Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Small progress for gun rights in Florida.
The Florida State Legislature wrapped up the 2017 session a few days ago, and unfortunately, all but three of the nearly two dozen pro-gun bills were killed in committee. The major hurdle for pro-gun bills in the Florida legislature is the Senate Judiciary Committee. The republicans maintain a technical 5-4 majority in the committee, however there are two republicans on the committee who have promised to side with the democrats on all future gun bills.
They are Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and René Garcia (R-Hialeah). This gives the democrats an unofficial 6-3 majority against pro-gun legislation. I personally contacted Senate President Joe Negron about the stonewalling, to no response. I also contacted my own senator, Doug Broxson, also to no response. The only person I could ever get a direct, personal response from was my Representative, Jayer Williamson, who assured me he supports open carry, campus carry and every pro-gun bill in the House.
It came to my attention that the possible reason that Anitere Flores changed her position on gun rights is becausethe lines in her voting district were redrawn to include the very left wing Florida Keys. I suppose she has gone into a sort of "survival mode" and has decided that left wing voters in the Keys are more important to her political survival than gun owners' rights. I predict she will pay for that mistake in next year's election, and it will serve her right.
As far as the gun bills that DID make it to the governor's desk:
SB-128 places the burden of proof in self defense cases back on the prosecution, where it belongs.
SB-1052 fixes a drafting effor by staff on a 2014 Castle Doctrine bill. The error has been interpreted to mean that a person must be under a physical attack before using defense in their own home.
HB-467 lowers the price of a new Florida CWL from $60 to $55, and a renewal CWL from $50 to $45.