While the state of Florida came out and passed a number of anti-gun laws immediately after Parkland, the state has maintained its status as being relatively pro-gun. While all of the laws passed in the wake of that shooting were onerous to law-abiding citizens while doing little to actually curtail another such shooting, we also weren’t talking gun bans or anything.
However, those laws did embolden anti-gunners. They pushed during the 2018 elections and were soundly defeated.
Now, they’re trying something different in the Gunshine State, but the attorney general, among others, stands against them.
The National Rifle Association condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that aims to do away with assault weapons in Florida as a “classic example of impermissible political rhetoric” designed to inflame voters’ emotions.
“The amendment hides behind political rhetoric and a misleading ballot summary to coax voters into abridging their existing right under the Florida Constitution to keep and bear arms and criminalizing the most commonly owned rifles and shotguns in America,” lawyers for the gun-rights organization wrote in a brief filed Friday with the Florida Supreme Court.
The organization’s arguments were among three briefs filed Friday in opposition to the proposed amendment, which the political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW is trying to place on the November 2020 ballot. The Supreme Court is poised to decide whether the wording of the ballot proposal meets legal requirements.
The NRA, Attorney General Ashley Moody and the National Shooting Sports Foundation argued separately in the briefs that the proposed amendment should be blocked. The NRA focused, in part, on the term “assault weapons.”
“Coined by anti-gun activists as a derogatory and pejorative term, its prime function is not to inform and describe in a clear, neutral, and objective way, but to deliver rhetorical impact and evoke emotion and condemnation,” the NRA, represented by Andy Bardos and other GrayRobinson attorneys, said in a 34-page brief.
Of course, the terms being used aren’t as vital as many like to argue. What matters is that we understand what one another is talking about and, generally, we do. Of course, those calling for assault weapon bans generally don’t know what they are talking about, but that’s a different matter entirely.
The effort to get this on the ballot only partially involves the state supreme court. The other side of the effort is to accumulate over valid 733,000 signatures throughout the state by February. They currently stand at just over 115,000 reportedly.
All of that just to put it before the Florida voters during a presidential election year.
Let’s just say it would be an uphill climb at every level for the proposed amendment. I think it’s unlikely to pass even if it makes it on the ballot, though I don’t blame folks for not wanting to take that chance. These are our rights, after all, and they shouldn’t be up for a vote.
Hopefully, this effort will die a horrible death and we’ll never hear of this kind of nonsense again. The state of Florida deserves better.