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Florida Alert! Florida Supreme Court Opinion on Gun Ban Amendment Plus News Clippings

Saturday, June 6, 2020

 

DATE:  June 6, 2020
TO:      USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

 

By now you've heard of the great victory for Florida’s law-abiding gun owners: the Florida Supreme Court agreed with our contention that the ballot summary of the "Assault Weapons" ban initiative was deceptive and would mislead voters. 

The ballot initiative contained deceptive language to fool Florida voters in an attempt to ban millions of legal, commonly used firearms and shut down legitimate businesses all around Florida. 

Supporters of the gun ban initiative used deceptive language to try to trick voters into supporting their gun ban claiming it would do one thing while knowing it would do much more. To read the Opinion Click Here: Florida Supreme Court Opinion 

The media has been all over the board in reporting the opinion. Below are some of the clippings including the hate filled EDITORIALS by some of the anti-gun media.

 

Florida Supreme Court tosses out proposed assault weapons ban

by Jeffrey Schweers, USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau

Tallahassee Democrat

June 4, 2020 | 1:30 pm ET 

“That’s a great victory for Florida’s law-abiding gun owners," said Marion Hammer, a longtime gun-rights lobbyist who has represented the NRA before the Florida Legislature. "Supporters of the initiative used deceptive language to try to trick voters into believing it would have done one thing, while in fact it would have done much more." 

Saying its ballot summary is misleading to voters, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected a constitutional amendment banning assault weapons from the November 2022 statewide ballot.

"This misleading language violates" Florida law that requires clear and unambiguous language, the court said in its 9-page advisory opinion issued Thursday.

Jorge Labarga, the only dissenter among the court's current five justices, disagreed: "The ballot title clearly communicates the chief purpose of the Initiative, and the ballot summary clearly summarizes the content of the proposed amendment."

Attorney General Ashley Moody sought the court's opinion almost a year ago, on July 26, on whether the initiative by the group Ban Assault Weapons Now met the tests for placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

The crux of the argument was if the language exempted a legally registered assault rifle, or just its owner, and whether such a weapon would be banned once it changed ownership.

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation submitted briefs along with Moody opposing the initiative...READ MORE HERE:  https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/local/state/2020/06/04/florida-supreme-court-rejects-assault-weapons-ban-amendment/3143781001/

 


Good News for the NRA: Florida Supreme Court Strikes Question on Assault Weapons Ban from Ballot  

"At the end of the day, it was a good win for folks who support the Second Amendment, but it was also a good win for the people of Florida, that they are only going to be voting on amendments that are not misleading," counsel to the National Rifle Association said. 

By Raychel Lean

Law.com

 June 5, 2020 | 12:57 pm  

A citizen’s initiative that would have asked Florida voters to ban assault weapons in 2022 has stumbled before the state Supreme Court, which found the question and its accompanying summary was too misleading to make it to the ballot. 

The ruling is good news for the National Rifle Association and National Sports Shooting Foundation, which opposed the idea.

If voters had approved the amendment, it would have edited the right to bear arms under the Florida Constitution, making it a third-degree felony to possess an automatic weapon—any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

But the appellate panel majority couldn’t get past the next-to-last sentence, which said the proposal “exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date.”

That language was misleading, the opinion said, because it implied that any assault weapons purchased and registered before a certain date would be exempt, while the amendment text, on the other hand, explained that owners couldn’t sell or transfer the weapon to anyone else.

“While the ballot summary purports to exempt registered assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to the Initiative’s effective date, the Initiative does not categorically exempt the assault weapon, only the current owner’s possession of that assault weapon,” the opinion said.

The majority found that butted heads with Florida Statute 101.161(1), which says ballot language has to be clear and unambiguous...

READ MORE HERE...https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2020/06/05/good-news-for-the-nra-florida-supreme-court-strikes-question-on-assault-weapons-ban-from-ballot/?slreturn=20200505150504

 

Florida Supreme Court Blocks Assault Weapon Ban From Ballot

The Florida Supreme Court is blocking an assault weapons ban from going to voters in 2022. 

