Florida Legislative Update – The 2nd Amendment Under Attack
There is a link at the end of this article that will allow you to find out who your State Senators and Representatives are. Please contact them and share you opinion on these bills. The time to get involved is now!
Senate Bill 186 and its companion House Bill 709 create Florida Statute § 784.04875 – Domestic violence which among other things makes crimes of domestic violence 1st Degree Misdemeanors. If convicted, a person would not be able to possess a firearm or any ammunition and must surrender all firearms, ammunition, and their Concealed Weapon and Firearm License (“CWFL”) to law enforcement. After surrender to law enforcement a defendant may transfer all firearms and ammunition to another person who will receive them only if law enforcement can determine that the recipient is eligible. The Recipient MUST be eligible to own or possess a firearm, agree to store all items in a way preventing defendant access or control and agree not to transfer back to the defendant. Finally, law enforcement must take any firearm they find at a scene of Domestic Violence.
Requires that all sales of firearms must be made through an FFL. A seller would be required to bring the firearm to a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”)(a Firearm Dealer) in order to sell their firearm. The FFL would run a background check on the prospective buyer. Until FDLE approves the sale, no sale can be made. All time limits (Currently FDLE has 3 days) will be deleted and until an approval s given the sale cannot proceed. Further, this bill actually applies to all firearm transfers including loaning your firearm to another individual. Exceptions include: 1) a firearm loaned at a target shooting facility for use at said facility. 2) to a person under 18 who will be hunting while under adult supervision 3) to a person over 18 to hunt only if you accompany them while hunting; 4) to an adult family member who resides in the same home for up to 10 days. Imagine that you live with your adult children and you and your spouse go on a 2 week vacation, leaving the children at home. The entire family knows how to use firearms and all have access to your gun safe, however, you are the owner of the firearms. If you go away for more than 10 days, under this bill, you would be required to transfer the firearms through an FFL to your children, and then have them transferred back to you through an FFL upon your return.
Senate Bill 372 currently has no House counterpart. If this bill becomes law, 3-d printed firearms that did not contain at least 4 ounces of metal detectable by metal detectors made from Polyethylene terephthalate; Polycarbonate; Polylactic acid; or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene would be illegal. After January 1, 2022 you would not be able to print a gun made from the above materials and any firearm you already owned that met the requirements above would need to be destroyed or relinquished to law enforcement no later than December 31, 2021. No compensation would be given for your property.
Senate Bill 428 and its companion House Bill 167 will change the definition of a minor for the purposes of firearm possession from 16 (the previous age) to 18. If passed, firearms would be required to be stored either in a locked box or container or with a firearm locking mechanism. You would no longer be able to store your firearms in a place that a reasonable person would believe to be secure from minors. Further, liability would be expanded to include if a minor gained access and possessed a firearm or exhibited it: 1) in a public place, 2) in a rude careless angry or threatening manner, 3) during the commission of any violation of the law, or 4) when great bodily harm occurs. Further, it would be a 3rd degree felony for an adult who leaves or stores a firearm within easy reach of a minor if used to inflict injury or death.
Senate Bill 370 and its Companion House Bill 653 are really called, an act relating to assault weapons and large capacity magazines. This act defines an assault weapon as any selective fire firearm capable of fully automatic semi-automatic or burst fire at the option of the user. Assault Weapon also includes all AR and AK series firearms. The act lists hundreds of firearms by name that would become defined as Assault Weapons. Further an Assault Weapon would include:
Any semi-automatic firearm which
A) if a semi-automatic rifle has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following: (I) A folding or telescoping stock; (II) A pistol grip, a thumbhole stock or Thordsen-type grip or stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip; (III) A bayonet mount; (IV) A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; (V) A grenade launcher; or (VI) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excludes a slide that encloses the barrel.
B) if a semi-automatic pistol has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following: (I) The capacity to accept a large-capacity magazine that attaches to the pistol at any location outside of the pistol grip; (II) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer; (III) A slide that encloses the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (IV) A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (V) A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm; (VI) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; or (VII) A folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock.
Many semi-automatic firearms including most Glocks have a fully automatic version manufactured by the same company. This bill if passed would make just about all Glock handguns and tons of other manufacturers handguns fall into the category of Assault Weapons.
The above are only a small sampling to the weapons that would become labeled as Assault weapons under these bills.
A large capacity magazine is defined as one that accepts more than 10 rounds, or any conversion kit, part or combination of parts from which such a device can be assembled if they are in the control of the same person.
This bill would BAN the sale or transfer of an Assault Weapon in the State of Florida, except to a licensed gun dealer (FFL) for sale outside the state of Florida. violation of this law would be a 3rd degree felony with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 2 years, unless the person to whom the firearm was transferred was under 18, then it would be a 2nd degree felony with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 6 years.
Those that already own what would be considered an Assault Weapon would require a Certificate of Possession for each assault weapon or large capacity magazine. With your certificate of possession you would be able to possess your assault weapon or large capacity magazine: 1) at your residence, place of business, or other property that you own; 2) at a property owned by another with their express permission; 3) at a range or public or private club or organization for the purpose of practice shooting at targets; 4) Wile attending law enforcement agency or nationally recognized organizations training on firearm proficiency; or 5) while transporting in the trunk of a vehicle or in a case inaccessible to those in the vehicle.
