) were not on board.

I contacted Sen. Flores’ Office back on January 24 and spoke with Tiffany Lorente; Sen. Flores’ personal secretary. I asked Ms. Lorente if Sen. Flores would support Open Carry or Campus Carry. Ms. Lorente said that Sen. Flores does not.

So the cat was out of the bag. When I spoke with Sen. Steube’s Office. They said the plan was to break up SB-140 and push it as individual bills. So on March 7, 2017; Sen. Steube scheduled SB-616 for committee vote. SB-616 was one of the new bills from the broken up SB-140. During that committee meeting. Sen. Flores flat out stated “I do not support guns on campus, I do not support having guns in airports and I do not support guns in school zones. I don’t support those things.”

Since that point it has been a dead end. Senator Flores has blocked every committee meeting and killed every bill via her actions. Remember now, Senator Flores is a NRA ‘A’ rated candidate and has been endorsed by the NRA since 2010.

On January 24, 2017; NRA President and USF Executive Director Marion P. Hammer said “If I were worried, you would Have seen me blast out an alert,” Hammer Said When Asked About the bill as written currently are to the News Service of Florida.

Well Ms. Hammer, I was able to find out the troubles we were having and I did it as a normal private citizen.

Worse, back in June and July of 2016; Sen. Flores publicly sided with Democrats and voted ‘yes’ for a Special Legislative Session to be called for Gun Control. That was on June 28, 2016. Then on July 6, 2016; Sen. Flores sent Marion P. Hammer a personal letter begging for NRA Endorsement and the NRA gave her another ‘A’ rating and endorsed her again.

Yet it took me five minutes to find her anti-gun history!

The complete failure of Marion P. Hammer and the NRA in Florida is horrible and there is no excuse. As a private citizen. I have burned my own personal vacation time to campaign for better gun rights at the Capitol in Tallahassee. I don’t get paid to lobby like Marion Hammer does. Yet I was able to do the leg work and find out what was going on long before the NRA did and worse, the NRA still gave her an ‘A’ Rating and supported her.

As a NRA member, I’m angry. As a Floridian, I’m angry. As a Republican, I’m angry. Because other than the NRA that has failed; the Florida GOP has too.

I’ve contacted the Florida GOP numerous times and out of the 150+ members that make up the party. Only three…. Yes, THREE FL GOP Committee Members have voiced a concern in how the FL GOP keeps having Republican Senators and Representatives year after year kill Pro-Gun legislation when the FL GOP campaigns on a Pro-Gun stance. It is sickening.

Between the failure of the NRA and the failure of the FL Republican Party. Florida keeps being held back when it comes to 2nd Amendment Progress.

I can say this…. These failures have driven me to improve the NRA. In 2018 I will be running for the Board of Directors. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines and I am tired as a NRA member to see failure after repeated in Florida. Since 2011, these has been a repeated pattern.

Luis Valdes

NRA Member
Gun Owner

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  1. The WSJ ran an article on this RINO wench just the other day. Bought and paid for by liberals.

  2. It’s time to ignore Florida’s gun laws. They’ve had their chance. Now it’s the people’s time to act. Carry wherever there are no metal detectors or x-rays. These cucks will have learn that if they keep on ignoring us we will just have to start ignoring them.

  3. South Florida is a problem for Florida. All the cities are, of course, but only South Florida seems to produce the Cuban RINO. I do not understand why the new Cubans have forgotten the lessons of their grandparents who fled Castro. This woman is not the first Cuban RINO to stand in the way of pro-gun legislation.

    Florida has a problem in the cities—all of our cities. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale–Tampa/St. Pete—Orlando—Tallahassee—Jacksonville—and, of course, the most wacky liberal of them all—Gainesville. But South Florida’s population is so high that it always holds potential for skewing national elections to the Democrats.

    It is time to divide the state into North and South Florida. Let South Florida have Orlando, and North Florida will keep everything north of Venice.

    • No, South Florida can de-ratify the Constitution and secede, and we’ll come and get our real estate back. It’ll be a two-front war CA and FL, and they are always dangerous, but the enemy always brings 50% of the ordinance needed to complete it.

    • “It is time to divide the state into North and South Florida. Let South Florida have Orlando, and North Florida will keep everything north of Venice.”

      If you look at a map, well, at least my map, Venice is 80 miles or so *south* (and west) of Orlando.

      Or is your map different? 🙂

      Mr Valdes, thank you for your efforts, that Senator makes me sick…

        • THe I4 corridor makes the best line for the cut.

          As someone who lives in the heavily-blue area that is the greater Miami Metro I can tell you the people in orlando want the line drawn just to the north of them and the people in and around Okechobee want the line drawn just to the north of them, and the people in the Palm Beaches want the line drawn just to the north of them, and the people in Ft Lauderdale want the line drawn just to the north of them, and the people in Miami think there already is a line somewhere about the Broward County Line, and the people south of Miami don’t really care as long as the rum keeps flowing.

