Florida Legislator Wants Punishment for Murder Reduced!

Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up! Talk about truth being stranger than fiction.

On October 17th, 2019 Florida Senator Bracy (D – Orange County) filed a bill that just defies logic or common sense. While most bills are designed to try and solve some issue or address a error in past laws, this one is unique!

Florida Senate Bill 564 – Murder

General Bill by Bracy. Murder“Revising the elements of murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree; revising the elements of what constitutes felony murder, for murder in the second degree; deleting provisions relating to felony murder, for murder in the third degree; authorizing persons convicted under certain murder provisions to file a petition with the sentencing court to have his or her murder conviction vacated or to be resentenced, as applicable, on or after a specified date, etc.”

You see, Sen. Bracy thinks that if we lower the punishment for certain “types” of murders it will help to reduce the “prison overcrowding” and more “fairly” address a person’s role in a murder. What? What part of a murder is not a serious crime?

This is what he wrote to justify the bill: “WHEREAS, there is a need for statutory changes to more equitably sentence offenders in accordance with their level of involvement in homicides, and WHEREAS, it is a bedrock principle of the law and of equity that a person should be punished for his or her actions according to his or her level of individual culpability, and WHEREAS, it is necessary to amend Florida’s felony murder rule to limit convictions and subsequent sentencing so that the laws of this state fairly address the culpability of the individual and assist in the reduction of prison overcrowding, which partially results from lengthy sentences that are not commensurate with the culpability of the individual…”

Sen. Bracy wants to reduce the level of punishment for some levels of murder, if you are involved in a violent felony like robbery or sexual battery and someone is killed. In what world does that make any type of sense? It does not seem to matter to Sen. Brady that the murder rate nationally has been going down over the last 20+ years or so. Facts and reality do not seem to matter to this Senator.

Murder rate down over many years.

You have to ask yourself why in the world would anyone want to do this? What motivation would one have for wanting to reduce prison time and the seriousness of murder charges? One can only guess.

We have had a decline in the Murder rate nationwide over the last couple of decades, and it’s not by making the punishment less for murder. Maybe the good Senator should look at making other laws have more serious punishments and making enforcement a priority? Like maybe raise the level of crime for using a firearm to commit a serious crime? How about mandatory time for using a firearm in a violent felony? Instead of trying to pass meaningless firearms control laws that will do nothing to reduce murders or crimes, make the use of a firearm in a crime even more punitive!

I am sorry but this legislation is one of the stupidest things I have seen in years. Want to read it for yourself go here: http://bit.ly/2W44OXH

LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE! BAD BILL ALERT!

Florida HB 197  – Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Prohibits concealed weapon or firearm licensee from openly carrying a handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into any child care facility.

Sometimes it is just as important opposing bad Bills as it is to support the good ones!

HB 197 – has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 197 – Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be voted down. It is just one more infringement on your rights!

Think of the parent going to pick up their child at a daycare and they are a lawful concealed carry license holder. They must disarm before doing so! Florida Law defines “Child care facility” as: “Child care facility” includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides childcare for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit.” Notice it does not say licensed! A babysitter with more than 5 kids (private home) would be included. This is just one more attempt to limit law abiding citizens from protecting their families and children!

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be opposed or voted down and we need to make sure they know it has opposition from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to OPPOSE the Bill and want it voted down in committee if it’s heard! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet.

Emails:

James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov   Twitter: @JamesGrantFl, Phone: (850) 717-5064

Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain, Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Gun Free Zone/ Unarmed Victim Zone issues, this Bill would just create more, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Please OPPOSE HB 197!” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE!

HB 6007  – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms. Removes provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying a handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility.

HB 6007 – Sometimes called “Campus Carry”, has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 6007 – Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Higher Education and Career Readiness Subcommittee, and Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be scheduled for hearings and a committee vote.

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be heard and we need to make sure they know it has support from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to put the Bill up for hearing and a vote and that you, a law-abiding citizen of Florida support it! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet. Let’s see if we can get that changed!

