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Florida Ballot Initiative Seeks to Ban “Assault Weapons”

Second Amendment


“Assault weapon” under proposed Florida ballot initiative.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)-Anti-Second Amendment activists in Florida are working to have a state Constitutional Amendment placed on the ballot for 2020. The Amendment would ban future sales of almost all semi-automatic rifles, some semi-automatic shotguns, and require registration of those currently owned.

The problem with having people who are proudly ignorant about firearms technology draft a referendum, is they know just enough to create supremely stupid and ineffective laws.

Here is the definition from the proposed state Constitutional amendment. From bawnfl.org:

1)Definitions

 a)Assault Weapons For purposes of this subsection, any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunitionfeeding device. This subsection does not apply to handguns. 

b)Semiautomatic For purposes of this subsection, any weapon which fires a single projectile or a number of ball shots through a rifled or smooth bore for each single function of the trigger without further manual action required.c)Ammunitionfeeding device For purposes of this subsection, any magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device for a firearm.

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Nearly all .22 semi-automatic rifles, qualify under this definition.  .22 semi-automatic rifles, as a class, may be the most common rifles in the United States. They having been in production and popular since the 1914.

They have been produced by every major and many minor firearms manufacturers. There are tens of millions of them existing in the United States. Virtually all of them who use detachable magazines can accept magazines of more than 10 rounds; virtually all of them that use tubular fixed magazines accept over 10 rounds.

The Marlin rifle pictured holds 17 rounds in the magazine.

The Florida referendum petition catches most .22 rifles in its net, rifles that are very rarely used in crime, rifles that only the most zealous of hoplophobes would describe as “assault weapons”.

At the same time, the referendum excludes all handguns. It is easy to understand why. The Supreme Court, in the Heller decision, specifically held that handguns were arms protected by the Second Amendment.  In addition, handguns are extremely popular in Florida, as is concealed carry.  Florida currently has about two million active concealed carry permits.

Handguns are legally defined items in the law. The referendum is specifically aimed at AR15 style rifles. The referendum authors either do not know, or do not care, that there are numerous AR15 style handguns.

AR15 style handguns use the same magazines the AR15 style rifles use. They use the same ammunition the AR15 style rifles use. They use nearly all the same accessories the AR15 style rifles use. Here is a picture of an AR15 style handgun, from AR15.com:

AR15 Pistol
AR15 Pistol

What looks like a stock on the AR15 pistol above,  is a legal arm brace, as approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (BATFE).

 While the net cast by the Florida anti-assault captures almost all .22 rimfire semi-automatic rifles, it entirely misses pistols. This includes all AR15 style pistols, and others that use the popular pistol arm braces.

Because of fundamental definitions in United States law, pistols with arm braces and more than 10 round capacity magazines are becoming more and more popular.

This is a CZ pistol shown at the 2015 Shot Show in Las Vegas.

The organizers of the Florida referendum have collected 100,000 signatures. That is the first step to put the Constitutional amendment on the ballot.  From floridapolitics.com:

Organizers of a drive to have a proposed assault weapon ban constitutional amendment on Florida’s 2020 ballot said they have topped 100,000 signatures and expect to get a review of ballot language by the Florida Supreme Court any day.

The organizers have a long way to go. To put a Constitutional amendment on the ballot, they need 76,620 signatures to have the ballot title and summary approved by the Secretary of State. That is the purpose of the initial 100,000 signatures.

Then the organization has to collect another 666,200 valid signatures, for a total of 766,200, to have the measure put on the ballot for the 2020 election, possibly more, if some of the first 100,000 are determined to be invalid.

Once the measure is on the ballot, it has to be approved by 60% of the voters in the election to become an amendment of the Florida Constitution.

If it passed with 60% of the vote in 2020, it would immediately be challenged as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States. The Heller decision, while it was about handguns, clearly stated the Second Amendment that

“extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” 554 U.S. 570, 582, 595 (2008).”

The promoters of the referendum are relying on the ignorance of voters, combined with an anti-Second Amendment media and massive funding from billionaire contributors, to pass it.

They are calculating most voters won’t read or understand the definition, or know about the exception for pistols.

The language is unconstitutional on its face, but the past decade has shown the Supreme Court unwilling to hold most lower courts to its decision in Heller.

The two new Supreme Court justices appointed by President Trump should change that; it remains to be seen.

Billionaire activists have learned they can buy referenda when the media back them up.

They can lose; but it takes enormous effort and resources to fight them in a referendum, most particularly when the media work directly against you, as they have in Washington state.

