assault weapons

Broward Sheriff's Office / Courtesy

Florida has taken guns away from 2,000 residents in the year and a half since the state passed its Red Flag law, but while advocates tout the measure’s success and seek to have it expanded nationwide, statistics also show that much of the state has been slow to get on board.

The law empowers police to take weapons out of the hands of those who are likely to use them to harm themselves or others.

Assault Weapons Registry Would Come At A Cost

Sep 3, 2019
Miami Herald

A panel of state economists on Tuesday estimated it would cost $4 million to build a registry to carry out a proposed constitutional amendment that targets possession of assault weapons, if Floridians approve the measure in November 2020.

The ballot proposal, backed by the political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW, would prohibit possession of assault weapons but would provide an exception for people who own the guns at the time the measure takes effect. Those people would be able to keep assault weapons if they register the guns with the state.

John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, who once had an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, says Congress should — and will — pass new gun restrictions in the aftermath of the most recent mass shootings, in El Paso and Dayton.

The South Florida Republican said universal background checks would become law. And, he said, restrictions on assault weapons could pass also.

“One of the changes is that you see a lot more [Republican] representatives from across the country ... that are stepping out in ways they didn’t previously step out,” Mast said. “I’m glad to see them doing that.”

Earlier this month the state’s financial impact estimating group struggled to define certain portions of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban assault weapons. Friday the group met again, and this time they invited the petition sponsor to help clarify portions of the proposal.  

After the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, gun control is again at the forefront of the political conversation.

President Trump has expressed openness to a federal red flag law and for "meaningful" background checks.

Ryan Gillespie

A baker’s dozen of big-money contributors, including a couple of billionaires, have provided extensive financial support for the effort to get a proposed assault-weapons ban on the Florida election ballot in 2020.

The contributions from the 13 donors who gave $10,000 or more amount to more than half the $1 million raised by the group Ban Assault Weapons Now, a review of campaign finance filings by the South Florida Sun Sentinel found.

Assault Weapons Definition Could Be Key

Jul 30, 2019
News Service Of Florida

Exactly which guns would be outlawed under a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at stopping Floridians from possessing assault weapons is posing a puzzle for state economists.

The economists’ task is to predict the financial impact that the proposed amendment, backed by the political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW, would have on state and local economies.

But before they can get to the number crunching, the economists, meeting as the Financial Impact Estimating Conference, have to nail down the specific weapons the proposal seeks to ban.

Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody doesn’t want a proposed constitutional amendment to ban possession of assault weapons in Florida to appear on the 2020 election ballot.

Moody outlined her arguments in a filing late Friday afternoon with the Florida Supreme Court. She said the title of the amendment — “prohibits possession of defined assault weapons” — and the summary of the amendment don’t adequately explain what the proposal would actually do.

Miami Herald

A group pushing to ban assault weapons in Florida has hit a significant milestone in its effort to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot.

Ban Assault Weapons Now!, a bipartisan organization led in part by survivors of mass shootings in Orlando and Parkland, announced Monday that it has obtained 103,000 signed petitions. The total should be enough to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of its proposed ballot question, a mandatory step in the process.

AMY BETH BENNETT / South Florida Sun Sentinel via Miami Herald

On Thursday, Feb. 14, Gail Schwartz drove to the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale to visit the grave of her nephew, Alex Schachter.

Schachter was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago. He was 14 years old.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Family members of victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre and shooting survivor David Hogg launched on Monday an effort to get a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2020 that would ban the sale of assault weapons. 

Hogg and Gail Schwartz, who lost her 14-year-old nephew Alex Schachter at the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting, were among the group that dropped off 200 signed petitions to be certified at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state’s pending school marshal program is the “first-of-its kind” in the nation.

And the Congressman representing Parkland said mass shootings went up 200 percent in the decade after the national assault weapons ban expired.

WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

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COMMENTARY

I’ve covered a lot of racist political ads.

In 1983, I watched bigoted white Democratic leaders in Chicago urge voters to reject black mayoral candidate Harold Washington “before it’s too late.” It didn’t work; he became the Second City’s first black mayor. In 1988 I was gobsmacked by Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush’s race-baiting Willie Horton spots. They did work; he became the U.S.’s 41st President.