TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
When government takes money from citizens for general use by government, IT'S A TAX.
When government confiscates user fees from trust funds intended to be used to administer specific programs and converts it to government use for other purposes, IT'S A TAX.
When government leaders claim to oppose tax increases and promise not to create new taxes but then raid trust funds, they have deceived you because THEY HAVE CREATED A NEW TAX.
In a last minute sneak attack on gun owners, the Florida Legislature raided the concealed weapons and firearms licensing trust fund and CREATED A TAX ON THE EXERCISE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
They took $6 million from the Division of Licensing Concealed Weapons and Firearm Trust Fund that is intended, by law, to be used solely for administering the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program. THAT IS A DEFACTO TAX ON GUN OWNERS (Read background Information below).
Whether you are a resident or non-resident holder of a
Please Call, Fax, or Email Governor Charlie Crist IMMEDIATELY, and ask him to VETO THE SECOND AMENDMENT TAX created by the confiscation of $6 million from the Division of Licensing Trust Fund.
Phone number: (850) 488-4441 or (850) 488-7146
Fax number: (850) 487-0801
Send your email to the Governor at this address:
Please send your email today!!!!! And/or please contact the Governor's office by phone or fax ASAP.
YOU MUST DO IT NOW. THE GOVERNOR WILL ACT ON THE BUDGET SOON.
Because legislative budget officials have refused to allow the Division of Licensing to use their own trust fund money to hire necessary staff and upgrade equipment, the Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing program is in crisis.
It is a crisis created by the legislature and anti-gun budget staffers. They refused to allow gun owners' money to be used to administer the gun owner program -- as required by law -- then confiscated gun owners' money for their own political purposes. THEY CREATED A SECOND AMENDMENT TAX.
Right now, the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program is backlogged and overloaded due in part to the refusal of budget officials and the Legislature to allow the Division of Licensing to use its own trust fund money to hire more employees and expand/upgrade equipment.
Crates of unopened mail containing license and license renewal applications sit in storage. The backlog of mail sitting unopened, at times, has extended beyond 90 days while existing licenses are expiring because renewal applications haven't been opened and processed.
Currently (although the Division of Licensing has been working weekend shifts to clear the backlog), it is taking 13-14 weeks to process a "perfect" application once it has been opened. That is an unequivocal violation of the law that requires issuance or denial of a license by a time certain –– a violation of law that legislative leaders are condoning by their actions.
THE LAW REQUIRES THE DIVISION OF LICENSING TO ISSUE A LICENSE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE APPLICATION -- or deny the license "for cause," based upon the criteria set forth in the law. Theft of operating funds by the Legislature is not "just cause" for failure to issue licenses or renewals within 90 days.
Theft of those operating funds IS A TAX ON THE EXERCISE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
While applications sit gathering dust, legislative leaders took $6 million of approximately $8 million held in the trust fund. That $6 million is supposed to be used to pay employees, buy upgraded equipment, upgrade or replace computers or software, and to otherwise administer the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program.
BUT, feigning a desperate need for funds for education and health care, legislative leaders recklessly and ruthlessly confiscated gun owners’ trust fund money. Why? Because they were building a so-called "working capital" fund for the 2010-12 legislative term, reported now to be in the neighborhood of $1.8 BILLION DOLLARS. This so-called "working capital fund" is for the use of future legislative leaders. THAT MAKES IT A TAX ON THE EXERCISE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
While Senate leadership reportedly fought to stop the ruthless raids on trust funds, in the end, they simply caved and HELPED the House of Representatives CREATE A SECOND AMENDMENT TAX.
The bad behavior doesn't end there.
Obviously fearing the Governor would use his line-item veto to stop THE SECOND AMENDMENT TAX, proviso language was inserted in the bill in a clear attempt to intimidate the Governor.
The proviso language says that if any portion of the moneys swept from this and other trust funds does not become law (meaning it is vetoed), that portion of the money shall be deducted from the EDUCATION BUDGET. This is clearly designed to keep the Governor from vetoing THE SECOND AMENDMENT TAX, and prevent trust fund money from being taken back out the House leadership's so-called "working capital" fund.
Money in the concealed weapons trust fund came from gun owners. No money to administer and run the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program has ever come from general revenue, or any other state fund or revenue source. The taking of these gun owner user fees is a de facto tax on the exercise of the Second Amendment.
AGAIN, Please Call, Fax, or Email Governor Crist IMMEDIATELY, and ask him to STOP THE SECOND AMENDMENT TAX -- VETO THE $6 MILLION RAID on the Concealed Weapons & Firearms Trust Fund!
Send your email to the Governor at this address:
Please send your email today !!!!!
You may also call the Executive Office of the Governor at: (850) 488-7146