Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! Attorney General Ashley Moody: Assault Weapons Ban Ballot Measure "MISLEADING"

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

 

DATE:     July 30, 2019 
TO:          USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:    Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

 

In the petition filed Friday, July 26th, Attorney General Ashley Moody informed the Florida Supreme Court that the "Assault Weapons Ban" ballot language is "misleading" and is "clearly and conclusively defective." 

Further, AG Moody's spokesperson Lauren Schenone told the media, "Regardless of your position on gun restrictions, this proposed ballot language is a trick." 

She added, "The drafters of this proposal have confused voters by creating a misleading definition of 'assault weapons' which would include a majority of the most popular hunting rifles and shotguns." 

The AG’s petition opposes placement of the amendment on the ballot. The petition identifies the following four deficiencies in the ballot title and summary as being misleading to voters:  

(1) the definition of “assault weapon” captures virtually all semi-automatic long-guns, but this practical impact is not revealed to the voters in the ballot summary; 

(2) the amendment forces nearly all lawful owners to register with FDLE, and establishes a gun registration scheme that will make the personal identifying information of gun owners available to all other state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies; 

(3) the ballot summary fails to disclose the 30-day window after passage during which individuals can purchase weapons and take advantage of the grandfathering provision; and 

(4) the amendment grants the legislature plenary authority to increase, but never decrease, the criminal penalty set forth in the amendment, which is a third-degree felony. 

The news article below reports more on the issue and contains a link to the AG's full petition. It is reprinted with permission.

 

MOODY SEEKS TO BLOCK ASSAULT WEAPONS MEASURE 

July 29, 2019

Jim Saunders, Dara Kam

 

TALLAHASSEE --- Arguing the proposed ballot language is “clearly and conclusively defective,” Attorney General Ashley Moody wants the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent possession of assault weapons. 

Moody late Friday filed a document that is a first step in arguing before the Supreme Court, which reviews the wording of ballot proposals to make sure they are not misleading and meet other legal standards. The political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW is trying to get the assault-weapons measure on the November 2020 ballot. 

In part, Moody focused on a section of the proposed constitutional amendment that would define assault weapons as “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.” 

Moody wrote that the proposed amendment would “ban the possession of virtually every semi-automatic long-gun. To be included on the ballot, the sprawling practical effect of the amendment must be revealed in the ballot language. Because that effect is not revealed, the ballot language is deficient.” 

But Gail Schwartz, who chairs the Ban Assault Weapons NOW committee, disputed Moody’s arguments. 

“This bipartisan ballot measure has been vetted extensively by legal experts and is supported by hundreds of thousands of Floridians across the state,” Schwartz said in a statement Monday. “We are confident with our chances at the Supreme Court, and presented with the choice to do so, we are confident that the people of Florida will overwhelmingly support this common-sense measure to ban weapons of war to make our communities safer.” 

The possibility of banning of assault weapons has long been controversial in Florida, but it gained renewed attention last year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. State lawmakers have repeatedly rejected calls to ban the weapons, including after the Parkland school shooting. 

Ban Assault Weapons NOW needs to clear two major requirements to get the proposal on the 2020 ballot. It needs the Supreme Court to sign off on the wording of the ballot summary and title --- the wording that voters see when they go to the polls --- and needs to submit at least 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state. As of Monday, the state had received 99,266 valid petition signatures, according to the Florida Division of Elections website. 

It was not immediately clear Monday when the Supreme Court might hear arguments on the wording of the proposal. 

The amendment would bar possession of assault weapons, though it includes exceptions such as for military or law-enforcement use. 

Also, it includes what Moody describes as a “grandfathering provision” for people who had the weapons before the amendment would take effect. Those people, in part, would be able to retain possession if they register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Registration records would be available to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies “for valid law enforcement purposes but shall otherwise be confidential,” the text of the proposed amendment says. 

In the document filed Friday with the Supreme Court, Moody contended that the ballot title and summary do not adequately explain issues related to grandfathering. 

“Moreover, the ballot title and summary do not inform Florida's electorate that virtually every lawful owner of a semi-automatic long-gun will be forced to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or that this registry would be available to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” Moody wrote. “Nor do the ballot title and summary state the time within which preexisting long-gun owners must register their firearms that meet the proposed amendment's definition of ‘assault weapon’ and avail themselves of the amendment's grandfathering provision.” 

But Schwartz, the aunt of Parkland shooting victim Alex Schachter, accused Moody of “playing politics.” 

“It’s not surprising that the attorney general is now openly opposing measures to protect families, playing politics with Floridians’ lives in order to appease the gun lobby,” Schwartz said. “Year after year, elected officials like Ashley Moody have done nothing on this issue, as more and more families like my own are forced to reckon with the loss of our loved ones due to military-grade assault weapons at Parkland, at Pulse (nightclub in Orlando), or at the next mass shooting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRENDING NOW
Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from ...

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

NRA-Supported Case Heard by Supreme Court

News  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

NRA-Supported Case Heard by Supreme Court

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) says this week’s Supreme Court hearing on a New York City gun control law could ultimately strengthen the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second ...

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

A week after he told voters that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect “a magazine with a hundred clips in it,” 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden offered supporters more of his singular brand of anti-gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Files Joint Legal Challenge Against Firearm Storage Initiative Petition

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

NRA Files Joint Legal Challenge Against Firearm Storage Initiative Petition

On Friday, the National Rifle Association announced the filing of a joint legal challenge with the Oregon Hunters Association to contest Oregon Initiative Petition 40, which seeks to impose sweeping restrictions on the storage of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

It’s Never Enough: Gun Control Advocates Won’t Ever Be Satisfied With Marginal Changes to Our Gun Laws

News  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It’s Never Enough: Gun Control Advocates Won’t Ever Be Satisfied With Marginal Changes to Our Gun Laws

When seeking to pass whatever the anti-gun flavor of the month is when it comes to gun legislation, anti-gun advocates often claim to be seeking only “reasonable” solutions. They often claim that if just one ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.