We wrote previously about the proposal by BAWN to ban “assault weapons.” Instead of trying to get legislation through the Florida chambers, they have proposed a Constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot in 2020. The group Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN) believes they can sway the people of Florida, since they can’t seem to get legislators to move on it. We thought to show you what is actually in the proposal.
The initiative will require at least 8% of the number of Florida votes in the last Presidential election, and at least 8% of the total Congressional district votes in 14 of Florida’s 27 counties to get on the ballot.
The summary of the text of Initiative 18-11 reads:
“Prohibits 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, or any other ammunition-feeding device. Possession of handguns is not prohibited. Exempts military and law enforcement personnel in their official duties. Exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date. Creates criminal penalties for violations of this amendment.”
BAWN hopes to use the statement “shall not be infringed” to make people believe that their ban is perfectly logical and legal. It is not. There’s that one word “except” that shows the lie.
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8. Right to Bear Arms.—
(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.
“Shall not be infringed” apparently means ‘kinda sorta’ infringed.
It creates a three day waiting period for purchase of a handgun:
(b) There shall be a mandatory period of three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun. For the purposes of this section, “purchase” means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration to the retailer, and “handgun” means a firearm capable of being carried and used by one hand, such as a pistol or revolver. Holders of a concealed weapon permit as prescribed in Florida law shall not be subject to the provisions of this paragraph.
It prohibits the possession of a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun, and makes it a felony to do so. Anyone with an “assault weapon” prior to the implementation of the law is required to register them with law enforcement (the ‘grandfather’ clause that creates a registry…something that gun rights advocates oppose.)
From the initiative:
Exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully
possessed prior to this provision’s effective date. Creates criminal penalties for violations of this amendment…
…b) This subsection does not apply to any firearm that is not semiautomatic, as defined in this subsection.
c) This subsection does not apply to handguns, as defined in Article I, Section 8(b), Florida Constitution.
d) If a person had lawful possession of an assault weapon prior to the effective date of this subsection, the person’s possession of that assault weapon is not unlawful (1) during the first year after the effective date of this
subsection, or (2), after the person has registered that weapon by make, model, and serial number with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or its successor agency, as designated by the legislature. Registration
records shall be available to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for valid law enforcement purposes but shall otherwise be confidential.
3) Criminal Penalties – Violation of this subsection is a third-degree felony. The legislature may designate greater, but not lesser, penalties for violations.
This initiative immediately turns law abiding citizens into criminals. Florida has enjoyed gun rights for decades, but this constitutional amendment would instantly negate that right. Florida took up a proposal similar to this just after the Parkland shooting last year, but it was defeated.
It will not go on the ballot in Florida until they reach the threshold of signatures (around 766K) on their petition. Will they cheat to get it there? Remember the midterm elections in Florida.