A pro-gun, pro self-defense issue that affects all of Florida’s law-abiding gun owners is now making headlines and even caught the attention of CNN’s Lou Dobbs: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2008/04/10/ldt.right.to.bear.arms.cnn
Also, on Fox News this week, Marion Hammer went head to head with Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber of Commerce after the Florida Senate passed the important “Guns-Locked-Up-In-Your-Car” bill: http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?videoId=cbc3e1b9-1e1a-40cc-8382-47f5fb12eeff&sMPlaylistID=
Date: April 9, 2008
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
Earlier this week the Florida Senate PASSED HB-503 “Guns-Locked-Up-In-Your Car” bill by a vote of 26 to 13 and sent it to the Governor for his consideration.
House Bill 503 by Representative Greg Evers (R-Milton) & Senator Durell Peaden (R-Crestview) protects your right to keep a firearm locked, out of sight, in your private vehicles for lawful purposes in publicly accessible parking lots.
It's time to email GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST and urge him to sign HB-503.
IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR EMAIL PUT:
PLEASE SIGN HB-503 the "Guns-Locked-Up-In-Your-Car” bill
Please send an email to Governor Crist and Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp at the email addresses below:
For three years we have fought corporate giants and big business bullies. They have been banning firearms and violating your rights. Their intent was to prohibit you from parking in publicly accessible privately owned parking lots, if you have a firearm locked in your car or truck for protection while traveling to and from shopping, work, or where ever your daily routine takes you. They have been violating your right of self-defense and your right to keep and bear arms.
This has been a WAR for your safety and your firearms freedom. And the War continues. YOU MUST EMAIL GOVERNOR CRIST NOW AND URGE HIM TO SIGN HB-503!
Almost two weeks ago, before the bill even came to the Senate floor, the Florida Chamber of Commerce started an email campaign to flood the Governor with emails asking him to VETO HB-503 the Guns-In-Cars-In-Parking-Lots bill. They were seeking to jump start the opposition. Their alert contained deceptive and misleading information designed to frighten business owners and get them to email the Governor and urge a veto.
Nowhere in either the U. S. Constitution or the Florida Constitution are businesses given this mythical right they claim they have to control everything on their property. No such right exists. And nowhere are businesses authorized to usurp constitutional rights of individuals.
Nor do businesses have the right to search private vehicles of customers or employees or to ban the lawful possession of firearms or any other legal property in a private vehicle simply because the vehicle is parked in a parking lot provided for customers, guests and employees.
Do law-abiding people have the right to carry and store firearms in their personal private vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes and keep those firearms locked in their vehicles in parking lots? The answer is YES.
The U.S. and the Florida Constitutions both give citizens the right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense. Further, F.S. 790.25 (5) specifically authorizes the carrying of firearms in private vehicles for lawful purposes.
Now, do business owners have a right to preempt constitutional and statutory rights? The answer is NO, but they are doing it anyway and HB 503 puts an end to it.
Constitutional and statutory rights do not stop when a law-abiding person drives onto a parking lot.