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Florida Alert: Who else does the Florida Sheriffs Association want to control?

Friday, May 9, 2014

DATE:   May 9, 2014
TO:        USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
              USF Executive Director
              NRA Past President

It seems like the Florida Sheriffs Association wants to control you, me, our guns and the media.  What next?  The Legislature?  Or do they think they already control them?

On Wednesday, 5/7/14, an article appeared in the Daytona Beach News-Journal titled "Flagler County sheriff discusses sensible gun control.

We read it.  It didn't surprise us.  The article said Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre was asked to be a guest speaker at an event to "address the concerns of the Florida Sheriffs Association."

Manfre is quoted as saying sheriffs and police chiefs are concerned about "what type of weapons are out there and who has them."

It reported that Manfre said that one thing he and many other law enforcement officials would like to see in terms of "sensible gun control" is a "ban on assault weapons."  "In my opinion," he said, "there is no reason to have an assault weapon."

The article goes on to report that the "FSA also would like to see regulations implemented for gun sales that take place outside of licensed gun dealerships, according to Manfre. While licensed gun dealers must now conduct a background screening before selling to a customer, there are no regulations regarding private sales."

Sheriff Manfre is reported to have summarized two pieces of legislation from this past session -- one that failed and one that passed.  However, neither description of the bills was accurate. 

Perhaps sheriffs who don't have time to read and analyze pending legislation are not being provided with accurate information.  That would certainly explain why some of the normally pro-gun sheriffs were opposed the "mandatory evacuation'' bill, because we certainly have seen the misinformation spread about that bill.

Nonetheless, we put the article aside to include in our next Alert or Report.  But, yesterday we got an email from a lobbyist for the Florida Sheriffs Association.


The email alerts me to their "view" of the article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.  The email says "the reporter made a number of inaccurate statements (and never spoke to a representative authorized to speak for the Association) which mischaracterize the position of the FSA on various gun issues."  

Further the email said that FSA's head honcho, "Steve Casey spoke to the reporter and the editor today and asked that they correct these inaccuracies immediately. The FSA will also be sending a letter to the editor."

Let's get this straight:  the reporter was at the event and reported on what was said by Sheriff Manfre.  However, according to the email, it was the reporter -- not the Sheriff -- who made a number of inaccurate statements that mischaracterize the Florida Sheriffs Association on various gun issues.

And, again according to the email, the reporter "never spoke to a representative authorized to speak for the Association."

Let me see if I understand that correctly:

1.  The reporter should have assumed that Sheriff Manfre was not authorized to speak about positions of the Florida Sheriffs Association, even though that's why he was invited?  And,

2.  The reporter should have assumed the Sheriff didn't know what he was talking about so she needed to check with the Florida Sheriffs Association to be sure he was telling the truth?  Hmmmmmmm.

So FSA's boss, Steve Casey talked to the reporter and the editor, then suddenly the online article was revised yesterday afternoon.  Now, instead of reporting what Sheriff Manfre said, the article reports what FSA's executive director Steve Casey said -- AND HE WASN'T EVEN AT THE EVENT.

Replacing the report on what the speaker said with something said by someone who wasn't even there is something I have never seen happen before. 

The email continued by listing the items that someone (Steve Casey or their lobbyists)  view as inaccuracies.

"These statements are as follows:

1)  FSA supports a ban on assault weapons – FSA has never taken a position calling for a ban on assault weapons.

2) FSA supports regulation of private gun sales that take place outside a licensed gun dealership – FSA has never taken a position calling for the regulation of private guns sales.

3) FSA support changes to the background checks laws to include those who voluntarily commit themselves to institutions or rehab centers – FSA has never taken a position calling for changes to the existing laws for background checks."

Hmmmmmmm, "never" is a long time.

The revised story can be read at this link -- the original article has been removed.

Flagler County sheriff discusses ‘sensible gun control’ | News-JournalOnline.com

You might also be interested in this article as well. It's from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune blogger, Lee Williams.  It reports on this little media manipulation story as well.



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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.