Senate Bill 498 and its companion House Bill 259 on first look seem to be very positive for self-defense and firearms, however, on closer look these bills open the door to further gun control and prohibitions. These bills are currently in committee and are being edited. At the time of this posting these bills allow CWFL holders to to carry a concealed firearm on ANY property owned, rented, leased, borrows, or lawfully used by a church, synagogue, or other religious institution, unless the institution has a posted policy prohibiting such carry. If passed this will be the first law in Florida that recognizes that a posed sign has the ability to deny you the right to carry a firearm. It is not difficult to see this leading to any posted sign being given legal effect and being found valid to provide notice that firearms are not allowed in any place a sign is posted.
This bill would repeal Florida Statute § 790.335 which prohibits any state governmental agency or local government, special district, or other political subdivision or official, agent, or employee of such state or other governmental entity or any other person, public or private, from knowingly and willfully keep or causing to be kept any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearms or any list, record, or registry of the owners of those firearms. Any violation of this statute is a 3rd Degree Felony. If repealed it would be legal to keep track of the owners of firearms in this state.
This bill if passed would repeal Florida Statute §790.33. See the article we wrote on this bill. Once repealed, each county, town or municipality would be free to enact their own firearm laws and a person traveling within the state would need to know each and every political subdivisions ordinances regarding firearms.
If passed these bills will eliminate the right to stand your ground in the State of Florida, requiring retreat if possible prior to using deadly force in self defense. The bill also eliminates and repeals Florida Statute § 776.032- IMMUNITY.
House Bill 6063 repeals FLORIDA STATUTE § 776.013 and takes away the extra protections of the Castle Doctrine. Learn more about the Castle Doctrine and the protections it currently affords. Further, this bill would amend Florida Statute § 776.012 removing the right to stand your ground before using or threatening to use force or deadly force in lawful self-defense. Finally, this bill would AMEND FLORIDA STATUTE § 776.032, Florida’s Immunity statute to remove a defensive act under FLORIDA STATUTE § 776.013, the Castle Doctrine from the list of acts that a court could grant immunity for.
If passed this bill would require a background check to be performed on any purchase or transfer of ammunition from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or collector, and would also require a fee to be paid for the background check. A few exceptions are made for: 1) those who possess a CWFL, 2) transfers made at a shooting range or shooting gallery for the purpose of use on the premises, 3) while reasonably necessary for hunting, trapping, or fishing as long as the transferee is in the presence of the transferrer and the transferrer has no reason to believe the transferee intends to use the ammunition in a place where it is illegal and has reason to believe that the transferee will comply with all licensing and permit requirements for hunting trapping or fishing.
AMENDS FLORIDA STATUTE § 790.401 our Red Flag or Risk Protection Order law to expand the list of those who can request a protective order to include: Biological or Legal Parent-Child relationship •Step-parent •Grandparent •Legal Guardian •Sibling •Spouse. Further, this bill allows the Risk Protection Order to be filed where the Petitioner lives instead of where the respondent lives. For example a person who lives in the panhandle could be required to travel to Key west to defend a Risk Protection order filed by a parent, sibling or spouse who lives in the Keys. Currently, the Risk Protection order must be filed where the respondent lives and can only be filed by law enforcement.
If passed this bill will create two new sections of Florida Statute § 943. While the ideas on paper to reduce violence sound great, Bills like this never lead to anything but attempts at gun-control.
1)Urban Core Gun Violence Task Force •A 10 member task force whose members are appointed by the President of the Senate; Minority Leader of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Minority Leader of the House and the Governor. •They shall meet quarterly unless there is a call from the Chair •They shall investigate system failures and the causes of high crime rates and gun violence in urban core neighborhoods. •They shall develop recommendations and solutions, programs, services, and strategies for improved interagency communications between local and state government. •They may request and shall be provided with access to ANY information or records that pertain to crime and urban core neighborhoods. •This task force shall be in effect for three years.
2)•The Florida Firearm Violence Reduction Pilot Program •The purpose is to improve public health and safety by supporting evidence-based firearm violence reduction models in counties that are disproportionately impacted by firearm violence. •Disproportionately impacted means – more than 20 firearm related homicides per calendar year in 2 of the 3 years proceeding the counties application. •Each county must comply with these applications requirements and only 6 counties can be included in the pilot program. •Each county applying must contribute one dollar for every dollar they receive through the grants that are a part of the pilot program. •This pilot program is good for three years.
•Provides for changes primarily to the renewal of your CWFL •The non-refundable license fee has dropped $15 bucks for new and $10 for renewal of statewide licenses •Makes mandatory that fingerprints must be retained by the statewide automated biometric identification system and by the federal automated fingerprint identification system or AFIS. •Allows for the electronic as well as written notification to a licensee that their license is about to expire. •Requires a complete set of fingerprints for those individuals whose prints have not been permanently stored when they renew their license. •Requires new licensees to provide a complete set of inked prints by a law enforcement agency or the department. •Requires that upon each renewal – the licensee must provide proof of completion of an 8 hr firearm safety class, by a certified law enforcement trainer and part of the class must be on deadly force and safe storage practices
•Authorizes a law enforcement officer acting in accordance with certain provisions to serve and execute a “certain court order” •Allows the law enforcement officer to use reasonable physical force to gain entry to the premises or any dwelling to take custody of a person, •Allows a law enforcement officer to seize and hold that person’s firearms, ammunition and concealed weapons and firearms license and request a voluntary surrender of all firearms and ammunition •Or allows the officer to petition for a risk protection order, that requires the seizure of firearms and ammunition. • •So what is this “certain court order” – an order or certificate allowing the officer acting in accordance with an involuntary admission procedure related to substance abuse services. •That certificate may be submitted by a spouse, relative, or legal guardian •The law enforcement officer seizing those firearms and ammunition may keep them for 5 years and charge a storage fee before filing with the court a request for disposal.
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