|March 26, 2021
|USF & NRA Members and Friends
|Marion P. Hammer
|USF Executive Director
|NRA Past President
LEGISLATORS HEARD YOUR VOICES AND PASSED HB-259
On Thursday, March 25, 2021, the full Florida House of Representatives met and heard HB-259, sponsored by Rep. Jayer Williamson & Rep. Cord Byrd. During the Q&A period, anti-gun legislators were allowed to question sponsors. Then, under the rules, the bill "rolled over" until the next House floor session.
Today, Friday, March 26, 2021, the full House came back into session. HB-259 was up for debate and PASSED by a VOTE of 76-37!
HB-259 RESTORES the private property rights of religious institutions AND the self-defense rights of people who go to church.
Church goers, who are licensed by the state to carry firearms for self-defense, are currently being deprived of the same rights they have when they go shopping, go into a business, or onto any other private property. This bill fixes that.
The bill now goes to the Florida Senate.
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 ever 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 church prohibits it.
There are over 2 Million firearms license holders in our state. They are around children all day, every day, in places 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.