|DATE:||February 11, 2021|
|TO:||USF & NRA Members and Friends|
|FROM:||Marion P. Hammer|
|USF Executive Director
|NRA Past President|
On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, the House Criminal Justice Committee heard and PASSED HB-259 sponsored by Rep. Jayer Williamson (R) & Rep. Cord Byrd (R)
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Alexander Andrade(R), Tommy Gregory (R), Fred Hawkins (R), Ralph Massulo, Jr. (R), Spencer Roach (R), Anthony Sabatini (R), Jason Shoaf (R), Tyler Sirois (R) and Clay Yarborough (R).
HB-259 is a bill to restore the constitutional right of churches and church goers to protect themselves and their families while in a religious institution.
There are eighteen (18) members of the House Criminal Justice Committee -- six (6) are Democrats and twelve (12) members are Republicans.
HB-259 Passed by a vote of 14-3 with all Republicans in attendance and 3 Democrats voting in Favor of the bill. Freshman Republican Demi Busatta Cabrera was absent.
VOTING IN FAVOR OF THE BILL VOTING AGAINST THE BILL
Chair, Cord Byrd (R) Kevin Chambless (D)
V-Chair, Chuck Brannan (R) Dianne Hart (D)
*MR, Michael Grieco (D) Andrew Learned (D)
Webster Barnaby (R)
James Bush III (D)
Elizabeth Ferrerhoff (R)
Tommy Gregory (R)
Brett Hage (R)
Patt Maney (R)
Alex Rizzo (R)
Spencer Roach (R)
John Snyder (R)
Kaylee Tuck (R)
Patricia Williams (D)
*Minority Ranking Member
Committee Members DEBATING IN FAVOR of the bill were: Webster Barnaby (R), Tommy Gregory (R), Michael Grieco (D).
HB-259 was last on the agenda so you can advance the bar at the bottom of the screen to 32:00 / 1 Hour and 3 Minutes into the meeting.
HB-259 is a bill to restore the private property rights of religious institutions. Also restored by this bill -- for people who go to church -- are the same rights they have when they go shopping or into any business or onto any other private property.
By law, under Florida Statutes in s.790.06 law-abiding citizens may receive licenses to carry concealed weapons and firearms (CWL) for lawful purposes.
Places where license holders are NOT AUTHORIZED to carry firearms are listed in s.790.06(12). Nothing in that section prohibits license holders from carrying in churches, synagogues or other religious institutions.
Nonetheless, anti-gun agitators have inserted language in other parts of the statutes that has been interpreted to prohibit firearms in religious institutions if any kind of child care is every conducted, at any time, on the private property of the church, synagogue or other religious institution. That means if child care is conducted Monday-Friday from 9-5, no firearms are EVER allowed at any time including on Saturday or Sunday or any holiday.
This bill will put a stop to that and will allow license holders to carry on church property (just like any other private property) unless the specific church prohibits it.
If a church or other religious institution prohibits the right to carry and self-defense rights by CWL license holders, the license holder can choose to use another religious institution if desired.
There are over 2 Million firearms license holders in our state. They are around children all day, every day, where parents take children shopping or anywhere outside the home. They pose no danger to children or anyone else. Nobody even knows who is and who is not carrying.