  4. Per Flores Wikipedia page.

    “On March 8, 2017, Marion P. Hammer, USF Executive Director and NRA Past President, issued a Florida Alert to all USF and NRA Members that Anitere Flores had come out against the second amendment by publicly stating her intent to kill several pro-gun bills by joining Democrats and not allowing them out of her committee.[11] Drawing the full ire of the pro-gun lobby, Mrs. Flores, has been nicknamed “Madame DLP”. The DLP is a reference to Miguel De La Portilla whom lost re-election after obstructing pro-gun bills in the same committee.[12] Her A rating with the NRA is currently under review.”

    Looks like the NRA finally got the word…..maybe.

  5. One could indeed argue that if Flores supported any of those things (especially open carry), she probably wouldn’t have received an “A”-rating from the NRA.

    But since the Florida Supreme Court just created a SCOTUS Rule 10 split in March with its decision to uphold the Sunshine State’s ban on open carry in Norman v. State, there is really no reason to further pursue the matter in the legislature. Dale Norman’s counsel just needs to wait for the Florida Supreme Court’s denial of his petition to rehear the case, and then it’s off to D.C. with a cert petition.

    Should Norman not make a move, we’ll have to wait for Nichols v. Brown to reach SCOTUS sometime in 2019, I guess.

    • The only problem–and it is a big one–in Nichols v. Brown is Mr. Nichols. His opening brief on his pending appeal in the Ninth Circuit was a well done effort, but his reply to the State’s brief was essentially unreadable and missed the greatest flaw in the State’s argument. The State relied upon any number of state law cases which approved of open carry bans; however, all of those cases were decided before the Supreme Court applied the Second Amendment to the states in McDonald v. Chicago, and were invariably based on state constitutions, not the US Constitution. Those cases are therefore no longer applicable. Plus I have to wonder how well Mr. Nichols will be able to argue before the Court of Appeals, much less the US Supreme Court.

      • I am really tempted to go there in person on the day of oral arguments and find out.

        • A few years back SCOTUS adopted a rule preventing non-lawyers from arguing their pro se cases in oral arguments. If my case goes that far and SCOTUS grants cert then it will appoint a lawyer to argue my appeal on my behalf in oral arguments, assuming that there would be oral arguments. Not every cert petition granted has oral arguments.

          The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals does not have that rule. Should oral arguments be held in my appeal I will be the one arguing my case.

          No trip to view the oral arguments will be necessary. The video will be live and archived within 24 hours on the 9th Circuit YouTube channel.

          • “If my case goes that far and SCOTUS grants cert then it will appoint a lawyer to argue my appeal…”

            Had not thought about that. Hhhmmm. Great risk, here. Hope it doesn’t come to this.

      • Mark N. – The purpose of a Reply Brief is not to argue the merits of a case, that is what the Opening Brief is for.

        The purpose of a Reply Brief is, as the name indicates, to reply to the state’s Answering Brief concisely and straight to the point, which I did.

        From a purely technical viewpoint, my Answering Brief was excellent, better than my Opening Brief which was good enough. Even if I should lose my Second Amendment claim I have pointed out where the State did not address arguments made in my opening brief which makes them subject to waiver.

        For example, the three Open Carry bans say that they apply to *incorporated cities.* I argued, extensively, in my Opening Brief that they do not say that they apply to unincorporated cities, towns and villages. In several state court cases the state had argued that the bans apply to ALL “public places.” and lost.

        The state had argued in its Answering Brief that my appeal was defective because I did not seek to carry a firearm in “some manner” but had cabined my lawsuit from my initially filed complaint to my Reply Brief as a pure Open Carry case.

        The state also argued that I did not have standing to make an as-applied challenge until the laws had been enforced against me so that there would be sufficient facts in order to evaluate an as-applied challenge.

        On April 6th the state filed a response to my FRAP 28J letter regarding the dismissal of the NRA’s fake Open Carry lawsuit filed last year, Flanagan v. Harris, where the NRA had sought to carry “in some manner” and to which the state’s attorney (the same state’s attorney in my case) did not object to the “in some manner” argument made by the NRA. An argument the district court judge in Flanagan would not allow by dismissing with prejudice any concealed carry claim, including one wrapped in a “some manner” claim.

        The state’s response said:

        “The AGO does not contend that Mr. Nichols has to violate California’s open-carry statutes to have standing to challenge their constitutionality. Rather, the AGO concedes that Mr. Nichols has standing to pursue his lawsuit, including the appeal. The AGO does not contend that Mr. Nichols’s appeal is defective because it seeks a ruling on the question of whether people not barred by law from possessing firearms have the right, under the Second Amendment, to carry firearms openly in public. The AGO has emphasized the narrowness and specificity of the question presented, but has not contended that the way that Mr. Nichols has framed his case is improper.”