It is too early to know what will happen in Florida with this ill-considered referendum.

It may not gain enough signatures. It may not gain enough votes.

It is another example of the proud ignorance of anti-Second Amendment activists.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.



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44 Comments

  1. If you think including .22s in the ban was an accident or stupidity you are extremely gullible. It was done on purpose. Make no mistake they want everything banned that has more power than a pea shooter.

      1. Probably more so as they want us disarmed & sitting ducks.
        However, it will not happen.
        Too many real American Constitutional Patriots will not obey nor conform.
        I am a Proud Constitutional American Patriot.

      2. Such DemonRat gun grabbers have infested Florida from all the New England States, especially New York. Thus, Florida is now being targeted to become “California-east” with gun control as the first step. They bring their ideas of “fundamental change” to any area they infest.
        We cannot let this happen to our great State.

        We can be thankful that Gov. DeSantis is available to block this power grab!

        1. It’s Californicated, Oregon was a good place to live and to raise a family. Now that the commie left has taken over, Oregon’s best days are in the past. I hope this works out better for you, than has for us. Gods speed.

        2. Don’t those “gun grabbers” know the reason the second amendment was included in the Constitution? It was so that disarmament by a “Would-be” dictator could not pull
          the same trick Adolph Hitler did on Germany in 1938, “For the protection of the children” and you know where that lead. Wake-Up America! DO NOT be fooled the same way the Germans were.

    1. The fact is ALL ACTUAL ASSAULT WEAPONS were covered by the National Firearms Act passed decades ago.

      All they are trying to do is ban ALL OTHER WEAPONS by redefining the term assault weapon to include any viable for defense weapon that civilians can use for the purpose the second amendment outlines as the reason THE PEOPLE (meaning the CIVILIAN CITIZENS of the US) are allowed to keep and BEAR arms.

      In other nations they have already moved to stage 2 or further along on the plan to ensure that “no civilian can put up an armed resistance” (Meaning not being able to defend themselves) by banning knives.

      Anyone of intelligence who sees the TIMING of failed to pass restrictions and the SUDDEN commission of horrific crimes using what they wanted to ban knows something is way off.

      Clinton’s (cosmetic attachment ban) assault weapons ban was rejected outright by congress as it addressed NO issues of crime protecting NO ONE then suddenly there is a school shooting followed by at least two attempted ones that are stopped by armed civilians. Suddenly congress without debate PASSES that ban and suddenly we have GUN FREE ZONES that only ensure there will be no armed civilians to stop future attacks (in effect ensuring the two failed ones would have succeeded if it had existed before them). Then Clinton whines because the gun manufacturers COMPLIED with the new law by REMOVING the cosmetic parts he banned.

      The hearing protection act was before congress it would do for gun use what the MUFFLER (car suppressors) did for car use PROTECT peoples hearing by allowing the reduction of the decibels of gun fire to a SAFE level.

      Suddenly for the first in decades since the NFA was passed restricting suppressors because of the false belief (pushed by Hollywood) that they make guns completely silent someone suddenly uses one in the commission of a crime. The media has yet to report if they LEGALLY had it in compliance with the NFA.

      The list goes on like this over the past several decades ever since that incident in 1946 when a CORRUPT politician who literally seized the ballots so he could PERSONALLY count them in PRIVATE to ensure he won an election polls said he would not win was STOPPED by civilians who in a PRIME EXAMPLE of why the second amendment was put in place retrieved the ballot boxes and held a PUBLIC counting of the election results thus preventing any claims of vote tampering by them.

      As we are reading this some in Congress are actually trying to remove the PROTECTION passed for the manufacturers of products against frivolous lawsuits over the MISUSE of their products.

      The of course insist that the makers of PLANES, TRUCKS, BATS, HAMMERS, BRICKS etc. should still be protected against such frivolous lawsuits despite the fact those manufacturers know full well their products can kill or harm just as many people as a gun.

      (89 people in that one TRUCK incident, 10 in that one single vehicle accident) yet they feel GUN MAKERS should be held accountable for damages if someone VIOLATES THE LAW using one of their products or otherwise MISUSES that product causing harm.

      The excuse is these politicians “FEEL” there is no legitimate use for guns.

      In other words they FEAR that if they commit the same atrocities other governments have done the MAIN LEGITIMATE USE outlined in the US constitution will come to pass and that is the only reason they want all civilians DISARMED.

      Laws do not STOP CRIME they merely define what is a crime and outline the punishment for violating it. If they did then there would be NO MURDERS at all since that itself violates existing laws.

