December 5, 2021



BILL KILLED: SB-296/HB-209 Firearms/Mandatory Evacuations by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Heather
Fitzenhagen (R-Ft. Myers)

On 5/1/14, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) and Sen. Jack Latvala (A-Clearwater) killed this bilL The bill would have allowed law-abiding citizens to carry their firearms with them (rather than leave firearms behind in their homes for looters) when they are under a mandatory evacuation during a declared state of emergency.

Senator Jack Latvala and 8 other Republicans abandoned protection of your Second Amendment rights as a favor to a group of anti-gun sheriffs. By joining the 14 antigun Democrats, they are responsible for killing the bill to restore Second Amendment rights.

If you are an Honorary member of the Florida Sheriffs Association. you are helping fund an organization that is aggressively fighting to deprive you of your Second Amendment rights.

This was a straight up Second Amendment issue in its purest form And the Florida Sheriffs Association opposed your fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms at a critical time when you need to be able to protect yourself and your family. Claims by FSA that you can already carry your firearms with you in your vehicle as long as they are securely encased are deliberately misleading.

Despite the arguments concocted by FSA lobbyists, under Florida law s. 870.044, once an emergency is declared, a person is automatically prohibited from “(3) The intentional possession in a public place of a fireann by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.”That means it is a CRIME to possess a firearm on your person or in a vehicle … with or without a CW license during a state of emergency.

Under chapter 870, when an emergency is declared by a local official, it is a crime for a person to possess a firearm outside their home or off their own property — because possession of a firearm in a public place is prohibited. Sidewalks, roads and highways are public places and courts have ruled that anywhere inside the interior of a vehicle is on or about your person.

Nonetheless, the Florida Sheriffs Association enlisted Sen. Jack Latvala to help usurp Second Amendment rights for the convenience of law enforcement Knowing that if the bill were amended it would have to go back to House where it would NOT come up again, they KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY KILLED this bill with an amendment that gutted the bill.

MAKE NO MISTAKE, THE FLORIDA SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION HAS DECLARED WAR ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT. Their actions have made it clear that their 2013 Proclamation Supporting the Second Amendment was nothing more than camouflage.

Sheriffs repeatedly made it clear that the only thing they cared about was their convenience. Rhetorical questions like, “How are we supposed to know who has guns?”
“How are we supposed to know if people are legally in possession of guns?”
“How are we supposed to know they are actually evacuating?”
‘How are we supposed to know when we shine flashlights in cars and see guns that they are legal?” – made it clear it was all about
what they wanted and not about the rights and needs of the people they were elected to serve. They also made it clear, they prefer to presume you are a criminal rather than an honest citizen trying to protect your family and your property.

Also, please remember that not all Sheriffs agreed with the position taken by the top brass and lobbyists of the Association. You might ask your sheriffs which side they chose — yours or the Association’s. ‘

FSA President mounts personal attack on NRA Lobbyist, Marion Hammer

Gary Fineout, an AP reporter, tweeted that the Florida Sheriffs Association president “all but call[edj Hammer a liar at an event at the sheriffs association HQ.• Further, Fineout tweeted the FSA president said “that 1 reason the bill died was Marion Hammer did not want to cooperate and Jhat she wanted a vague bill.•

First, the bill was not vague. The bill plainly says a person who may lawfully possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm on or about his person “while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order declared by the Governor pursuant to_ chapter 252 or declared by a local authority pursuant to chapter 870.•

Second, when the Florida Sheriffs Association says we would not “cooperate,’ that means we would not give up your Second Amendment rights to make them happy. As sheriffs they swore to uphold the Constitution but they are violating their oath of office and trying to gut your Second Amendment rights. We refused to give up or diminish your Second Amendment rights, period.. We don’t view that as refusing to cooperate. We view that as standing strong to protect your Second Amendment rights against sheriffs who put their convenience above the Constitution. Rest assured, we will NEVER cooperate with the Florida Sheriffs Association in those efforts.

Below is the Roll Call vote on the amendment Passage of that amendment killed the bill, as it was intended to do. Sometimes you need to lose in order to identify the real enemy. This was one of those times.

Republican Senators Who Stood Strong on the Second Amendment (15)

Sen. Thad Altman (R) Sen. Aaron Bean (R)
Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) Sen. Rob Bradley (R)
Sen. Jeff Brandes (R)

Sen. Greg Evers (R) Sen. Bill Galvano (R) Sen. Andy Gardiner (R) Sen. Tom Lee (R)
Sen. Joe Negron (R)

Sen. David Simmons (R) Sen. Wilton Simpson (R) Sen. Kelli Stargel (R)
Sen. John Trasher (R)
Sen. President Don Gaetz (R)

Republican Senators Who ABANDONED Second Amendment Rights (9)

Sen. Charlie Dean (R) Sen. Nancy Detert (R)
Sen. Miguel Diaz de Ia Portilla (R)

Sen. Rene Garcia (R) Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) Sen. Alan Hays (R)

Sen. Jack Latvala (R) Sen. John Legg (R) Sen. Garrett Richter (R)

ALL 14 Senate Democrats ABANDONED Second Amendment Rights