Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! URGE Governor Scott to SIGN HB-1355

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DATE:   June 19, 2013
TO:       USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
             USF Executive Director
             NRA Past President

False information is being circulated about House Bill 1355 by people who do not have a clue
what the bill actually does or why it is needed.  Many gun owners are being deceived by reckless people who are sending out e-mail blasts attacking the bill as being anti-Second Amendment.  Unfortunately, some well-meaning folks have asked the Governor to veto HB-1355 based on misinformation.  The Governor needs to sign HB-1355

The truth is HB-1355 is very limited.  It does NOT cover people who voluntarily go to private counseling for help.  It does NOT cover people who voluntarily go to a doctor for help.  It does NOT cover people who voluntarily go to a public clinic for help. 

It ONLY applies to people with mental illnesses who are already in a mental health facility under a Baker Act petition AND who have subsequently been diagnosed as being an imminent danger to self or others.

The bill has two triggers:  the Baker Act commitment and the diagnosis of being an imminent danger to self or others. The bill has no effect on anyone else.

Currently, people being held in a mental health facility under a Baker Act Commitment and who are subsequently determined to be a danger to themselves or others, may voluntarily agree to be committed for treatment to avoid going to court.

If they don’t voluntarily agree to treatment, a petition is then filed for a court hearing for involuntary commitment.  When a court orders a commitment, the person's name is entered into the National Instant Check System (NICS) database of people who are prohibited from purchasing firearms.  If they voluntarily agree to commitment their names are NOT entered in to the database.

The problem is that some of these dangerous people with mental illnesses, who are known to be a danger to self or others, immediately revoke their voluntary agreement as soon as they reach the treatment facility.  They must then be released within 24 hours.  They do it repeatedly.  The system has become like a revolving door and is failing.  People with mental illnesses, who are KNOWN to be a danger to self or others, are not being stopped from purchasing firearms.

Under HB-1355, people in this category may still agree to voluntary commitment for treatment, but they would be informed (and must sign a statement acknowledging that they have been informed) that because they are deemed to be dangerous, their names will be entered into the NICS database until they have had treatment and are no longer considered a danger to themselves or others and may apply to have their names removed from the database.  The process for removing a name from the database is exactly the same as already prescribed in law for those who have been involuntarily committed for treatment.

If the person disagrees or feels strongly about not giving up his gun rights, the person can refuse voluntary commitment and a petition for involuntary commitment would move ahead through the full court process, in which the person has the opportunity to fight it in court.

When the NRA was asked by the Judge who chairs the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Mental Illness (Judge Steve Leifman) and by Representative Barbara Watson to help solve the problem of constructing language to give the maximum protection to the rights of dangerous people with mental illnesses, we agreed to try.

The NRA worked with the Judge, bill sponsors, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and legislative staff in the House and Senate to protect gun rights as well as find a way to help keep dangerous people with mental illnesses from being able to purchase firearms.  That's what this bill does.

Right now, the head of an organization based in Colorado, who has not been involved in the legislative process here in Florida, who has not worked with the Judges or bill sponsors, or FDLE or the FBI, who has not been in Florida for committee hearings or meeting with legislators and who appears to be deliberately misrepresenting the effect of the bill and existing law  –  has been sending out erroneous, inflammatory information in the form of e-mail blasts encouraging people to ask the Governor to veto this bill. 

They are essentially telling the Governor and gun owners all over the country that they think it's OK for dangerous people with mental illness to be able to purchase guns.  That is irresponsible.  Unfortunately, some folks have taken those false e-mails at face value, and asked the Governor to veto the bill based on erroneous information. 

The NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida support the bill.  We worked hard to protect the rights of the mentally ill as well as the rights of those who might fall victim to dangerous people with mental illnesses.   All too often the perpetrators of mass tragedies who used guns were known to have mental illness, but nobody did anything.  We believe that lives can be saved by keeping dangerous people with mental illnesses from being able to purchase guns.

Please e-mail Governor Scott right away and urge him to sign HB-1355

 

IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT:  PLEASE SIGN HB-1355

rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

 

PLEASE E-MAIL GOVERNOR SCOTT TODAY

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida mental health
TRENDING NOW
Shoddy Science and Shaky Assumptions: Court Invalidates California’s Handgun Ad Ban on First Amendment Grounds

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Shoddy Science and Shaky Assumptions: Court Invalidates California’s Handgun Ad Ban on First Amendment Grounds

Earlier this month, a federal court invalidated California’s ban on premises advertising relating to handguns (but not other firearms), disparaging the state’s proffered justification for the law as nothing more than “mere speculation and conjecture.” 

New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle”

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle”

Senator Dianne Feinstein has spent the last 26 years pushing gun control at the federal level and earlier this month demonstrated her willingness to distort facts and Supreme Court precedent in her ongoing effort to ...

Gun Control Twist: Saving One Life “Does Not Justify” Right-to-Carry

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gun Control Twist: Saving One Life “Does Not Justify” Right-to-Carry

Gun control advocates often use some version of the phrase “if it saves one life” in order to justify their ineffective proposals. This week, the anti-gun editorial page of the Chicago Sun-Times offered a different ...

Bloomberg Presidential Run? Maybe. Bloomberg Effort to Buy the Midterms? Definitely.

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Bloomberg Presidential Run? Maybe. Bloomberg Effort to Buy the Midterms? Definitely.

Billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is once again floating a presidential run.

Outrageous! NC University Forces Student to Remove NRA Flag from Dorm Window

News  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Outrageous! NC University Forces Student to Remove NRA Flag from Dorm Window

Elon University student forced to remove NRA banner from his dorm room window.

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Anti-gun Senator Accompanied by “Unprecedented” Security Detail While Traveling in California

News  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Anti-gun Senator Accompanied by “Unprecedented” Security Detail While Traveling in California

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is no fan of the Second Amendment. As California attorney general, she sided with local officials who refused to issue concealed carry permits to qualified, law-abiding applicants unless they could demonstrate an extraordinary ...

Gun Control Activist Urges Canadian Audience to Get Involved in U.S. Politics

News  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Gun Control Activist Urges Canadian Audience to Get Involved in U.S. Politics

For someone who has previously falsely accused the NRA of funneling foreign money into domestic politics, it must be that David Hogg either forgot he was in Canada recently or failed to appreciate that it’s also illegal ...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Florida Alert! Galvano Committee Gets $200K from ‘EVERYTOWN’ Group

Incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano calls himself a Republican but is rumored to be the one who colluded with anti-gun Democrats to engineer the gun control package included in SB-7026 this past session. SB-7026 ...

No, It’s Not Harder to Buy Allergy Medicine than a Gun

News  

Friday, September 14, 2018

No, It’s Not Harder to Buy Allergy Medicine than a Gun

A twist on an inaccurate old anti-gun talking point is making the rounds on social media. On September 10, anti-gun public relations professional Wendy Zipes Hunter tweeted about a purported recent trip to drug store. Hunter claimed, “Couldn’t ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.