Emails: James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov   Twitter: @JamesGrantFl

                                Phone: (850) 717-5064

                Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain

                                Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Gun Free Zone/ Unarmed Victim Zone issues this Bill would fix, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Support HB 6007” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

Florida House Bill 175, Needs a Fair Hearing!

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE!

Fla House Bill 175 (HB 175) – Repealing provision of Chapter 790 relating to seizure of firearms because of disability, repealing the 21-year-old age limit for purchase of firearms (including rifles), defining “handgun” and repealing the waiting period for purchase of long guns, repealing the “bump fire stock ban, and repeals the “risk protection orders” seizure of firearms.

HB 175 has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 175 by Rep. Hill and Sabatini was referred to the following committees: Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be scheduled for hearings and a committee vote.

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be heard and we need to make sure they know it has support from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to put the Bill up for hearing and a vote and that you, a law-abiding citizen of Florida support it! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet. Let’s see if we can get that changed!

Emails: James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov  

Twitter: @JamesGrantFl, Phone: (850) 717-5064

                Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain, Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Unconstitutional issues this Bill would fix, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Support HB 175” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

Florida Legislators are at it again, and citizens lose.

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This year in the Florida House and Senate the Representatives and Senators came out swinging for the fences when it came to restoring some of the rights of Florida’s 1.8 MILLION Concealed Weapons License holders and for that matter for all of Florida’s citizens.

In Florida currently, it is illegal to openly carry either a long gun or handgun unless you are participating in specific activities such as hunting (hard to do without open carrying), fishing (Florida has these huge lizards that can eat people!) and camping (bears, poisonous snakes, and self-protection) among some other things. In addition, it is also illegal to carry a concealed firearm onto or into many places such as college campuses, “a career center”, a total of 15 locations. Some of which make sense like “Any detention facility, prison, or jail..” that serves as a security issue, and I can understand that one, but a “career center”? Really how many problems have there been at career centers before this law?

Florida is one of only 5 states that do not allow some form of open carry either with or without a license. Currently, 11 States have “Constitutional Carry,” meaning unrestricted open carry of firearms. 34 States have some form of open carry. Only 5 states have no for of lawful open carry. Before you say “Hey but Florida does have some type of open carry!” No, they do not. F.S.S. 790.053 prohibits any form of open carry, the other I cited are exceptions in the concealed carry law.

Now back to our legislators. As I said, they came out with a great group of very pro-rights, pro-firearms bills this year. Everything from an open carry bill to campus carry and others. One of the biggest bills they have submitted was a change to Florida’s “Use of Force” law that would change the way Floridians have to defend themselves from the courts and not just criminals. Currently in Florida, if you use self-defense as a defense in a shooting or any other kind of weapon (knife, car, anything you can use to defend yourself) you have to go before a Judge and prove your innocence. You heard me right, what is the normal legal standard for everything in the United States of America, innocent until proven guilty, does not apply in Florida if you use force to defend yourself. The legislators are trying to fix that and put the “burden of proof” back on the state to prove and not the victim. The burden of proof should always be on the state to prove your guilt not the victim to prove innocence.

But this is where the good news stops and the nightmare for Florida’s citizens starts. The “burden of proof” bill has made it through both the House and Senate, but because the two branches differ on some specific wording, there is a distinct possibility that this great and desperately needed change could go nowhere unless the Senate and House can agree on some language.

But what about the other 19 or so pro-rights bills? Well, they have all been stymied by one Republican Senator. That’s right a Republican Senator who is against restoring freedoms and rights to the citizens of Florida. Sen. Anitere Flores has decided for whatever reason to come out against any and all firearms rights bills, and many other bills put out by her fellow Republicans. She has yet to tell anyone why, but rumors have it that she is thinking of jumping parties and running for Miami mayor since she is term limited out. We will have to see.

So why is Florida so messed up and apparently not going anywhere, again this year? Well the NRA and State firearms rights groups do not seem to be making much headway and have not in the past. Some question the methods and the results of the NRA since they gave Sen. Flores an A+ rating on firearms rights. But it’s hard to blame them when Sen. Flores sent a letter to the NRA literally begging for a good rating. Wonder if she knew then what she would be doing to the citizens of Florida? Other pro-firearms frights groups in Florida have seemingly not been able to do much either. Either from lack of effort or leadership, it makes no difference the outcome is the same, nothing happens, and bills go nowhere.

