The proposals come as the Republican-controlled House and Senate also are moving forward with other bills that would place additional restrictions on the petition-signature process.
Amendments and Referendums
Florida Supreme Court justices appeared critical Tuesday of proposed constitutional amendments aimed at preventing possession of assault-style weapons and allowing people to use recreational marijuana.
Make It Legal Florida contended that a petition-gathering law passed year by the Legislature is unconstitutional and that problems with a Department of State database hampered petition efforts.
The ruling was a victory for state leaders, business groups and utilities that fought the amendment, which was proposed for the November ballot by a political committee known as Citizens for Energy Choices.
Organizers of Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, or FARM, issued a news release Friday announcing the formation of the political committee, aimed at combating “the mega-marijuana, out-of-state corporate interests” behind legalization.
The Constitution Revision Commission drew across-the-aisle scorn for the manner in which it successfully put seven amendments on the November 2018 ballot. Voters may get to vote on abolishing it–through a constitutional amendment in 2020.
Three briefs were filed Friday in opposition to the proposed amendment, which the political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW is trying to place on the November 2020 ballot.
Ban Assault Weapons NOW, the political committee behind the proposed constitutional amendment, drew more than 28,000 contributions totaling $595,000 in August, by far the largest amount in a single month since the committee was launched in March 2018.
The interpretation of “all terms of their sentence” became a flashpoint during this spring’s legislative session as lawmakers struggled to reach consensus on a measure to carry out the amendment.
The proposed constitutional amendment would prohibit “possession of assault weapons, defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine…”