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DeSantis Criticizes Gun Control For Law-Abiding Florida Citizens

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Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is running in the Republican primary for Governor against Marco Rubio-allied House Speaker Richard Corcoran, criticized the state legislature’s gun control push.

Governor Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that was pushed for by Corcoran. The bill enacts school safety measures by allowing for more armed school personnel, but also imposes some new gun control measures including a bump stock ban, a three-day waiting period to purchase rifles, and expanded mental health background checks.

Scott’s hands were tied because Corcoran pushed through a “package” legislation that lumped school safety measures in with the gun control policies. If Republicans had only gone for school safety, the measure would have passed easily. But now Republicans are responsible for bringing new gun control reforms to the Florida law books.

DeSantis released a statement last week while the bill was being drafted, which has not been widely publicized, but which DeSantis’ campaign directed Big League Politics to Friday as the bill was being signed.

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To astute political observers, this statement allows DeSantis to run on a pro-gun platform while associating his opponent Corcoran with the new gun control regulations.

DeSantis stated (emphasis added):

“The tragedy in Parkland represented a catastrophic failure by the Broward County Sheriff’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have been clear that the FBI needs to provide full transparency to Congress and the personnel responsible for the failure need to be terminated.  I also support the immediate resignation of Broward Sheriff Scott Israel as well as Governor Scott’s call for an independent investigation of the entire department.”

“Parkland demonstrated the need to provide adequate security at Florida’s schools. I support Governor Scott’s initiative to improve safety and harden these schools.  While I don’t think any teacher or administrator should be required to carry a firearm, I believe that those who possess a concealed carry license and are so inclined should not be barred from doing so on campus.  What is more, I think it’s important to establish a program so that we can enlist the help of retired military and law enforcement personnel to ensure that our students are safe while they learn.”

“The issue of mental illness has been a recurring theme among mass shooters in recent years and we need more tools with which to deal with this stubborn fact.  Anyone who is a danger to themselves or to society should not be permitted to wreak havoc in our communities, be it with a firearm or via other means.”

“Given that the issues of bureaucratic incompetence, school safety and mental health demand immediate attention, I’m disappointed that the Florida Legislature is rushing to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.  When dealing with a right that is specifically enumerated in the Constitution, blanket restrictions that diminish individual rights are suspect.  Better to focus on denying firearms to dangerous individuals, which avoids infringing on constitutional rights and is also more likely to be effective.  The goal should be to keep our students safe, bring accountability to the officials and institutions that failed, and protect the rights of Floridians.”

 

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2018 Midterms

Trump Turns On NRA and GOP Establishment, Endorses Underdog for Georgia Governor

Trump’s endorsement of Kemp puts him at odds with the National Rifle Association, who endorsed his opponent.

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In a tweet sure to anger the political establishment, President Donald Trump endorsed Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in his run for Governor of the Peach State. His opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, has been fully embraced by the establishment and with this late endorsement, voters now have a lot to think about before casting their ballot on Tuesday.

Georgia-based publications have called Cagle “the Georgia Capitol crowd’s man for governor” who has received substantial financial support from “lobbyists, political action committees and legacy donors.” On the other hand, Brian Kemp has been seen as the underdog who has consistently fought back against the establishment.

Trump’s endorsement of Kemp also puts him at odds with the National Rifle Association, who endorsed his opponent, who they called “a steadfast supporter of the Second Amendment.” But despite organizational support, not everyone in the organization, and the gun rights movement as a whole, seems too thrilled with their endorsement.

Longtime NRA board member Bob Barr came to Kemp’s defense, endorsing him earlier this month. In a statement, Barr said, “As a Board Member of the NRA since 1997, I can say without any hesitation whatsoever, that of the two candidates in the Republican run-off, Brian Kemp is by far the best man to represent us in the Governor’s race.”

The NRA’s endorsement of Cagle likely comes due to the fact that Cagle has long been seen as the front-runner in the race. But to gun rights organizations actually located in the state, the endorsement seems like a slap in the face.

Georgia Gun Owners, headquartered in Kennesaw, has led the charge in support of pro-gun legislation in Georgia and the group didn’t mince words when it comes to Cagle’s record on the Second Amendment. Executive Director Patrick Parsons fired back at Cagle for his refusal to fight for pro-gun Constitutional Carry legislation.

“In my eight legislative sessions working the halls of the State Capitol in Atlanta, I can tell you that Casey Cagle has never lifted a finger for Constitutional Carry,” Parsons stated. “And when there was a chance for a vote on Constitutional Carry on the floor of the Senate in 2017, he didn’t allow it to come up for a vote.”

Along with Georgia Gun Owners, Luis Valdez of The Truth About Guns, questioned Cagle, calling him “no friend of gun owners,” before laying out his record of betrayal for gun owners:

  • 2013: SB188 (Campus Carry) was introduced twice within that legislative session but Cagle refused to allow the Georgia Senate to have a floor vote.
  • 2014: Cagle wanted to have ‘training requirements’ inserted into HB65 when the bill being debated and amended in the Conference Committee.
  • 2016: While hosting a forum with Georgia’s religious leaders; Cagle told them that Campus Carry was not “responsible” and he “does not agree with this and other legislation being pushed upon our state.”
  • 2017: The Georgia Legislature passed Campus Carry but Cagle said it was a “thoughtful compromise” when he allowed his College and Career Academies to remain on the exemption list.
  • 2017: Cagle sent SB177 (Georgia Constitutional Carry) to die in committee and blocked three additional Pro-Gun amendments to be heard in the Senate.
  • 2018: Cagle during an interview with the news stated “Georgia is in a very good position where our gunlaws stand today, and I know of no areas where gun rights need to be expanded in the state.”

President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Kemp, while it may ruffle some feathers, truly shows that he understands what is best for his supporters in Georgia. Trump’s entire presidency has been about fighting back against the establishment, and this endorsement clearly shows that he is committed to that fight.

Georgia’s primary election is on Tuesday, July 24th, and is sure to be a close one.

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