Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! Attorney General Ashley Moody: Assault Weapons Ban Ballot Measure "MISLEADING"

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

 

DATE:     July 30, 2019 
TO:          USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:    Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

 

In the petition filed Friday, July 26th, Attorney General Ashley Moody informed the Florida Supreme Court that the "Assault Weapons Ban" ballot language is "misleading" and is "clearly and conclusively defective." 

Further, AG Moody's spokesperson Lauren Schenone told the media, "Regardless of your position on gun restrictions, this proposed ballot language is a trick." 

She added, "The drafters of this proposal have confused voters by creating a misleading definition of 'assault weapons' which would include a majority of the most popular hunting rifles and shotguns." 

The AG’s petition opposes placement of the amendment on the ballot. The petition identifies the following four deficiencies in the ballot title and summary as being misleading to voters:  

(1) the definition of “assault weapon” captures virtually all semi-automatic long-guns, but this practical impact is not revealed to the voters in the ballot summary; 

(2) the amendment forces nearly all lawful owners to register with FDLE, and establishes a gun registration scheme that will make the personal identifying information of gun owners available to all other state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies; 

(3) the ballot summary fails to disclose the 30-day window after passage during which individuals can purchase weapons and take advantage of the grandfathering provision; and 

(4) the amendment grants the legislature plenary authority to increase, but never decrease, the criminal penalty set forth in the amendment, which is a third-degree felony. 

The news article below reports more on the issue and contains a link to the AG's full petition. It is reprinted with permission.

 

MOODY SEEKS TO BLOCK ASSAULT WEAPONS MEASURE 

July 29, 2019

Jim Saunders, Dara Kam

 

TALLAHASSEE --- Arguing the proposed ballot language is “clearly and conclusively defective,” Attorney General Ashley Moody wants the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent possession of assault weapons. 

Moody late Friday filed a document that is a first step in arguing before the Supreme Court, which reviews the wording of ballot proposals to make sure they are not misleading and meet other legal standards. The political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW is trying to get the assault-weapons measure on the November 2020 ballot. 

In part, Moody focused on a section of the proposed constitutional amendment that would define assault weapons as “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.” 

Moody wrote that the proposed amendment would “ban the possession of virtually every semi-automatic long-gun. To be included on the ballot, the sprawling practical effect of the amendment must be revealed in the ballot language. Because that effect is not revealed, the ballot language is deficient.” 

But Gail Schwartz, who chairs the Ban Assault Weapons NOW committee, disputed Moody’s arguments. 

“This bipartisan ballot measure has been vetted extensively by legal experts and is supported by hundreds of thousands of Floridians across the state,” Schwartz said in a statement Monday. “We are confident with our chances at the Supreme Court, and presented with the choice to do so, we are confident that the people of Florida will overwhelmingly support this common-sense measure to ban weapons of war to make our communities safer.” 

The possibility of banning of assault weapons has long been controversial in Florida, but it gained renewed attention last year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. State lawmakers have repeatedly rejected calls to ban the weapons, including after the Parkland school shooting. 

Ban Assault Weapons NOW needs to clear two major requirements to get the proposal on the 2020 ballot. It needs the Supreme Court to sign off on the wording of the ballot summary and title --- the wording that voters see when they go to the polls --- and needs to submit at least 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state. As of Monday, the state had received 99,266 valid petition signatures, according to the Florida Division of Elections website. 

It was not immediately clear Monday when the Supreme Court might hear arguments on the wording of the proposal. 

The amendment would bar possession of assault weapons, though it includes exceptions such as for military or law-enforcement use. 

Also, it includes what Moody describes as a “grandfathering provision” for people who had the weapons before the amendment would take effect. Those people, in part, would be able to retain possession if they register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Registration records would be available to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies “for valid law enforcement purposes but shall otherwise be confidential,” the text of the proposed amendment says. 

In the document filed Friday with the Supreme Court, Moody contended that the ballot title and summary do not adequately explain issues related to grandfathering. 

“Moreover, the ballot title and summary do not inform Florida's electorate that virtually every lawful owner of a semi-automatic long-gun will be forced to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or that this registry would be available to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” Moody wrote. “Nor do the ballot title and summary state the time within which preexisting long-gun owners must register their firearms that meet the proposed amendment's definition of ‘assault weapon’ and avail themselves of the amendment's grandfathering provision.” 

But Schwartz, the aunt of Parkland shooting victim Alex Schachter, accused Moody of “playing politics.” 

“It’s not surprising that the attorney general is now openly opposing measures to protect families, playing politics with Floridians’ lives in order to appease the gun lobby,” Schwartz said. “Year after year, elected officials like Ashley Moody have done nothing on this issue, as more and more families like my own are forced to reckon with the loss of our loved ones due to military-grade assault weapons at Parkland, at Pulse (nightclub in Orlando), or at the next mass shooting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRENDING NOW
Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

Democrat Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke continues to struggle to gain any sort of traction for his campaign. With some polls putting him in 10th place, and his average sitting around 7th, some might say that it is desperation ...

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

The Democrat Party is now so aligned with gun control that every major candidate running for its 2020 presidential nomination recently appeared in a propaganda video produced by one of the nation’s most active firearm prohibition groups. ...

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors smeared millions of law-abiding Americans by unanimously adopting a resolution that designated NRA a “domestic terrorist organization.” Less than one week later, on September 9, NRA filed a federal lawsuit ...

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

As was continually threatened while Congress was on its six-week Summer break, House Democrats hastily convened a hearing on Tuesday to promote their latest batch of anti-gun bills.  The House Judiciary Committee’s markup of three bills, ...

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

On Wednesday, September 18th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on Governor Chris Sununu's vetoes of three anti-gun bills sent to his desk by the General Court.  Anti-gun Representatives who remain stubbornly committed to ...

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

News  

Hunting  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has named Jason Ouimet to serve as executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). The NRA Board of Directors unanimously affirmed ...

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Yesterday, September 17, the Carson City Council failed to pass anti-gun Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution was being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm dealers and firearm possession in the City of Carson to the ...

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Today, September 17 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering a late addition to this evening’s City Council meeting, Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution is being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm ...

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

Playing Games with Numbers

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Playing Games with Numbers

Stanford Law Professor John Donohue and Theodora Boulouta, a Stanford undergrad, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that claims their new research shows the 1994 “assault weapons” ban really did work.  Their finding is ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.