      Add in that they are using the same excuse for this they used to ILLEGALLY create gun free zones that actually include peoples PRIVATE HOMES if they live inside that area resulting in the creation of INSTANT CRIMINALS for nothing more than TARGET ZONES of defenseless victims proven time and again as nearly every shooting since has been in VIOLATION of that law.

      1. if you don’t know Florida is ran by repubicans.you can’t pin it on demorats as some of you like to call them.we can’t get a election done right.we need to clean the Florida swamp in north Fl.our schools suck as do the jobs.in all it dose matter if it is a rep or dem that wants screw the 2nd admendment. needs to be put out of a job!

      2. I totally agree. They are trying to outlaw the National Rifle Association which teaches the
        safe and proper way to handle guns. The N R A does NOT train killers like the Military
        does in the interest of defending this country from attack by foreign interests (not necessarily foreign Armies)

  2. What is an offer or trade to fight a tyranny government if you remove our fighting power? That’s the reason for gun ownership? maybe laser killer laser guns but you should come up with something as voting will never work against a tyranny government, an 1860’s civil war is the way to go again…

    1. Although I believe any gun law is unconstitutional and since the states have to accept the federal Constitution that also applies to them. Your idea of another civil war although I am not against such an plan just who do you plan to fight and what kind of government do you want to install. Since there are 350 million opinions as to how our government should work and 100s of thousands of us that think all government is corrupt you may be lined up against family and friends just like the first civil war.

  3. We all know this is a continued effort on the part of the left and the new communist DemoKraut party of America to disarm us and allow this country to be “Fundamentally Changed” in the image of Obama’s plan. May they all go to hell. Governor DeSantis, don’t you ever sign such a thing into law. Florida elected officials, you took an oath to support the state constitution and the United States Constitution not change them. Don’t be a Congress of Baboons! Patriots, get to Orlando in person or on line today, support the President! Thank you from the bottom of my old Vietnam Bet Heart!

  4. We should start with banning drugs. Wait drugs are illegal and……
    Maybe make a “gun free zone around schools and churches” …wait they did that……
    Venezuela has banned guns in 2011/12. Murder rate was 22500 then in 2017 murder rate was 24,000+ Without guns. WTF
    Yes you are correct…people hurt people not guns….stupid ass people

  5. All well worded replies here. It’s apparent as in all ignorant lib areas the inmates are running the asylum. They will NEVER touch the real problem of illegal guns nor the fact that all of the shootings have been performed by whiny Dumbascraps. The REAL solution is to remove Dumbascraps, period.

    1. I had one guy say that everyone should have a gun, even the criminals…
      If everybody has a gun, just let one of those criminals pull out his… Problem solved.
      Though it is extreme and unrealistic, the principle is sound…
      No law intimidates a criminal… only armed citizenry intimidates a criminal.

      1. Yep, I can’t remember many mass shootings outside “gun free zones”. But sure have been a lot inside “gun free zones”! Let school faculty members, if they are trained, arm themselves while in school if they so desire… this is a no-brainer!

  6. “Assault” thats the action of the person not an object.

    With this thinking the following should all be banned, as a person committing an “Assault” can easily use these and have.
    Cars, trucks, Knives, Screwdrivers, Hammers, Axes, rocks, etc etc

  7. What is the legal legislated description of an assault rifle?

    (BTW, it looks like Massachusetts laws are like the Obamacare, they have set a precedent on “gun control”, IE” “Red Flag” and Confiscation.)

    1. The “Legal” definition of a so-called “assault weapon”..Is a SELECT-FIRE weapon capable of FULL AUTOMATIC or tri-burst firing. (machine Gun) Actually the term “assault” weapon is a DEMOCOMMUNIST “buzz-word” to make uneducated/uninformed people scared of a semi-automatic weapon that just “looks” scary, because it has cosmetic features that make it LOOK similar like a weapon used by our Military. However, it is STILL a semi-automatic hunting rifle/home defense rifle, LEGALLY used by MILLIONS of sportsmen/women. (and that upsets the “ban guns” COMMUNISTS in our “government”), because as long as WE law-abiding citizens own firearms , a “takeover” by a tyrannical “government” (that is why the “second” was written) to turn the people in this country into controlled “sheep” to use, abuse or SLAUGHTER, is not possible with out a FIGHT.

