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‘Gunshine State’ No More: Defeat for the NRA in Florida as Gun Safety Bill Moves to Governor

March 8, 2018

Yesterday, the Florida legislature did something historic. Days before the legislative session was set to expire, the legislature sent gun violence prevention legislation to the governor’s desk. Among other things, the bill establishes a Red Flag Law, raises the legal age to purchase firearms in the state to 21, prohibits the purchase and possession of bump stocks and closes the Charleston Loophole.

“This is a big deal,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “With the whole nation watching, the NRA’s stranglehold over the Florida legislature is officially broken.”

As reported by the Washington Post, the NRA furiously attempted to block this legislation: “In the days leading up to the vote, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, issued an ‘emergency alert’ to members asking them to contact Republicans and demand they vote no.”

For decades, politicians in Florida have pushed through some of the most extreme gun laws in the country, all while refusing to advance gun violence prevention policies — until now.

Florida was the first state to pass a “Stand Your Ground” law, which threatens public safety by giving civilians in public places more leeway to shoot than the U.S. military gives soldiers in war zones. And, it was home to “Docs vs. Glocks” legislation, forbidding doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership, which was later ruled unconstitutional.

Make no mistake — this legislation represents a sea change in the “Gunshine State.” And, similar shifts are happening in states around the country. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about what this legislation means for Florida — and the nation.


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