TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
SB-1158 by Senator Charlie Dean (R) had two back-to-back committee hearings this week:
1. Tuesday, February 16, SB-1158 PASSED the Senate Agriculture Committee 4-0
2. Wednesday, February 17, SB-1158 PASSED the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee 4-0
SB-1158 passed its first and second hurdles.
After passing these two committees by unanimous votes, the bill is ready to go to the Senate floor when the Legislative Session begins next month.
Thank you very much for your help.
Once again YOUR emails MADE THE DIFFERENCE!
Your emails ALWAYS make a difference.
When committee members receive thousands of emails -- they pay attention.
Voting IN FAVOR of SB-1158 in the Agriculture Committee:
Senator Charlie Dean, Chairman (bill sponsor)
Senator Dave Aronberg
Senator Carey Baker
Senator Durell Peaden
ABSENT: Senator Larcenia Bullard
Voting IN FAVOR of SB-1158 in the General Government Appropriations Committee:
Senator Carey Baker, Chairman
Senator Dave Aronberg
Senator Charlie Dean (bill sponsor)
Senator Steve Oelrich
ABSENT: Senator Al Lawson
Again, thank you for your help. Your voice was heard!
PLEASE watch for future Alerts as this bill and the House bill move to the next hurdle.
SB-1158 provides protection to the Division of Agriculture's Division of Licensing Trust Fund which handles the fees paid by gun owners to administer the Concealed Weapons and Firearms licensing program
In 1987, passage of the concealed weapons and licensing law had a financial contingency:
1. The legislature insisted that the statewide "Shall Issue" licensing process not require nor be dependent upon General Revenue or any government funding whatever. (Certain members of the legislature were determined that no tax dollars ever be used to fund gun owner programs.)
2. The NRA, Unified Sportsmen of Florida and gun owners, insisted that licensing fees be only the amount necessary to administer the program, no more, no less. Further, we insisted that the fees be held in a trust fund and used solely for the benefit of and administration of the program.
That was the agreement. And language was put in the bill to insure that the terms of the agreement were met. – OR at least it was language everyone THOUGHT would protect the agreement and the money.
We've kept our part of the agreement. In the more than 22 plus years that this program has been in effect, not one single dime has ever come from general revenue or any other government fund.
100% of the program funding has come from gun owners.
The other half of the agreement needs to be kept. Raids cannot be tolerated.
That money is held in "trust" until needed to administer the program, including buy or upgrade computers, buy or upgrade other essential equipment and stay technology in a position to run the program appropriately.
This specific trust fund needs to be protected because these funds facilitate the exercise of a constitutional right.
When government takes citizen money 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.
When the Florida Legislature raids the concealed weapons and firearms licensing trust fund they have CREATED A TAX ON THE EXERCISE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
Courts have ruled that states may not tax the exercise of a right granted by the federal constitution.