TWO PRIORITY BILLS – HB 155 & HB 45 NEED TO BE SIGNED
DATE: May 26, 2011
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
Governor Rick Scott received two priority Second Amendment bills yesterday.
House Bill 155, Privacy of Firearms Owners, sponsored by state Representative Jason Brodeur (R-33) and Senator Greg Evers (R-2) would STOP pediatricians from invading privacy rights of gun owners and bringing anti-gun politics into medical examining rooms.
Houses Bill 45, Penalties for Violating Firearms Preemption Law, sponsored by state Representative Matt Gaetz (R-4) and Senator Joe Negron (R-28) would STOP local politicians and governments from violating Florida law by providing penalties for willful violations.
Governor Scott’s deadline to take action on these bills is Thursday, June 9 or they will become law without his signature. He has two actions available: sign the bills or veto the bills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Florida Pediatric Society are reported to be waging a campaign to get Governor Scott to veto HB 155.
Anti-gun local government officials and bureaucrats are reported to be urging Governor Scott to veto HB 45.
Please e-mail Governor Scott right away and urge him to sign HB-155 and HB-45.
IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT: Protect Gun Rights - PLEASE SIGN HB-155 & HB-45
PLEASE E-MAIL GOVERNOR SCOTT TODAYBACKGROUND ON HB 155
Doctors need to treat illness, not guns. Pediatricians and other physicians, in growing numbers, are prying into our personal lives, invading our privacy and straying from issues relating to disease and medicine by questioning children or their parents about gun ownership.
We take our children to physicians for medical care, not moral judgment, political harassment and privacy intrusions - and that is what HB 155 and SB 432 intends to prohibit.
This bill comes in answer to families who are complaining about the growing political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and medical staffs - and the arrogant berating if a patient refuses to answer questions that violate privacy rights and offend common decency.
Horrified parents have described nurses entering the answers to gun questions into laptop computers to become a part of medical records. Parents have become concerned about whether those records can be used by the government or by insurance companies to deny health care coverage because a family exercises a civil right in owning firearms.
As parents, we are responsible for our children's safety. We don't need doctors pushing their anti-gun politics on us or our children. We need them to spend their time practicing medicine and not prying into our personal lives on issues that have nothing to do with disease, its cure, or its eradication.
BACKGROUND ON HB 45
In 1987, the Florida Legislature passed a firearms preemption statute (f.s.790.33) to provide uniformity of gun laws -- in fact, it is called the "Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act."
It was intended to stop local governments from making criminals out of law-abiding citizens just because they simply crossed a city limit or county line. It was intended to provide uniform gun laws so that no matter where in the state you live and no matter where in the state you travel, the same gun laws apply.
Unfortunately, the law contains no penalties for violations because no one ever imagined that local elected officials and government workers would willfully and knowingly violate state law.
The absence of penalties has lead to many intentional violations and has resulted in subsequent lawsuits to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Over and over again, NRA attorneys have written letters to local governments informing them that proposed ordinances violate state law. Unfortunately, when their lawyers confirm that the ordinance would be illegal, they usually also explain that there are no penalties for violating the law -- consequently, some jurisdictions have arrogantly thumbed their noses at state law and have passed illegal ordinances anyway.
In 2000, the City of South Miami was one of the cities that NRA lawyers wrote concerning a proposed ordinance that violated state law.
The City's external counsel confirmed that it was a violation, but also noted that there were no penalties. We were informed that city Commissioners were told that without penalties, they could do what they wanted to do. Further, an illegal ordinance would stand until the City was sued and a court declared the ordinance void.
The rights of law-abiding gun-owners were being violated, so NRA sued.
NRA won the lawsuit and, in fact, the appellate court even noted in its opinion that the court had previously ruled that local ordinances violate state law.
It is not the NRA's responsibility to enforce state law, but nobody else will do it because there are no specified penalties.
This has to stop.
This bill provides penalties for local officials and local governments that willfully violate the Florida firearms preemption law. These penalties are designed to stop violations.