DATE: March 21, 2014
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
The third week of Legislative Session was exceptionally productive.
However, there are Internet bloggers and groups -- with patriotic sounding names -- who are disseminating false information about legislative bills. Please take the time to read the bills before you believe this nonsense.
The blue underlined bill numbers are most current versions of the bills. You can simply click on those links to read the bills. A new version is prepared every time a bill is amended (changed) in committee. If there is no blue link that means the newest amended version is not yet available.
On Monday, March 17, 2014
SB-130 PASSED by a Vote of 7-0 in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
SB-130 Use of Deadly Force by Senator David Simmons & Senator Chris Smith is a bill about which much false information is being disseminated. Regardless of what is being said, SB-130 as amended does not materially change or diminish the Stand Your Ground law. It does clarify some provisions but doesn't change them.
This is what the bill actually does:
The bill establishes guidelines and regulations for Neighborhood Watch programs.
The bill makes it clear that if you injure or kill an attacker, you cannot be sued by the attacker, or his family or personal representative.
The bill makes it clear that a person who has used self-defense cannot be arrested and taken into custody prior to an investigation and makes it clear that law enforcement has the authority and duty to fully investigate the use of force.
The bill corrects an abuse of the defendant's rights created by judges and prosecutors -- without any legislative authority.
Nothing in the Stand Your Ground (SYG) law provides for a "SYG hearing" where the person who acted in self-defense is presumed guilty until he/she proves to a judge that it was self-defense. Yet that is what some judges and prosecutors have done.
The bill REVERSES that. Under this language the defendant is entitled to a Pretrial hearing if he/she chooses, but the burden of proof is ON THE PROSECUTOR to prove it was not lawful self-defense.
The bill clarifies that the person who is the initial aggressor [attacker] is not entitled to the law's protections.
The bill contains language that makes it clear that it is not the Legislature's intent that the law be used for unlawful purposes.
On Tuesday, March 18, 2014
SB-424 PASSED THE FLORIDA SENATE by a vote of 36-3
SB-424 Discrimination by Insurance Companies by Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon) is a bill to stop insurance companies from discriminating against policy holders who own firearms and ammunition.
On Wednesday, March 19, 2014
HB-89 Threat of Force by Representative Neil Combee & Repsentative Katie Edwards & others was on Special Order on the House Floor for 2nd reading and Q & A .
HB-7029 Zero Tolerance/Pop Tart Bill by Representative Dennis Baxley was on Special Order on the House Floor for 2nd reading and Q & A.
On Thursday, March 20, 2014
HB-523 PASSED by a vote of 17-0 in the Regulatory Affairs Committee.
HB-523 CW License Applications by Representative Jamie Grant is a bill to allow the Division of Licensing to designate qualified Tax Collectors to conduct the "Fast-Track" concealed weapons licensing application process in their respective counties.
HB-525 PASSED by a vote of 16-1 in the Regulatory Affairs Committee.
HB-525 CW Public Records by Representative Jamie Grant Prohibits Tax Collectors & their employees from disclosing identifying information of applicants and license holders.
HB-89 Threat of Force PASSED THE FLORIDA HOUSE by a vote of 93-24
HB-89 Threat of Force by Representative Neil Combee & Representative Katie Edwards & others is a bill to stop abusive prosecutors from using 10-20-Life to prosecute people who exercise their constitutional right of self-defense.
HB-7029 Zero Tolerance/Pop Tart Bill PASSED THE FLORIDA HOUSE by a vote of 98-17
HB-7029 Zero Tolerance/Pop Tart Bill by Education K-12 Committee & Representative Dennis Baxley is a bill to stop some of the unbelievable actions by school administrators against children who behave like children and point fingers at each other pretending to shoot guns etc.
Stay Informed -- See your Legislature in action on The Florida Channel
REMEMBER, you can watch committee hearings on The Florida Channel live on TV or on your computer. By going to The Florida Channel on your computer, you can find the TV channel in your local area.
To find the TV Channel in your area, just click on the Orange Tab in the upper right corner that says "Where To Watch."
To watch on your computer, go to "Today's Schedule" on the right hand side of the screen and click on "Live Streams" then scroll down until you find the Committee Meeting you wish to watch.
If you miss a Committee meeting, you can go to "Video Library" in the Blue Menu Bar near the top of the screen then scroll down until you find the committee meeting you wish to watch.
To go to The Florida Channel now, Click Here
The 2014 Legislative Session began last Tuesday, March 4, 2014 and runs for 60 consecutive days ending on May 2, 2014 -- if the Legislature completes it work. If the Legislature fails to complete its work in 60 days, they may extend the session or adjourn and be called back into Special Session.