By BRENDAN FARRINGTON

Associated Press

June 4, 2020 | 2:46 pm  

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court is blocking an assault weapons ban from going to voters in 2022, saying in a Thursday ruling that the ballot summary is deceptive because it doesn't clearly state that a grandfathering clause applies to the owner, not the gun itself.

A group called Ban Assault Weapons Now sponsored the proposed constitutional amendment, inspired by the mass shooting at a Parkland high school that left 17 people dead. It would have banned the possession of any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.

The amendment language would have made an exception for anyone who already lawfully owned an assault weapon as long as they registered it with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

But the court in a 4-1 opinion said the ballot summary was misleading because it said weapons lawfully possessed before the initiative was passed would be exempted.

The court ruled that voters would be deceived because the initiative wouldn't have protected the weapon itself, but rather the person who lawfully owned it. In other words, people who legally owned a weapon wouldn't be able to sell it or give it to someone else...READ MORE HERE:  https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2020-06-04/florida-supreme-court-blocks-assault-weapon-ban-from-ballot

 

Florida Supreme Court votes for weapons of mass destruction 

By Sun Sentinel Editorial Board
South Florida Sun Sentinel |
Jun 04, 2020 | 4:50 PM

It’s not just criminals who get no sympathy from the Florida Supreme Court. There’s none for law-abiding citizens, either. Not when the choice is between public safety and the morbid absolutism of the National Rifle Association.

By a 4-1 vote Thursday, the court’s far-right bloc disapproved an assault weapons ban proposed for the 2022 ballot. Not only did the gun lobby ask the justices to reject the citizen’s petition drive, so did Attorney General Ashley Moody. She’s supposed to be the people’s lawyer, but she is arm-in-arm with gun manufacturers and others who believe the Second Amendment allows no limits on personal ownership of weapons of mass destruction. READ MORE HERE:  https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-op-edit-assault-weapons-supreme-court-20200604-i3csgansdzflhp4sjnvobitvme-story.html

 

Ben Friedman: Supreme Court justices, not citizens, were the only ones confused over an assault weapons ban

By BEN FRIEDMAN

Orlando Sentinel 

June 5, 2020 | 12:17 pm 

When her nephew Alex Schachter was murdered with an assault weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, Gail Schwartz was devastated — and then activated. Frustrated by the government inaction on gun violence, Gail founded the Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN) movement, which aimed to pass a constitutional amendment to, you guessed it, ban assault weapons in Florida.

Two years, nearly 200,000 petitions and many more volunteer hours later, the BAWN amendment was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Florida. The reason? The judges determined the language explaining the amendment was too confusing for we simpleminded voters to understand. 

As a certain future president might say: Malarky! This ruling is the latest in a troubling national pattern, thanks to a new crop of ultraconservative judges who have taken hold of our judiciary. These judges are often products of the Federalist Society, an organization that claims to support an independent, originalist judiciary, but in reality just promotes hard right-wing partisan ideologues. Unfortunately for us, this new Florida Supreme Court majority is seemingly hellbent on cementing its status as the poster child for that movement...READ MORE HERE...https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-florida-supreme-court-assault-weapons-ban-20200605-tgdcfigkyjc6pp73rvvw5pvweq-story.html


Florida Supreme Court Quashes Amendment That Would Outlaw ‘Assault Weapons’

By JAKE DIMA, CONTRIBUTOR

Daily Caller

June 5, 2020 | 2:32 pm ET 

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday struck down an amendment that would ban the ownership of assault weapons due to misleading wording. Ban Assault Weapons Now, which prohibited the “possession of assault weapons,” banned magazines holding more than 10 rounds and mandated registration for these guns, was set to appear on the 2022 ballot. However, justices voted 4-1 to ensure this doesn’t happen, according to the Washington Examiner.

