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Florida Alert! Assault Weapons Ban Amendment Fails to Get on the 2020 Ballot

Friday, February 7, 2020

DATE:    February 7, 2020
TO:        USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:   Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

The Ban Assault Weapons NOW Committee (BAWN) failed to collect enough valid signatures to get the gun ban amendment on the 2020 ballot for Florida voters.  

The so-called "Assault Weapons" Ban amendment is a ban on the possession of virtually all semi-automatic rifle and shotguns, including small caliber rifles like the Ruger 10-22 youth rifle and even Benelli semi-automatic shotguns.  

Despite claims to the contrary by anti-gun sponsors, the amendment language is clearly designed to ban all semi-auto long guns. 

Putting an amendment to the Florida Constitution on the ballot for voters has certain requirements that BAWN has failed to meet. 

In order to qualify for the 2020 ballot, BAWN needed 766,200 valid statewide signatures by February 1, 2020.  They fell far short and had only submitted 146,162 by Friday 1/31/2020. 

BAWN immediately announced they would keeping going and would put the amendment on the ballot in 2022. 

On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments from both sides on the question of whether or not the ballot language was qualified to be on the ballot. 

To qualify for the ballot, a ballot summary may not be misleading to the voters in describing what the result of the proposed amendment would do. 

Florida's Attorney General, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation all argued that the ballot language was deceptive, confusing and misleading so it should be disqualified. 

The usual cast of anti-gun characters (The Brady Campaign, Former House Speaker Jon Mills (D) representing Ban Assault Weapons NOW and an attorney representing several anti-gun urban municipalities) argued that it was not deceptive.  (At times it even appeared they were confused about what their amendment actually said.) 

The Supreme Court has not announced when they will issue an opinion. If the Court disqualifies the ballot language, BAWN will have to start over for the 2022 ballot. 

You may watch a video of the Oral Arguments by using this link: 







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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.