GOP Called Out Over Lackluster Pro-Gun Efforts in 'Gunshine State'

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

The first time someone referred to Florida as the "Gunshine State," I about fell out laughing. Now, the state is fairly pro-gun in a lot of ways and has been. It was the first to formally pass a Stand Your Ground law, for example.


But they also have a waiting period for gun purchases and a 19-year-old can't lawfully purchase any firearm at all, among other issues.

So I can't say that I was surprised to see that a gun rights group is challenging GOP lawmakers in the state for not doing enough.

Gun Owners Of America (GOA) Florida Director Luis Valdes says state GOP lawmakers aren’t doing enough to push forward second amendment rights in the state.

“Florida Republicans constantly campaign that they’re pro-gun and being the only thing stopping Democrats from passing gun control. But the nagging question every gun owner is asking is this. Why is it that pro-gun bills are dying under Republican leadership,” Valdes said.


Repeal Under 21 Purchase Ban. Repeal FDLE’s ability to abuse waiting periods and delay gun buyers for months to years. Legalize Open Carry. Legalize campus concealed carry on Florida colleges and university campuses.

Valdes also says Florida is the only Republican state in the nation with mandatory waiting periods, a ban on open carry, and Republican-sponsored Red Flag laws.

I was at an event in Florida recently--as was Valdes, I should note, where we finally got a chance to meet--and one Florida official described the state as the freest state in the nation.

I live in Georgia where we have true constitutional carry which includes open carry without a permit, no waiting period for firearms, no age limits on gun purchases beyond federal law, and no red flag law.

Maybe it's just me, but we feel a smidge freer up this way.

Yet Georgia has been leaning purple for the last few years. Florida is as red as they come. There's absolutely no excuse for not embracing these measures, repealing terrible laws that restrict people's gun rights, and living up to that "Gunshine State" moniker for a change.


Valdes is calling out state lawmakers for not doing enough for one very simple reason. They're not.

It would be different if there was more division in the legislature, where one has no choice but to compromise and take baby steps forward. Florida, however, ain't that. 

As such, the only reason it hasn't happened is that Republican lawmakers just don't want to do it. 

Now, that might be fine were it not for the fact that, as Valdes notes above, they weren't running on their Second Amendment support. They got votes for claiming they'd defend the Second Amendment, then they did nothing to defend the Second Amendment.

It's beyond ridiculous.

Florida lawmakers can solve this easily. There are few hurdles for them to clear. All they have to do is step up and repeal stupid laws and restore people's right to keep and bear arms. They can do this. They could have already done it.

The fact that they haven't, however, is telling. It's telling us just how much they really support our right to keep and bear arms.

With friends like this, who needs enemas?

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