      1. The legal definition of “assault weapon”, as defined by Josh Sugarman in 1989 and used in the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, is a detachable box magazine fed semiautomatic rifle with pistol grip that has at least two of five specific cosmetic features to include: folding or collapsible stock, flash hider, barrel shroud, grenade launcher mount, or bayonet lug.
        Of course, antigun politicians and groups have bastardized the term to the point where it includes just about any semiautomatic rifle, with or without a detachable magazine.
        Your opening statement, “The “Legal” definition of a so-called “assault weapon”..Is a SELECT-FIRE weapon capable of FULL AUTOMATIC or tri-burst firing. (machine Gun)”, is but a partial description of an assault RIFLE. The full description of an assault rifle is a shoulder fired, detachable magazine fed select-fire rifle with pistol grip chambered for an intermediate centerfire rifle cartridge. The term was coined by Adolph Hitler in 1944 when he viewed a demonstration of the Maschinnen Pistole 1944 (MP44).
        After seeing its characteristics and capabilities he renamed it the SturmGewehr 1944 (StG44). SturmGewehr, translated from German, means assault rifle.
        When the term “assault weapon” began losing the fear factor amongst the general public several years ago, antigun politicians/groups and the media began using the term assault rifle to reinstill the fear of semiautomatic rifles.
        Contrary to what the antigunners and the unknowing general public (sadly, this includes many pro-gun people), the terms assault weapon and assault rifle describe two different types of firearms and are not interchangeable.
        Please educate yourself a bit better on the topic.

  8. Legislators intent on banning these weapons are against our Constitution and against God who gives all men the right to defend their lives and families and to defend their nation from attack. The right to defend one’s life is one of the natural laws given by God to all men and also supported in the Ten Commandments, as it clearly states, “you shall not murder.”

    This effort to ban weapons from the hands of Americans will lead to civil war. In other countries, when guns were banned and removed from citizens, it led to terrible bloodshed, bondage, and, tyranny.

    There are too many God-fearing men and women in this country who love this country and/or have served in the military, who understand the only way to stop evil men is with force of arms. We have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Florida legislators pushing this evil bill are enemies of our Constitution and should be removed from office.

    1. I agree with you. If they don’t like the laws of our country they need to leave or be forced to leave this country.

  9. The continuous effort to ban firearms (all)is much more sinister than the “me too” do gooders think it is. The real reason is to neutralize the 1st Amendment which is toothless without the citizens ability to resist the governments need to crush speech that opposes government dictates. Useful idiots are a necessary ingredient in that progress and they have no idea that their speech will be next on the list to be eliminated.

  10. It’s just getting started. We have 3 Congress members who believe in Sharia Law. They swore in on the Koran. When Trump is gone the gun control issue will eventually take hold. Then you will see an oppressive Govt and a new civil war begin as the enemy takes shape within our Govt and begin to change our history and American values.

  11. The continuous effort to ban firearms (all)is much more sinister than the “me too” do gooders think it is. The real reason is to neutralize the 1st Amendment which is toothless without the citizens ability to resist the governments need to crush speech that opposes government dictates. Useful idiots are a necessary ingredient in that progress and they have no idea that their speech will be next on the list to be eliminated.

  12. We need to start another amendment that says Armalite Style (AR) weapons are ok to own in Florida. Assault rifles are made by Armalite and have a selector switch that lets the soldier choose between semi-automatic fire and automatic fire, which fires in 3 round burst. These assault rifles cannot be owned by civilians unless they have obtained a class 3 license from the ATF bureau. It’s time we started fighting back to protect our gun rights.

    1. Just pay the 200$ tax and you can buy a machine gun for about 5000 or 20000$ after a year of waiting on the paper work.

  13. To Dean Weingarten….

    It’s very difficult to take an article serious, when you either CAN’T write a proper article, or DON’T proofread your stuff before publishing. Kudos for bringing this issue to the readers, but for crying out loud….

    Having read a previous article giving number of citizen signatures that were required to get this issue on the ballot, there was approximately 1% of the total population of Florida that signed. Makes you wonder what the other percentage of citizens think about this. As usual, those who believe in the Right To Carry, don’t show up to voice an opinion. It’s easy to talk shit about a subject, and then absolutely worthless to fail in action!

  14. If the pro-gun interests don’t get involved with reasonable control laws instead of patent refusing to. A lot more of this control activity is in their future.

  15. Such DemonRat gun grabbers have infested Florida from all the New England States, especially New York. Thus, Florida is now being targeted to become “California-east” with gun control as the first step. They bring their ideas of “fundamental change” to any area they infest.
    We cannot let this happen to our great State.

    We can be thankful that Gov. DeSantis is available to block this power grab!

