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Florida: REPORT on Pro-Gun Bills that were heard on 11/18 & 11/19

Friday, November 20, 2015

DATE:  November 20, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President


THE FIRST BILL: SB-344, Burden of Proof by Sen. Rob Bradley was heard in the Senate Appropriations Criminal & Civil Justice Committee on 11/18/2015 and PASSED by a vote of 5-1.  

Although the House bill was killed in the big betrayal, the Senate bill is alive and well.

Voting FOR SB-344 were Chairman Joe Negron (R), Senators Rob Bradley, Greg Evers (R), Anitere Flores (R), and Travis Hutson (R).

Voting AGAINST SB-344 was Senator Darren Soto (D)

SB-344 Burden of Proof restores the Stand Your Ground law to the original intent of the Legislature by putting the burden of proof BACK ON THE STATE where it belongs. 

Through court action, prosecutors and courts have reversed the self-defense law that gives immunity from arrest, detaining in custody, charging and prosecuting until and unless an investigation reveals there is probable cause to believe the act was not lawful self-defense.  They created a special "Stand Your Ground" that forces the victim to prove innocence rather than the state prove guilt.  This bill stops that.

PLEASE take a few minutes to watch this video from this committee hearing.  Senator Joe Negron explains why this bill is so important.  It will make you wonder why House Chairman Carlos Trujillo orchestrated and drew other Republicans into such an elaborate scheme to kill the House bill.


THE SECOND BILL:  HB-163 Open Carry by Rep. Matt Gaetz was heard in House Justice Appropriations Committee on 11/18/2015 and PASSED by a vote of 7-6.  

Two Republicans voted AGAINST the bill:  Chris Latvala (R) and Kathleen Peters (R)

Voting FOR HB-163 were Chairman Larry Metz (R), Representatives Larry Ahern (R), Danny Burgess (R), Eric Eisnaugle (R), Mike Miller (R), Ross Spano (R), Carlos Trujillo (R).

Voting AGAINST HB-163 were Kionne McGhee (D), Sharon Pritchett (D), Jose Rodriguez (D) AND Chris Latvala (R) & Kathleen Peters (R)

HB-163 Open Carry is a bill to allow persons with a Concealed Carry License to also carry openly.  This will stop abuse of license holders and keep them from being charged with crime if their firearm accidentally and unintentionally becomes exposed to the ordinary sight of another person. 

THE THIRD BILL:  HB-4001 Campus Carry by Rep. Greg Steube was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on 11/19/2015 and PASSED by a vote of 13-5

Voting FOR HB-4001 were: Chairman Charles McBurney, Reps. Colleen Burton (R),  Jay Fant (R), Julio Gonzales (R),  Gayle Harrell (R), Matt Hudson (R), Larry Metz (R), Kathleen Passidomo (R), Scott Plakon (R), Michell Rehwinkle-Vasilinda (D), Charlie Stone (R), Carlos Trujillo (R), John Wood (R)

Voting AGAINST HB-4001 Reps. Dwight Dudley (D), Katie Edwards (D), Dave Kerner (D), Jared Moskowitz (D), Jose Rodriguez (D)

HB-4001 Campus Carry is a bill to allow adults 21 years of age or older who have a valid Florida Concealed Weapons or Firearm License to have their rights restored so they will be able to carry their concealed firearms on college or university campuses for protection.

Thank you all for taking the time to send email to Committee Members.  They need to know you are paying attention.

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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.