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Assault Weapons Ban Ballot Initiative Blocked From Florida Ballot by State Supreme Court

It won’t be on the ballot.

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A ballot initiative seeking to ban so-called assault weapons in Florida was blocked from being placed on the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday, being thrown out for failing to concisely describe the provisions of its grandfather proposal.

The ballot initiative had been sponsored by a group called Ban Assault Weapons Now. It was slated to be voted upon in the 2022 Florida elections, and would’ve criminalized the ownership of commonly owned rifles such as the AR-15.

However, the ballot initiative was thrown out by the state supreme court on the basis of its deceptive language. The ban contains a ‘grandfather’ provision that enables some gun owners to keep their weapons. But it’s unlike other ‘grandfather’ provisions inserted into other gun control packages, applying directly to the gun owners themselves rather than the firearms. Thus, a grandfathered gun owner could not legally transfer his rifle to someone who didn’t already have one, should the ballot initiative have passed.

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The 4-1 Supreme Court ruling striking down the ballot initiative argued that the language it used was misleading and deceptive.

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While the ballot summary purports to exempt registered assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to the Initiative’s effective date, the Initiative does not categorically exempt the assault weapon, only the current owner’s possession of that assault weapon. The ballot summary is therefore affirmatively misleading.

Gun control organizer Gail Schwarz went on to blame the NRA for the ruling, ignoring that the ballot initiative’s language regarding the grandfather clause was misleading and differed considerably from the clauses enacted by other anti-gun states.

It’s more than possible that Bloomberg-funded gun control groups could set up another assault weapons ban ballot initiative without the shady language that could be  reintroduced, if Ban Assault Weapons Now gets enough petition signatures to reinsert it on the ballot before the 2022 election deadline.

Big League Guns

2020 Was a Record Year for Gun Sales

Americans will not abandon their gun rights.

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The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that 2020 was a record-setting year with over 21 million background checks conducted on gun sales. 

In a press release that was published on January 4, 2020, Mark Oliva, the director of public affairs, stated: 

“This record year surpassed 2019’s totals by 60 percent and the previous record of 2016 by 34 percent. NSSF estimates that more than 8.4 million people legally purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020.

This occurred under the most challenging of circumstances. Law-abiding Americans demanded to exercise their right to lawfully purchase, keep and bear arms. Some governors, mayors and even Members of Congress actively stood in the way of that and didn’t relent until faced with court action. At the same time, workers in these firearm and ammunition factories, distributors, retailers and ranges made adjustments to keep their workforce safe and protected from infection while keeping pace with the demand of the American public. That’s a testament to the determination of the American worker that makes our freedoms possible.”

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The overload of the National Instant Check System (NICS) shows how serious Americans are about defending themselves in times of unrest. 

Oliva recognizes that Americans will still be buying firearms in large quantities. 

“Retail shelves are still sparse, telling us there is still a strong demand and that elevated levels of firearm sales could continue for some time,” Oliva noted.

On top of 2020 being a record year for firearm sales, December 2020 turned out to be the busiest month in NICS history. According to Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms, 3,937,066 background checks were processed in December. According to estimates adjusted by the NSSF, roughly 1,906,916 firearms were sold in December. This represented a 22.7% increase compared to December 2019.

While there’s a lot to be anxious about, one thing remains clear: Americans still want to stay armed. The Left can deny this reality all they want, but any overzealous effort to regulate the right to bear arms will be met with fierce resistance.

The Right would be wise to recognize and rebuild their political forces at the state and local level by engaging in fights to pass Constitutional Carry and promote Second Amendment sanctuaries.

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