On Jan. 13, Florida Senate Republicans voted to advance a gun control bill that would effectively eliminate all “private sales” of firearms in Florida. Private sales—sales of firearms between two unlicensed persons (those not holding Federal Firearms Licenses, “FFLs,” as dealers do)—currently require little more than that the seller verify the Florida residency of the buyer and have no actual knowledge of a buyer’s disqualification to possess a firearm. As a judgment call, prudent sellers may also require the presentation of a buyer’s Florida Concealed Weapon License and the completion of a bill of sale. Neither is required. The new law would overturn this.
Florida Republicans provided 5 votes of the 7-0 committee support for this bill, which would become law on July 1. It has been reported that Republican Senate President Galvano has made gun control his priority. This follows 2018’s Republican-led vote in both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to strip 18-20 year-old adults of their ability to buy any firearms from dealers, in violation of their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The same legislation, which was signed into law by Republican governor Rick Scott, added “red flag” laws which steamrolled over due process, and confiscated “bump-stocks” under penalty of felony. A case can be made that all politicians involved violated their oaths of office to preserve the Constitutions of the United States and of Florida.
The new Republican gun control law would ban private sales on “property to which the public has right of access”—notably, gun shows, or even in a supermarket parking lot—and require the sale to go through an FFL, with a background check. Those willing and able to sell on property not public—say, at their homes—would be permitted to do so only with their compliance with 13 conditions and the buyer answering 13 questions amounting to the same as for a government background check. The sale would also not be private , since one condition requires an affidavit signed before and certified by a notary public. All private sales will vanish and be criminalized, and there are no exceptions for concealed weapon license holders, or even for sales between family members. As with the deception of the 2018 Republican gun control bill, it is pushed through simply titled “Public Safety.” It can be viewed on the Senate website: SB 7028 ( http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/7 028/?Tab=VoteHistory ).
This is what the Republican Party of Florida website says about the Second Amendment: “The right to bear arms is fundamental and Democrats are working to destroy and strip away our Second Amendment rights little by little. Add your name to the petition and tell them to keep their hands off our guns.” Hypocritical? Since Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both legislative bodies, gun control in Florida comes only with their agreement! It is Republicans who need to be “petitioned.” The NRA has complained about the bill, but has announced NO plan to push back ( https://www.nraila.org/articles/20200115/al ert-florida-republican-senators-vote-for-massive-gun-control-bill ). Expect the same result as 2018 if YOU do not take greater action. Paste this ( https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representa tives/myrepresentative.aspx ) to get contact info for your elected representatives. Tell them what you think, as politely as you may try. Tell them soon, or they will plow ahead. Defy them to ignore your voice. Here is a sample you could use:
Dear [ Representative] : I recently learned of the Florida SB 7028 “Public Safety” bill proposed for 2020. I very strongly urge you NOT to support it or any similar bills. It creates ridiculous burdens for law-abiding citizens. It will reduce public safety by making it harder for citizens to gain affordable and timely access to firearms. The many restrictions of this proposed law clearly restrict the God-given right of self-defense acknowledged by our Constitution and affirmed by the Supreme Court. Both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions state that right “shall not be infringed” and any efforts of yours to do so are offensive to me. Your support for this bill does not represent my wishes or those of countless others who may not yet be aware of its treachery.
Know also that any softening of Republicans on gun control is met with hardening by Democrats. Over 20 bills have been proposed by Democrats, with radical demands: bans or registrations of “assault weapons,” no high-capacity magazines, background checks for ammunition sales, repeal of “stand your ground,” expanded red flag laws, expanded places where concealed carry is illegal, shortened concealed weapons license renewals, equating firearm threats to bomb threats, requiring gun shops to securely lock every gun after hours, confiscations of any 3D-printed firearms, and no state preemption of restrictive local laws. It’s a throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks negotiation designed to shame the opposition to concede something. What human rights would you like to give up this year?