        “[T]he AGO concedes that Mr. Nichols has standing to pursue his lawsuit, including the appeal.”

        If my lawsuit did not have a Second Amendment claim, and this were any other appeal, a judge who sits on the panel assigned to hear my appeal might very well ask if the state were in collusion with me to throw its case.

  6. This is par for the course in Florida. Nothing has really happened on the pure gun rights front since shall issue in 1987. Worst Republicans in the nation.They’ve had both house and senate and governor’s mansion for a very long time and have nothing to show for it.

    • Continue to believe that the term “Republican”, and “staunch conservative” are interchangeable, and you/we will continue to get what you/we have been getting.

  7. Marion Hammer killed our chances at open carry years ago. I believe it was 2009. There was a bill for OC and at the last minute she asked that the bill be withdrawn and her will was done. That was our best chance and she killed it.

  8. As a Floridian Im sick of these BS Rhinos who represent next to no one in a small south county with 2 people in it
    and smaller part of Dade that has 3 people there.
    Might not be the place for it here but she and we all know who she is. Is a lying little bitch who wants to be the next Mayor of Miami.
    People like her make me want to vomit.
    One more election to get rid of her and I hope to heck she looses any elections in Dade and is never heard from again at a state level.

  9. Heck, and I was embarrassed to be a Texan, what with our less than competitive 2A rights regime.

  10. I have been an NRA member most of my life, yet every email call I make concerning the ‘A’ ratings of quisling RINOs here in Tennessee has been ignored. I used to be the NRA, but since being ignored, I have not re-upped my membership for this year, and until I am confident that REAL people are in control, I will not re-up.

    I’m not sure what the leadership is thinking, but I am continuing to keep my membership with Gun Owners of America, and the Tennessee Firearms Association, and will continue to do everything I can to organize RINO hunts in my so-called ‘Volunteer State’. That title is a joke, and will continue to be until the trash that considers themselves to be our ‘aristocracy’ is taken out.

  11. The basic premise, as stated above, is she wants to have a go at being Mayor of Miami. Tomas “Tomasito” Regalado is getting long in the tooth and she wants him to rotate out. One RINO for another.

    As far as secession, yes – that’s fine. SFL needs to be it’s own area. Just hold off a bit until I can move out of the state. My wife has a son from a previous marriage and we’re kinda stuck here til 2026 when he graduates HS. I think the border should be drawn with Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties constituting the “SFL”. Basically all the counties that went to her Harridan-ness, HRC during the last electoral go-around.

    Either that or just kick Miami-Dade County out of the Union.

  12. Anteater Flores is everything we’ve come to expect of a politician. She’s not a RINO. She’s a Marielito, in mind if not in fact.

  13. Flores is just playing her part in the play. She doesn’t write the script. She just plays her part. Look higher. Much higher. The puppet masters are the proper targets.

  14. This is precisely why I won’t join the NRA. Too many times they have endorsed one candidate or another as the “lesser of two evils” (Harry Reid anyone?) and we’ve all been stabbed in the back as a result. This isn’t anything new, either. It’s been going on for far too long.

    This is why I’m putting my money on SAF instead.
    If you’re an NRA member, now would be a good time for a letter to the NRA-ILA to tell them to stop this kind of damn-foolery or no more money.

  15. More proof that Republican =/= pro gun. Unless a candidate has libertarian leanings I am no longer voting for them. Tired of these big government Republicans who pretend to be for liberty but then vote to keep the spending high, gun rights low, and civil liberties non-existent.

  16. As much as I hate to publicly say it but it seems to me that most Women elected Dem or Repub are not pro gun.

  17. Supports my suspicion that the NRA puts promoting the GOP ahead of protecting gun rights. They gave George W. Bush a pass on supporting the 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” and have gone downhill ever since.

  18. What she support exept 69 blow up for bloomberg ?? Not the second adment this is clearn / she is an enemy of second adment !!

  19. I live in Palm Beach Beach Cointy and cannot vote in the Miami Mayoral election
    I e mailed her office and said if she does not allow the gun bills to go to a floor vote, I will donate to and volunteer for whoever opposes in the Miami election both primary and general election

  20. I don’t…, I don’t…, I don’t…, When did it devolve to my views and not what I was elected for; to represent my constituent views?

    • “When did it devolve to my views and not what I was elected for; to represent my constituent views?”

      This is a question about representative democracy that goes at least back to English law before the founding of the US. Does a representative of the people acquiesce to the constituents, regardless? Or does the representative insert personal judgement when the representative senses a wrong-headed opinion among the constituency? Should the representative be merely a telegraph station, or an individual with overall concern for the state of the nation?

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