UPDATE: Florida’s Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam has postponed, but not ended a bill he’s pushing to relax Florida’s gun laws. Putnam is running for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination.
Update II: The gun bill is dead.
Miami-Dade’s Democratic Party Chairman just called out Florida Republicans as cowards for holding hearings today to make it even easier to get a concealed weapons permit after yesterday’s horrifying school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Chairman Juan Cuba caught GOP legislators planning a hearing for 1pm tomorrow in Tallahassee, Florida’s capitol, which includes a 98-page thick bill about agriculture (SB 740) which weakens the state’s gun laws considerably.
The Republican Party is looking to add a new loophole in Florida’s already weak gun laws would potentially open up a time window for disgruntled ex-cons or wife-beating scumbags to carry concealed until they’ve committed the crime for which they need that permit.
Cuba is is telling everyone in Florida or who visits the state, and prefers sensible gun controls in the wake of today’s shooting to take action and call the State Senate immediately. (his instructions are in post embedded below)
“Because Florida Republicans are cowards bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association, they snuck in a gun provision inside of the Agriculture bill making its way through Tallahassee.”
“SB740 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee [TODAY] Thursday Feb. 15 at 1 PM.”
“This is a massive agricultural bill that deals with oyster harvesting, revising standards of water vending machines, and more. However, conveniently tucked in pages 88–90 of this 98 page bill is language that would require the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to grant a Concealed Weapons Permit applicant their permit within 90 days, even if a full background check has not been completed.”
The Republicans proposal would make it easier for concealed weapons permits to fall into the hands of violent felons and men with histories of domestic violence, who shouldn’t be carrying weapons anyhow, but sometimes obtain them anyway.
Over half of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence, and Florida’s SB 740 would virtually hand them a presumption of innocence when seeking concealed carry permits.
Just compare the way the GOP treats gun rights to how it treats voting rights in Florida and you’ll understand why this legislative maneuver in the wake of the Parkland tragedy is doubly disconcerting.
In the event the department receives incomplete criminal history information or with no final disposition on a crime which may disqualify the applicant, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must expedite efforts to acquire the final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights, or confirmation that clarifying records are not available from the jurisdiction where the criminal history originated. Ninety days after the date of receipt of the completed application, if the department has not acquired final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights, or confirmation that clarifying records are not available from the jurisdiction where the criminal history originated, the department shall issue the license in the absence of disqualifying information. However, such license must be immediately suspended and revoked upon receipt of disqualifying information pursuant to this section
It confirms that Republicans are indeed using a bill about fishing and oysters, to let felons hold concealed weapons permits even if their background checks are incomplete.
They want to strike out this portion of Florida’s current law, which sensibly makes applicants wait until criminal background checks are done before they’re given a concealed weapons permit:
time limitation prescribed by this paragraph may be suspended until receipt of the final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights.
“I would like to thank the League of Women Voters and Moms Demand Action for catching Republicans relaxing gun controls deep inside in this agriculture bill,” said Cuba.
The vast majority of Americans support sensible gun controls aimed at keeping weapons away from those with criminal records and mental illness.
But Florida Republicans have been militant about loosening gun laws; for example, Florida AG Pam Bondi fought all the way to the Supreme Court (and lost) in 2013 in her bid to overturn the Gun Control Act’s prohibitions against 18 to 20 year olds buying guns from federally licensed dealers.
In the wake of the latest tragic school shooting, why is the NRA-backed Republican Party of Florida is still pushing yet another relaxation of the precious few gun laws the state of Florida does have on the books?
If you want to take action, call one of these phone numbers:
Senate Appropriations Committee
Chair: Senator Rob Bradley (R)
Vice Chair: Senator Anitere Flores (R)
Senator Dennis Baxley (R)
Senator Aaron Bean (R)
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R)
Senator Lauren Book (D)
Senator Randolph Bracy (D)
Senator Jeff Brandes (R)
Senator Oscar Braynon II (D)
Senator George B Gainer (R)
Senator Bill Galvano (R)
Senator Audrey Gibson (D)
Senator Denise Grimsley (R)
Senator Bill Montford (D)
Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R)
Senator Bobby Powell (D)
Senator David Simmons (R)
Senator Wilton Simpson (R)
Senator Kelli Stargel (R)
Senator Linda Stewart (D)
Here is the original post by Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairman Juan Cuba: