|DATE:||April 11, 2018|
|TO:||USF & NRA Member and Friends|
|FROM:||Marion P. Hammer
|USF Executive Director|
|NRA Past President|
Tuesday night, April 10, 2018, the Leon County Commission voted 6-1 to pass the gun control ordinance. We believe the ordinance exceeds Constitutional authority and therefore intentionally violates the Florida firearms preemption law.
The Constitution (Article XIII Local Government. Section 5. Local Option, subsection (b) allows a county to impose a background check and waiting period on sales when any part of the transaction is on “property to which the public has the right of access.”
The pivotal word in the Constitution is “right.” A "right" is an entitlement "owed" to the people. The people are not "owed" access to any property other than public property.
The ordinance unlawfully expands it to private “property owned by private individuals, firms and entities.”
For hours, gun owners testified against the gun control ordinance. And for hours, Commissioners sat and listened to testimony – some smugly because their minds were made up and they weren’t hearing what was being said.
Chairman Nick Maddox announced that there were over 200 speaker cards submitted. By our count, twice as many people testified against the ordinance as actually testified in support of the ordinance. Speaker cards were turned in for dozens more who “waived” in support of the ordinance and several dozen more who “waived” in opposition to the ordinance. Some believe that supporters of the ordinance filled out and turned in dozens of speaker cards for people who weren’t even at the hearing. County Administrator Vince Long just read over 3 dozen cards of in support of the ordinance into the record before testimony began. No one bothered to verify if the people who were “waiving their time” were actually there.
In all, the courageous people to stay to testify knowing that most Commissioners didn’t even care what was being said, are to be congratulated.
Highlights of the Meeting:
Commissioner Bryan Desloge is the only Commissioner who voted against the ordinance. He made it clear that his objection was the expansion of the ordinance into private property.
Chairman Nick Maddox went so far as to belittle a rape victim who testified against the ordinance. He commented on her earrings telling her “You don’t wear those out of the house....so make sure the record reflects that.”
Vice-Chairman Jimbo Jackson barely said a word all night. He just sat quietly then voted to impose gun control on Leon County’s law-abiding citizens.
Commissioner Bill Proctor talked off and on all evening but he seemed mostly concerned about whether or not the ordinance violated the preemption law.
Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley just grinned all evening, she had the votes in her pocket.
Commissioner Kristin Dozier appeared to vacillate all evening but we knew her mind was made up.
Florida Carry plans to file a lawsuit against Commissioners who voted in favor of the ordinance. Under state law they cannot use your tax dollars to defend themselves. We’ll have to wait and see what they do.