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Broad-Ranging Gun Control Proposal Could End Up on November Ballot as an Amendment

| March 15, 2018

florida guns constitutional amendment

Bizarre bazaar. (Justin See)

The debate over gun control is ready to move to a new forum, as the Florida Constitution Revision Commission next week begins the process of deciding what issues to place on the November ballot.

Facing a May 10 deadline, the commission will start meeting Monday in the Senate chamber in Tallahassee as it considers three dozen proposed constitutional changes that have emerged from committee hearings.

The commission, which meets every 20 years and has the unique power to place issues directly on the general election ballot, has scheduled seven floor sessions to wade through the proposals, ending on March 27.

One measure (Proposal 3), sponsored by Commissioner Roberto Martinez of Miami, is likely to generate debate, as it has attracted several amendments related to gun control in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The amendment was initially designed to remove an obsolete provision in the Florida Constitution that bars illegal immigrants from owning land.

But Martinez, a former federal prosecutor, has filed an amendment that would also require anyone purchasing a firearm to be 21 years old. And it would require at least a three-day waiting period after a gun purchase to carry out a “comprehensive background check.” It would ban “bump stocks,” devices added to weapons to greatly increase their firing capacity.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale has another proposed amendment that would ban assault-style weapons.

Also, Commissioner Hank Coxe of Jacksonville has filed an amendment that would raise the age of buying a firearm to 21 and would impose a 10-day waiting period. It also would ban bump stocks. Commissioners Arthenia Joyner of Tampa, Sherry Plymale of Palm City and Frank Kruppenbacher of Orlando are supporting Coxe’s amendment.

The attempts to place the gun-control measures into the state Constitution follow the passage of a new school-safety law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott last week, that raises the age from 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period for the purchase of rifles and other long guns. The National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the age requirement.

Other proposals that will considered by the full commission include:

— Martinez is sponsoring a measure (Proposal 4) that would remove from the state Constitution the so-called “no-aid” provision, which prevents public spending on churches and other religiously affiliated groups.

— Commissioner Erika Donalds of Naples has several education-related measures, including a proposal (Proposal 33) that would require all school superintendents to be appointed. She has another measure (Proposal 43) that would impose an eight-year term limit on school board members.

— Commissioner Rich Newsome of Orlando has a proposal (Proposal 29) that would require businesses licensed in the state to use E-Verify or a similar system to determine the immigration-related eligibility of their employees.

— Kruppenbacher has a proposal (Proposal 54) that would eliminate the state’s controversial “certificate of need” process, which restricts construction of hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and other medical facilities.

— Commissioner Lisa Carlton of Sarasota has a proposal (Proposal 65), that would ban vaping in workplaces.

— Commissioner Tom Lee of Thonotosassa has a proposal (Proposal 69) that would ban greyhound racing and a proposal (Proposal 66) that would assign more official duties to the office of lieutenant governor.

— Commissioner Tim Cerio of Tallahassee has a proposal (Proposal 96) that would establish more rights for victims of crime, including the right to refuse to give a deposition to the defense.

To remain viable as potential ballot initiatives, all the measures must receive a majority vote from the commission to advance to the CRC’s Style and Drafting Committee.

The style and drafting panel, which also will begin meeting next week, will play a key role in refining the proposals and creating ballot titles. The committee will also decide whether to let proposals stand as individual items or to group several proposals into single ballot items.

Proposals approved by the Style and Drafting Committee, which is scheduled to meet until April 13, will return to the full commission where they must receive at least 22 votes from the 37-member group to be placed on the November 2018 general election ballot.

Proposals placed on the ballot will need support from at least 60 percent of the voters to be enacted.

After finishing its March meetings, the full commission will return to Tallahassee on April 16 and could meet until May 4 to finish its work. Its final report must be sent to Secretary of State Ken Detzner by May 10.

–Lloyd Dunkelberger, News Service of Florida

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15 Responses for “Broad-Ranging Gun Control Proposal Could End Up on November Ballot as an Amendment”

  1. Just a guy says:

    I will say this if they do this then anyone under 21 should be legally considered a child and a lot of laws need to change and any one convicted as an adult before they were 21 should ha e thier record expunged just saying… how about parents raise thier kids to be an adult by age 18

  2. mark101 says:

    Well if they do the age increase on weapons, any person in the military under the age of 21 should be returned back to their parents for guidance at once. Its rather obvious that lawmakers feel a man or woman that is under the age of 21 should not handle a weapon and should have NO place protecting our country.

  3. capt says:

    Hypocrisy is telling an 18 year old, he’s to immature to own a rifle, then handling him a rifle and telling him he’s old enough to risk his life for you ! while defending the United States of America in war.