  16. First: bonavajo is correct. you need a Federal Stamp to purchase, supply, transfer or possess a “machine gun.” The weapon must have an automatic selector feature to quality as an “assault rifle.” The normal definition given in Webster’s and Oxford is “A lightweight rifle developed from the sub-machine gun, which may be set to fire automatically or semi-automatically.” An AR-15 you buy at Bubba’s gun shop isn’t an assault rifle. A full auto capable AK-47 is.
    Second: This whole topic dissolves when you consider that a shooter can hit 24 people very quickly with .357 revolver with two speed loaders.
    Some of the most famous assassinations or attempts have been done with single shot pistols, not machine guns for heaven’s sake.

  17. I want to see who is going to take care of these gun grabbin snowflakes when guns have been banned? Dont come beating on my door cause you won’t like what will be looking at through the peephole on my door. All of these people that are sworn in to protect the constitution need to be relived of their duty and have a bullet put in their skull . Just remember if u keep pushing eventually someone is gonna push back and u will not like the outcome.

  18. You folks need to quit kidding yourselves. You need to examine the wealth and power in the world. Now I’m not talking about the internet millionaire, or the political millionaires. They are for the most part lucky, or just pawns on the chessboard. A necessary evil for the real power and wealth of the world. I see there are maybe 1 in 1,000 of you reading this comment that know what I am talking about. That P & W spans generations, even centuries. The ones that are the real caretakers of the planet are sick of you! There are to many people on the Earth. They have given us wars, didn’t work. They have given us tyrants, didn’t work. They have given us cancer, hasn’t worked. Look at all the countries in the world. They are all experiments that are not working. So let’s stop the most heavily armed population on the planet. Once that plan is complete, all the remaining resources are accounted for and locked down. Then the population problem will be addressed. You see people like a former Secretary of State and ex Presidents getting wealth any way they can, theft or otherwise. Look at what their doing. They know what’s coming. And it sure as heck isn’t called “Natural Selection”. If you take away the guns from good people, then only criminals will have guns? How hard do you think it will be for the smartest people on the planet to eliminate an armed group of the stupidest people on the planet? I’m old and won’t make the end, but then neither will you.

  19. I’ll bet extraterrestrials have assault weapons that will make all of this hand wringing and teeth gnashing over gun control a waste of time. Everyone better start looking at the REAL threat to our way of life. ‘Nuff said.

  20. Having spent a lots of times days and nights in operating room to treat gun shots in abdomen and
    chest, I hate guns, guns dealer, gons lovers, gun maker and guns owners.

    Stupid peoples saying “gun doesn’t kill, people do the killing, well idiot, of this equation which one
    you prefer to eliminate

    1. Doc with all due respect “GO FUCK YOURSELF” and go back to whatever communist country you came from.Here in America we have a constitution that says we have the right to own and bear arms.Strange you don’t talk about all the people that are kill or maimed by knives,hammers,blunt instruments and vehicles which accounts for far more lives lost than those killed or injured by guns.

    2. Doc…..please insert an explosive device in your anus and do all of us a favor by detonating the device. I’m a gun owner. I’m trained. I’ve served my country and community. You probably work in some shithole city that, if you are in the US, is run by the God-less Democrats who continually harp about gun control. Chicago is a good example of a major city that touts progressive policies but somehow can’t come to grips with young black men killing each other every day of the week but the Democrats still cry “gun control, gun control”. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country but it’s still Dodge City every Saturday night. The same thing can be said about LA, Detroit, Houston, Newark, Baltimore. Well idiot….what do you have to say now????

  21. This will be very generalised but you’ll get the idea. If the process only requires 100,000 signatures to get a review of your proposal by the court in a state of 21,000,000, that’s one (1) signature out of every 210 people. That’s fair? Then if it passes and you then need 766,200 signatures to get it on a ballot, that’s one (1) signature for every twenty eight (28) people in a state of 21,000,000 people. That’s fair? Those requirements may have made good sense on their face when the ballot initiative was instituted when the population was 14,000,000 or so. Isn’t it time to revisit these antiquated standards before we allow Billionaire Bolshivics to meddle with our constitutional rights here?

  22. I agree with all those concerned and I do see a change in Florida since I arrived in 1979 to many liberals coming here now. I ran away from New York from those who like to control everyone, now they are following me, some guy said all are from New York not this one and plenty more just like me. It’s a mind set and no matter where you come from they can’t be changed, let’s stick together don’t isolate anyone we need all hands on deck in order to WIN! My two cents worth

  23. Another oblivious group of clowns who know nothing but making up rules for the rest of us. They have zero concept of what denotes an “assault” weapon. Hey stooges, clubs and knives are used in assaults. Are you going to ban them too???

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