The Gun Writer, Lee Williams, of the Herald-Tribune commented on his blog, Hammer: Leon County ordinance could lead to gun ban, confiscation on past NRA President and Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida Marion Hammer’s letter to the Leon County Board of Commissioners.
“Lee's note: USF Executive Director Marion Hammer sent a blunt letter to the Leon County commissioners this week, who are drafting their own gun bill and pressuring licensed dealers for help.
Two things stand out.
Hammer says if the county's gun dealer's balk at the bill, it becomes a de facto ban on private sales. More troublesome, some of the small print could actually require gun dealers to confiscate firearms from individuals.”
Below is a copy of Ms. Hammer's letter to the Leon County Commissioners:
I keep hearing that you need more information, more discussion so let me try
to help you with that.
FIRST: Have any of you actually asked Sheriff Campbell for his opinion on whether he thinks this ordinance is a good idea or whether or not it is needed?
We all know that if you pass an ordinance, he will have no choice other that to try to enforce it -- BUT he's the top law enforcement officer the county so don't you think somebody should ask him for his advice?
SECOND: Leon County can't implement this ordinance if FFLs refuse to participate.
If dealers refuse to participate, the ordinances would then be a defacto ban on private sales by collectors and private citizens at gun shows and at any place to which the public has the right of access.
Dealers SHOULD refuse to participate because you would be putting them in a
bad legal position and cause problems for dealers. You will be pitting them
against their customers and their friends and neighbors.
If you read the letter from county attorney sent to dealers then you know you are putting dealers in a horrible position.
Under the ordinance, the dealer would have to take the firearm from the seller. It has to be transferred into the dealer's inventory before doing a background check.
The dealer would conduct a background check through FDLE -- the access point
If FDLE/NICS denies the sale because the check on the purchaser comes back
ineligible, the dealer has to then do a background check on seller before they can return his personal private property to him.
If FDLE/NCIS denies the transfer back to the seller claiming the seller is ineligible for transfer, then the dealer is required to confiscate the seller's personally owned firearm.
I can see really bad things arising from this situation, and no dealer in their right mind wants to be put into the position of confiscating a private firearm.
Commissioners should not want to be a party to an ordinance that can lead to
CONFISCATION OF PRIVATE FIREARMS.
NICS database and background checks are notoriously inaccurate, so suddenly a
private businessman is confiscating firearms, because you imposed an ordinance
forcing a private a seller to sign his private firearm over to the dealer for
purposes of the transaction.
Further, nobody seems to know what a dealer is supposed to do with the firearm once he has confiscated it. It doesn't belong to him. He can't sell it. He can't give it away. Does he just hold it forever?
Does he turn it over to the Sheriff so that the Sheriff is responsible for confiscated firearms?
Does he turn it over the Board of County Commissioners? It's your ordinance. Do you want the confiscated firearms?
If a private citizen is put in this position and his private firearm confiscated because of a mistake who will he bring legal action against?
This is a bad idea and the sooner you kill it the better.
Past President NRA
Executive Director Unified Sportsmen of Florida