  4. omg says:

    Bring it on LIBBIES…. You will then see how resoundly your foolishness is refused by the soon to be not so silent majority

  5. Pogo says:

    @Floriduh after the sun goes down

    and the lights go out – the bugs in the walls and cabinets get busy.

    Marion Hammer’s spider hole and the all the fellers and gals at JMI, ALEC, et al, are working that send button to the bone. John Galt and Dagny Taggart’s spawn are busy little bugs.
    Blood, oil, and graft – maga.

  6. Sherry says:

    There is a HUGE, HUGE difference between a “HIGHLY TRAINED” person in the military using a gun in “HIGHLY CONTROLLED” circumstances to protect our country, and buying and selling automatic and semi-automatic guns and “unlimited” rounds of ammunition to “COMPLETELY UNTRAINED CIVILIANS” at places like gun shows with little or no backgrounds checks!

    We need sane “gun safety” regulations, and we need them now! What “reasonable” hunter and gun owner would object to the regulations being proposed? The qualifying word here is “reasonable”! I would like to see some kind of limits on ammunition (type and volume) sold to each owner, as well.

    While we really need such regulations at a national level in order to stop the transport and use of weapons of mass “human” destruction across state lines, state gun regulation amendments is a good start.

    Let’s all think this through. . . and, vote for a path to a safer, more peaceful Florida.

  7. Chris A Pickett says:

    For the record. MOST combat situations are NOT HIGHLY CONTROLLED. Perhaps you should educate yourself before speaking……

  8. fredrick says:

    @ Sherry

    First of all automatic weapons are not sold the public. But of course you know that but it does not fit your agenda.

    Second, enforce the gun laws on the books and we would have that path to a safer and peaceful Florida.

    While you are at it keep people off their phones while driving. It kills far more people every year than do guns.

  9. Stranger in a strange land says:

    Studies of the brain show that it has not fully developed until about age 25. The last part to develop is the the section that concerns risl taking. Any parent (particularly parents of males) knows that judgement re. risks and consequeces is lacking until at least 21. Suicides, shooting girlfriends, friends, rivals, are most common from age 15 to 24. In my mind 21 years old is still too young to own a gun. make it 25. Here is info and link to article from the American Academy of child and adolesent Psycology:

    Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:

    act on impulse
    misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
    get into accidents of all kinds
    get involved in fights
    engage in dangerous or risky behavior
    Adolescents are less likely to:

    think before they act
    pause to consider the consequences of their actions
    change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors
    These brain differences don’t mean that young people can’t make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. It also doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. However, an awareness of these differences can help parents, teachers, advocates, and policy makers understand, anticipate, and manage the behavior of adolescents.

  10. Just a guy says:

    You wanna vote the path to a safer more peaceful place and do something about the mental health issue in the bullion in the other BS that goes on every day that’s why people go postal that’s why people take guns and shoot up places it’s not the Gun’s fault its the mentally unstable that are behind it and if you don’t think this sort of stuff happens in the military in foreign countries you’re crazy I military does this all the time because one guy goes crazy once again a mental health issue.. In start holding parents responsible for their children so that they’re forced to raise them instead Of setting them in front of the TV all day

  11. Pogo says:


    With respect, you’re not seeing the nuts for the squirrels. You praise Nancy Smith. Smith could be Marion Hammer’s twin by a different father:

    Demonizing Marion Hammer and the NRA Won’t Prevent Another Parkland
    By Nancy Smith
    February 21, 2018 – 6:00am

    “You can count on it. Every time there’s a mass shooting in this country, the Left comes out of the woodwork to hurl obscenities and point its finger at … who else? The National Rifle Association.

    It’s as if the NRA, not the shooter, is the murderer. And in Florida the person who apparently personifies evil gun-love is powerful, longtime NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer.

    So, the word out there in Leftland is, we’d better demonize her. We’d better keep the rhetoric coming, because at age 78, Hammer and her friends in the Legislature “have turned a debate over the constitutional rights of gun owners into a public safety menace.”

    It’s important that the Left remind us Hammer and the GOP are to blame for the lack of what progressives call “common sense” gun regulations. Hammer and the party are the puppeteers, and GOP politicians are their marionettes. So, let’s keep repeating this. Let’s beat it like a drum. Let’s keep slapping labels on Hammer — “angry deity” and “gun moll” and “the NRA’s killing machine.”…”

    Don’t mind if I do.

    Full of it story

    Smith’s words. Follow the money that pays for them.

    The NRA trolls that pop up like a flea infestation when summoned by Hammer have no counter force against them. And they don’t represent only the 2nd Amendment and guns r us. They are a clown car bought and paid for by reactionary wealth, e.g., the Koch’s many fronts, religious fanatics, fringe politics zealots, and a sideshow of kooks and cranks. By any other name – the Republican party. Gun nuts used to look forward to something titled, The Shotgun News. At its peak it was the size of a checkout rack tabloid and as thick as a Sears catalogue or phone book. Yeah, I know, what are those?

