Our correspondent on the ground in Florida writes:
Florida Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Greg Steube needs all five Republican votes for Senate Bill 140, which would legalize open carry, to move it forward for a full senate vote. Based on my discussions with Senator Anitere Flores’s staff, she opposes the bill and it is, in effect, dead.
I just spoke with her secretary, Tiffany, in the Senator’s Miami district office and asked her if Flores backs SB140. She told me that Sen. Flores does not back the bill and will not vote for it. I then got a different story when I called the capital.
The Senator’s secretary (who identified herself as an intern) in her Tallahassee office told me, “The Senator does not have an opinion yet and is currently reviewing the bill and how if affects Floridians.” Sounds like Tiffany may have let the cat out of the bag.
As all five Republican votes are needed to offset the four Democrats on the committee, this means that open carry was most likely dead before it even got started this year. Another year of Florida gun rights destroyed by a Republican.
Senator Flores is no friend of gun rights in Florida. If you’ll remember, she’s one of three Republican Senators who sided with the Democrats to call for a special session after the Fort Lauderdale Airport Terror Attack, stating the following:
“We see now, with this latest attack, that we need to take a comprehensive look at gun laws in the state of Florida and find the best way to balance the individual rights of the people to own guns versus public safety.”
TTAG has reached out to Senator Flores’s Tallahassee office for official confirmation that the senator intends to oppose SB140. More as it becomes available.