CCRKBA DENOUNCES FLORIDA HANDGUN LICENSING PROPOSAL

Tuesday, September 4th, 2001

BELLEVUE, WA – Legislation that would require a handgun purchaser in Florida to first obtain a license from the Attorney General’s office was denounced by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

“Florida residents should not be required to seek permission from the state in order to exercise a Constitutional right,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Democrat Sen. Steven Geller apparently hasn’t been listening to his party leaders about backing away from the gun control mantra. His proposal is an insult to every law-abiding gun owner in the Sunshine State.”

Geller’s bill, S118, would empower the Attorney General to establish fees for Florida residents to exercise their right to bear arms under Section 8 of the State Constitution. It would also exempt law enforcement and corrections officers from complying with a law they will be expected to enforce.

“Geller expects to generate support for this legislation from the law enforcement community by exempting police, thereby giving them special rights beyond those of other citizens,” Gottlieb said. “This duplicitous strategy has been the backbone of nearly every extremist gun control law ever written, and it only serves to drive a wedge between law-abiding gun owners and police.

“Senator Geller clearly does not trust gun owners,” Gottlieb continued, “and this proposal is nothing more than an attempt to institutionalize that irrational distrust. Law-abiding handgun owners throughout Florida have every right to be offended by this legislation. It would empower the Attorney General to ban or severely limit handgun ownership without benefit of legislative oversight. No single elected public servant should have that kind of authority.”