Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida: Unbelievable - 3 Democrats Against Stopping Gun Buys with Welfare Cards

Thursday, November 5, 2015

DATE:  November 5, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director 
  NRA Past President


SB-218 by Sen. Travis Hutson and HB-105 by Rep. Jimmie Smith are bills to stop people on government assistance from trading food aid EBT cards for firearms.

In the House Criminal Justice Committee meeting Wednesday, 11/4/2015, HB-105 was heard and came to a vote.  All nine Republicans and 1 Democrat voted in favor of the bill.

Incredibly, 3 Democrats, Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee), Sharon Pritchett (D-Miramar) and former law enforcement officer Rep. Clovis Watson (D-Gainesville) voted AGAINST the bill. 

To his credit, Democrat, Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Palm Springs) voted in favor of the bill.

The article below is reprinted with permission.



LAWMAKERS SEEK TO SHOOT DOWN TRADING OF EBT CARDS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

©2015 The News Service of Florida. All rights reserved. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited. You can view the Terms of Use on our website.

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, November 3, 2015.......... As state lawmakers move forward with measures to expand where and how people can carry handguns, they don't want Floridians trading government food aid to get firearms.

People found swapping state food-assistance benefits for firearms or drugs would face tougher penalties, under a bill that cleared its first legislative committee Tuesday.

The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously supported the bill (SB 218), filed by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton. Hutson said the measure is needed as Florida is one of 10 states where trafficking involving Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, cards has become a problem, with most cases in the Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Myers, Palm Beach County and Lakeland areas.

"I've heard from our state attorneys and assistant state attorneys, where they've gone into individuals' homes and seen drugs, firearms and stacks of EBT cards," Hutson said. "Their thought process is, this is happening. It is a problem. But we don't give them enough tools in their tool belts to identify what they can do with the trafficking of these EBT cards."

Hudson's proposal would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to trade the benefits from EBT cards, better known as food stamps, for firearms, ammunition, explosives, controlled substances, cash or considerations other than eligible types of food.

A House bill (HB 105), sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, also attacks the underground trading of EBT cards. It would go further than the Senate bill by making an initial arrest a third-degree felony for possessing two or more EBT cards that have been issued to other people or to attempt to sell one or more of the cards.

The penalty would also include a six-month mandatory sentence of community service spent with a non-profit that distributes food to the needy. Smith's bill goes before the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday.

In 2013, the Legislature approved a law that prohibited EBT cards from being used at strip clubs, liquor stores and gambling establishments. During the 2013 session, several Democrats called the Republican-backed proposal political posturing, noting that the state Department of Children and Families already had the ability to shut off EBT cards from being used at such facilities.

The EBT bills filed by Hutson and Smith for the 2016 session are among a series of proposed measures that involve guns.

Prior to Tuesday's vote on Hutson's bill, for example, Democratic Reps. Dave Kerner of Lake Worth, Clovis Watson of Alachua, Victor Torres of Orlando and John Cortes of Kissimmee expressed concerns about gun-related measures backed by gun-rights groups.

The Democrats focused on proposals that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry handguns (HB 163) and carry firearms while on state college and university campuses (HB 4001).

"For me, the immediate concern, and what I told my colleagues in the House, I want to limit this to the two bills that we've been asked to vote on because those are the two broadest public-policy measures we're fighting right now," Kerner said.

Kerner, Watson, Torres and Cortes have law-enforcement backgrounds.

The "campus carry" measure, which has been opposed by state university and college leaders, will make its second of three scheduled House committee stops Wednesday, when it goes before the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee.

The Democratic lawmakers didn't take a stand on separate proposal (HB 169) that could make it easier for people to claim they have stood their ground in self-defense when shooting others.

The measure would shift the burden of proof to the state in cases involving Florida's "stand your ground" law, which currently says people can use deadly force and do not have a duty to retreat if they think it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.

Another gun-related measure was introduced Monday, with Rep. Danny Burgess, R-San Antonio, proposing a bill (HB 505) that would allow concealed-carry permits, which include photos, to be an acceptable form of identification when voting.

TRENDING NOW
Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

News  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

Billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg is at it again, pledging to spend $1 million through his gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety in an attempt to impact Virginia’s upcoming elections for governor and attorney general.

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Today, Senate Bill 169 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 3-2.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where ...

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

News  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts ...

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 8, 2017

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

On Sept. 1, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at promoting Second Amendment rights and America’s outdoor sporting traditions.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.