    Anyway, it was Christmas for gun nuts – and so much more. Endless pages of ads for Nazi “memorabilia” and personal ads for lonely KKK members, John Birch’s bones, etc. It was a fixture in homes with pictures of Hitler, Jesse Helms, and sometimes Jesus too. Those homes are still many today.

    And don’t forget brother Putin:

    “… it’s clear that our weapons should remain ours” was Mikhail Kalashnikov’s daughter Yelena’s words upon hearing that the United States would have its own manufacturing plant for Kalashnikov style weapons.[36] She added that arms manufacturers in Russia have their rights violated “if other people use what doesn’t belong to them.”[36] A spokesperson with Kalashnikov Concern stated “We aren’t working with them,” and that Kalashnikov Concern would not stop Kalashnikov USA from manufacturing its style of weapons.[36][37] The National Rifle Association (NRA) has given unwavering support for the sale of Kalashnikov weapons in the United States.[25][26][38] To promote more togetherness over small arms between Russia and the United States, the Moscow based Right to Bear Arms has consistently tried to broker a meeting between close associates of the Trump administration and close associates of Putin.[39][40]

    Following the February 2018 Florida school shootings, protestors gathered near the Kalashnikov USA headquarters to show displeasure at the growth of the large arms manufacturing industry in Florida which Florida Governor Rick Scott encouraged.[16][41][e] Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is less than 14 miles from the Kalashnikov USA manufacturing and distribution plant in Pompano Beach.[41]…”

    Kalashnikov USA


  12. glowworm says:

    So not only does Proposal 3 raise the limit from 18 to 21 but it also designed to remove an obsolete law banning illegal immigrants from owning land which is the main issue if you ask me. No illegal should ever own American land but they probably do.

  13. Sherry says:


    Here are some facts about the gun laws in the Sunshine State, from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action:

    You don’t need a permit or license to buy a gun, nor do you have to register a firearm.

    You don’t need a permit to conceal carry a rifle or shotgun, although you do need it to conceal carry a handgun.

    You can buy as many guns as you want at one time, because Florida doesn’t regulate that either.

    Gun sellers don’t have to get a state license to sell firearms.

    And Florida does NOT regulate ASSAULT weapons, .50-caliber rifles and large capacity ammunition magazines.


    If you have an automatic weapon from before 1986, it was grandfathered through the law. So it’s still legal to buy, sell, and exchange these kinds of weapons, as long as they’re a few decades old — although with some extra hurdles that don’t apply to other types of firearms, such as registering fully automatic guns with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and paying a special tax, with the risk of additional penalties if someone doesn’t comply.

    The second major loophole is that it’s legal to sell and buy modification kits that can convert semiautomatic weapons into effectively automatic ones. The Associated Press explained how one of these modifications, the “bump stock,” works.

  14. Sherry says:

    Dear POGO. . . always enjoy your posts. Please note that I don’t always agree with Nancy Smith. Just to set the record straight, here is what I said in response to her latest “tripe” on the guns issue:

    I don’t even know where to begin in response to this article. Nancy Smith. . . you are an intelligent person. . . . why is it that you do not understand the definition of the words “REGULATED MILITIA” in the Second Amendment? The word “REGULATED” means that laws will govern the right of gun ownership.

    When the second amendment was written there were no “automatic” , rapid fire guns that equate to weapons of mass destruction. Therefore our founding fathers did not, could not conceive of the horrific massacres in our school and gatherings, much less take them into con consideration.

    Democrats don’t want to take ALL guns away. . . we just want some “sanity” in the way they are “REGULATED”. As it says in the second amendment!

  15. Pogo says:

    @Sherry – like I said

    Okay. We’ve both had a say.

    What explanation, I wonder, is there for a so-called intelligent person NOT understanding this:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Dull or devious? I know what I think.

    In fact, she peddles all the nonsense AND lies of the NRA about guns, e.g., guns don’t kill. She is one with and the same as the trolls that quibble about the distinction between semi automatic and automatic firearms – which is the difference between a nuclear bomb and a thermonuclear bomb. Mass murder is mass murder.

    Much more concerning is her alliance with Hammer and the NRA. She is a skilled propagandist in a 3 corned hat waving a rolled copy of the 2nd Amendment and whistling Yankee Doodle.The agenda of standing your ground anytime and anywhere; open carrying weapons anytime and anywhere, automatic reciprocity for all weapon permits has one real agenda: They want license to engage in armed intimidation anytime and anywhere. If that isn’t a nightmare come true in the age of trump – what is?

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