Justices called the initiative — developed after the deadly Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February 2018 — “affirmatively misleading,” as it does “not categorically exempt the assault weapon, only the current owner’s possession of that assault weapon,” according to court documents obtained by ABC NewsREAD MORE HERE ...https://dailycaller.com/2020/06/05/florida-supreme-court-assault-weapons/

 

FL Supreme Court Rejects Gun Ban Ballot Initiative

June 4, 2020 | 7:00 pm

by Cam Edwards

Bearing Arms 

A proposed ban on so-called assault weapons will not appear on the 2022 ballot in Florida, after the state supreme court issued a 4-1 decision stating that the language of the ballot initiative doesn’t meet the legal requirements to appear before voters. Organizers for the ban originally hoped to get the ballot before voters this fall, but failed to get enough signatures from Florida residents to qualify this year. The anti-gun campaigners then set their sights on the 2022 election, but the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody questioned the language in the initiative, and on Thursday a majority of justices on the court found that wording used by gun control advocates was indeed misleading to voters…READ MORE HERE: 
https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2020/06/04/fl-supreme-court-rejects-gun-ban-ballot-initiative/

 

Florida Supreme Court rules against assault weapons ban amendment

By John Haughey

The Center Square

June 4, 2020 

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday knocked a proposed constitutional amendment to ban possession of “assault-style weapons” from a prospective berth on the 2022 ballot.

In a 4-1 decision, the court ruled Ban Assault Weapons NOW’s 75-word ballot summary “affirmatively misleads voters” by contradicting broader text in the proposed amendment.

“Specifically, the next-to-last sentence of the ballot summary informs voters the initiative ‘exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date’ when, in fact, the initiative does no such thing,” the majority opinion said. “Contrary to the ballot summary, the initiative’s text exempts only ‘the person’s,’ meaning the current owner’s, possession of that assault weapon.”

Chief Justice Charles Canady and justices Ricky Polston, Alan Lawson and Carlos Muniz formed the majority. Justice Jorge Labarga was the lone dissenter.

Ban Assault Weapons NOW (BAWN) began its petition drive in the wake of the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.... READ MORE HERE:    https://www.thecentersquare.com/florida/florida-supreme-court-rules-against-assault-weapons-ban-amendment/article_30ee3e46-a6bf-11ea-9091-c7949beed402.html

 

Florida Supreme Court Nixes Effort To Ban Assault Weapons

By TOM URBAN, WLRN 

WUSF Public Media

June 4, 2020 

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to ban the possession of assault-style weapons does not meet requirements to be placed on the ballot in Florida.

Supporters of the Ban Assault Weapons Now initiative did not submit enough petition signatures to make it on the 2020 ballot but needed support from the Supreme Court to go before voters in 2022.

Attorney General Ashley Moody, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation submitted briefs to the court in opposition to the measure, while gun-control groups such as Brady and several South Florida cities backed the proposal…READ MORE HERE:  https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/florida-supreme-court-nixes-effort-ban-assault-weapons

 

Court shoots down assault weapons ban

by Dara Kam

News Service of Florida

June 4, 2020 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to ban possession of assault-style weapons does not meet requirements to go before voters.

Supporters of the Ban Assault Weapons NOW initiative did not submit enough petition signatures to make it on the 2020 ballot but needed support from the Supreme Court to go before voters in 2022. The group began the initiative after 17 people were killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Attorney General Ashley Moody, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation opposed the measure at the Supreme Court, while national gun-control groups such as Brady and several South Florida cities backed the proposal.

The Supreme Court plays a key role in the ballot-initiative process. It reviews initiatives to determine whether ballot titles and summaries --- the wording that voters would see at polling places --- meet legal requirements. It does not decide on the merits of the initiatives…READ MORE HERE:  https://cbs12.com/news/local/court-shoots-down-assault-weapons-ban  

 

 

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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.