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Another issue is that many of the really good bills have not even seen the light of a committee meeting or any kind of discussion. For a bill in Florida to go anywhere, they have to be heard in Committee (usually), and a way that Florida legislators have taken to killing any bill they don’t like is to just not schedule it for any committee hearing. That way they can say they submitted the bill, making them look like they were doing something, but really knew it would go nowhere. Even the author and sponsor of a group of good bills this year has failed to even schedule his own pro-rights bill in his own committee! Is that why he wrote the bill? So he could fail to schedule it for a hearing and let it die without even seeing a fair vote in committee? Didn’t politicians get the hint when the country

As a last resort in Florida, the Senate or House President can pull a bill and place it in another committee or put it on a special schedule for a hearing and vote on the floor. But if he did that he would have to admit that the committee chairs were not doing what they should. It would mean they were actually having to lead instead of just being a figurehead.

So what can Floridians expect from their legislators this year? From the looks of things so far, not much. Seems like the same old story that they had from the last few years. It is even looking like they may not even get a much-needed change to the use of force laws because the legislators are saying they cannot agree on wording in the bills two versions. Well at least the legislators can say they tried, just like last year, and the year before and so on……oh and the groups that are fighting for Floridians? Well, nothing has changed there either. The “grassroots” groups that claim to be fighting for your rights, well not much fighting going on there. I was taught at a very early age, and it served me well in the military and in law enforcement, if something does not work, try something new or change the way you are doing it until it does. Maybe they will step up and really start to make a difference, or they will stay in the shadows, that part is completely up to them.

Sorry Florida, you are listed as one of the “Five” states without real meaningful Firearms Rights laws while other states get Constitutional Carry and all kinds of other improvements.

What to Do If You Get Pulled Over While Legally Armed – A Cop’s Perspective

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By Chris Wagoner:

Recently, I was contacted by my local sheriff’s office and asked to help them out by developing training material for their deputies. This material would specifically provide legal guidelines for a police officer to follow in the state of Florida if someone he or she encountered had a concealed firearms license and was carrying a firearm, or had a firearm legally in their vehicle. Since I am a full-time law enforcement trainer in the state of Florida, and a staunch supporter of the second amendment, I gladly agreed to help.

I sat down and wrote out a training curriculum for the deputies that included Florida’s current state laws on firearms possession. I also used research from case laws regarding the rules and regulations of confiscations by police of citizens, including the notion of temporarily taking your firearm from you at a traffic stop. When all was said and done, the curriculum was well-received by the deputies and the sheriff’s office, and continues to be used not only by them, but by several other departments, and it is being considered for inclusion in the basic law enforcement training curriculum for the state of Florida.

But in doing this, it also brought to mind the other side of the coin: what should a citizen do if stopped by the police while carrying a firearm legally in the vehicle, or with a concealed firearms license and a firearm on them while driving?

Read the rest here…

When Should a Police Officer Confiscate Your Firearm?

20160201_140207(0)-1-1By Chris Wagoner:

The recent shooting of a suspect, who was attacking a Florida Deputy, occurred when a law abiding, lawfully carrying, outstanding citizen shot and killed the attacker, quite possibly saving the deputy’s life. While no one wants to have to shoot someone, that is what happened.

The difference between this shooting and most self-defense shootings is the fact that it was witnessed (to some even directed by) the deputy. There is no question as to the justifiability of this shooting. By Florida law it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense and defense of another. Florida law permits you to not only defend yourself but also others if they are being attacked and you think they may be killed or suffer great bodily harm. (F.S.S. 776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.)

That said, there is no doubt that it was a lawful shooting. It was surprising when I saw another article which stated a local gun shop had to provide the citizen with another firearm to carry because his was taken into custody by the police. This was the point where I started to think as a cop. I am on the scene of a shooting that I know for a fact is not a crime because no criminal act was committed by the citizen. So I am looking at this particular case and wondered to myself, “What justification would I have to take the shooter’s firearm into evidence if I was there at the scene?”

Read the rest here:The rest of the story…