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Florida Conservatives Fight For Second Amendment

Ashley Moody
In past CHQ articles
we’ve explained how the Far Left has raised governing by phony constitutional amendment to an art form in certain states, with Florida being one of their top targets.

This year is no different, with Far Left-backed organizations gathering signatures for amendments to raise the Sunshine State’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour and criminalize the ownership of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

Or friends at the NRA-ILA report an anti-gun organization called BAWN (Ban Assault Weapons Now) has been gathering petition signatures in an effort to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2020 election ballot to ban possession of so-called "assault weapons."  In reality, the amendment would effectively ban all semi-automatic long guns.

Under the proposed ballot language, possession of commonly owned long guns like the Ruger 10-22 rifles (including youth models), Marlin Model 60 .22 rifles, Remington Model 1100 shotguns, Benelli semi-automatic shotguns (and on and on) would be banned.

We’ve reviewed the ballot language and we agree with the NRA-ILA; proponents are intentionally attempting to confuse voters by calling it an "Assault Weapons" ban. 

In order to get their fraudulent amendment on the ballot, they must not only collect signatures from unsuspecting voters, they must also convince the Florida Supreme Court that the language is clear and unambiguous.   

Our Florida readers and friends need to understand that these gun banners want to put a GUN BAN IN THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION so that when their scheme is exposed as a fraud, it can't be fixed by the legislature.

Fortunately for Floridians they have a principled limited government constitutional conservative Attorney General, Ashley Moody, to defend their right to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Constitution of the United States.

According to a November 4, 2019 report by Dara Kam for NewsServiceFlorida.com, Attorney General Moody filed an initial document with the Florida Supreme Court in July indicating she would seek to block the amendment. Her office and the gun-rights groups filed detailed briefs last Friday.

Moody, a Republican, called the proposal "virtually a blanket ban" on long guns.

The ballot proposal would prohibit possession of "semi-automatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device."

The proposal would essentially ban all long guns because they can be fitted with accessories that would allow them to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, Moody's lawyers and other opponents of the measure argued.

"The proposed amendment is, in practical application, a ban on virtually all semi-automatic long guns. This is so because virtually all semi-automatic long guns --- either off-the-shelf or by virtue of broadly available accessories --- hold, or are 'capable' of holding, more than 10 rounds of ammunition,"  Moody's lawyers wrote in a 27-page brief. "The ballot summary does not disclose this effect, which Florida voters are unlikely to understand absent explanation."

The proposal also "exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed" at the time the measure would go into effect.

But that provision in the ballot summary also is misleading because "it misstates the nature of the exemption," which would apply only to current owners, Moody's lawyers argued.

"In other words, the ballot summary creates the false impression that current owners who register their firearms would be able to lawfully transfer ownership of those firearms," Deputy Solicitor General James H. Percival wrote.

Lawyers representing the National Shooting Sports Foundation also argued that the proposed amendment "is an unlawful threat to the rights" of its members "who engage in lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition ... as well as the interests of its outdoorsmen and sportsmen members."

As a Floridian we agree with the NRA analysis, which says the proposal fails to inform voters that it would affect not only the personal possession of most semi-automatic long guns, but also the manufacture and export of those weapons, and "thus prohibits an entire industry" in Florida.

The NRA's lawyers also argued that the term "assault weapons" is misleading "because it evokes deceptive imagery of military-grade, combat-style weaponry," but actually would affect a "much broader spectrum of firearms that includes virtually every semi-automatic rifle and shotgun on the market today."

To reach the ballot, Ban Assault Weapons NOW would need the Supreme Court to sign off on the wording. Also, it would need to submit 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state by a February deadline. As of Monday afternoon, it had submitted 115,529.

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