Many of us conservative, law abiding gun owners are very concerned about the recent trend of gun control shown by Republicans in the Florida Legislature especially the incoming leaders of both the House and Senate.
It is my understanding that you, as incoming Speaker of the House and incoming Senate President Bill Galvano led the charge to compromise with Democrats in the House and Senate to pass the SB 7026 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act which is also a gun control act. As you know, it passed overwhelmingly in the House 67-50 with 57 of the YES votes by Republicans but only passed by 20-18 vote in the Senate.
Although the NRA and other 2A advocacy groups are concerned about the infringement of 2A rights under this law, they should also be concerned about violations of Due Process (5th and 14th Amendments) with the Risk Assessment Order piece. A person suspected of being a threat can have all of his/her firearms & accessories and carry permit seized for up to a year unless they prove in a hearing they are not a threat. They must prove their innocence not the court/prosecutor. Furthermore their property can and most likely will be seized prior to the hearing even being conducted.
This has already started with 121 seizures in Polk County since Sep. 14. We don’t know how many of these were overturned and guns & accessories returned by the results of the hearing but seizure before the hearing and the burden being placed on the accused to prove they are not a threat rather than the court proving they are a threat is a clear violation of Due Process. Please see attached article.
If the court rules on behalf of the accused, they have no recourse to recoup expenses if they hired an attorney; no recompense of potential loss of reputation nor compensation for their the time & effort required to go thru bureaucratic process of recovering their seized property nor payment for any damages to seized property.
This law will allow liberal courts and prosecutors to weaponize the Risk Protection Order based on their anti-gun agendas. This breach of Constitutional rights is a travesty of the law and should not be allowed to stand.
Only one piece of this law should have been passed before the end of the 2018 session and that is Sheriff Grady Judd’s Guardian/Sentinel Program to insure at least one armed, highly trained security person is placed in every school before the start of 2018-19 school year. The rest of the 105 page law is full of gun control, additional bureaucracy, and unclear procedures open to differing interpretations all at great expense to FL taxpayers and violations of the rights of legal, law abiding Florida gun owners.
The Florida Legislature must revisit and either invalidate or at least change the bad parts of SB 7026, one of which is the Risk Protection Order under the open to interpretation and unclear procedures presently established.
Royal A. Brown III
V.P. Winter Haven 912
By Jim Turner
News Service of Florida – TALLAHASSEE
Incoming , Senate President Bill Galvano is not backing down after finding himself in the crosshairs of the National Rifle Association for receiving a sizable political contribution from a.group that backs gun restrictions and has ties to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is slated to become Senate president after the November elections, pointed Monday to’the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman , Douglas High School that killed 17 people. After the shooting, , lawmakers passed a bill (SB 7026) that included raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase rifles and other long guns – a restriction the NRA has challenged in federal court.
(Even more damaging provisions of this new law are the Risk Protection Orders which allow seizure of all firearms, accessories & even concealed carry permits from a person deemed a threat before a hearing is conducted which is a violation of Due Process under the 5th and 14th Amendments – RABIII).
“I will make no apologies for the responsible steps we took in a bipartisan manner in the wake of the worst school shooting in our state’s history,” Galvano said.
Galvano’s comments came after NRA Tallahassee lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former national president of the gun – .rights organization, called him out for accepting a $200,000 contribution from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which has been heavily backed by Bloomberg.The contribution went to a political committee known as Innovate Florida, which is chaired by Galvano.
Hammer, a longtime powerful lobbyist in Tallahassee, sent out an “alert” Monday to members of the NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida about the Sept. 4 contribution to Galvano’s committee.
“Incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano calls himself a Republican but is rumored to be the one who colluded with anti-gun Democrats to engineer the gun control package included in SB-7026 this past session,” Hammer wrote to members of the groups. “SB-7026 contained three major gun control provisions and was rammed down the throats of Senate and House Republican legislators.”
“Looks like our Second Amendment Rights were sold for a large contribution from anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,”Hammer wrote. “All of this while the anti-gunners keep accusing legislators of taking money from NRA. In reality, no Florida Senate or House member or candidate for the Florida Senate or House has received a direct contribution from NRA in almost 20 years.
The NRA filed a federal lawsuit against the state in .March immediately after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the bill that include a wide range, of school-safety and gun related measures. Along with ‘the age requirement for gun purchases, it also included imposing a three-day waiting period on buying long guns and banned what are known as”bump stocks,” which allow semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully automatic weapons. The lawsuit remains pending.’
“I have made it clear that as Senate president, I will continue to advocate for increased safety ,and security in our schools. I am grateful for the support,” Galvano said Monday.’
The alleged shooter in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas case, to-year-old Nikolas Cruz, legally purchased a semiautomatic rifle that was used in the massacre .
Gun-rights supporters have been frustrated in recent years by the Senate, which has blocked proposals such as allowing people with concealed weapons licenses to carry firearms on college campuses (and in non-secure parts of airports-RABIII). Bills have stalled after years of the Republican –dorninated Legislature generally being supportive ‘of positions backed by groups such as the NRA, Florida Carry and Florida Gun Rights.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Florida Senator Galvano’s Facebook page.