By Marion Hammer, NRA Past President, USF Executive Director
On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, SB-296 by Senator Jeff Brandes will be heard on the Senate Floor. The Senate needs to substitute the House bill, HB-209 and pass it without amendments.
SB-296 Mandatory Evacuation is the Senate version of HB-209 that has been under constant attack by the Florida Sheriffs Association and continues to be under attack in the Senate.
The bill was under attack in Senate Community Affairs Committee and Senator Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) succeeded in passing an amendment for the Florida Sheriffs Association to strip out essential language.
SB-296 Firearms/Mandatory Evacuations is a bill to allow law-abiding citizens to take their firearms with them when they are in the act of evacuating while complying with a mandatory evacuation order under a declared state of emergency. This bill will keep law-abiding citizens from being arrested and having their firearms confiscated for taking their firearms with them when they evacuate.
The Florida Sheriffs Association, while proclaiming their support for the Second Amendment, continues to actively OPPOSE this legislation and your right to bear arms. They have continued to spread MISINFORMATION about SB-296 by Brandes and HB-209 by Fitzenhagen relating to Mandatory Evacuations under a declared State of Emergency.
The Sheriffs claim that, “The law already permits transporting securely encased firearms in motor vehicles, and it allows those with an appropriate permit to carry concealed firearms,” is not accurate.
Under current law, once a State of Emergency has been declared by a local official, it is a violation of law for any citizen to take a firearm out of his/her the home or off his/her property.
Under s. 870.044 Automatic emergency measures, once a State of Emergency has been declared by a local official the automatic restrictions apply. The existing law says…the following acts shall be prohibited: “(3) The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.”
In other words, once the State of Emergency is declared, you can’t take your guns anywhere because sidewalks, streets, roads and highways are public places. You must leave your guns behind in your home or dwelling, for looters to steal or hurricanes to destroy and evacuate your family with no means to protect yourself and your family.
The House bill, HB-209 Mandatory Evacuation is intact and contains the essential language, so the Senate needs to take up the House bill and pass it and send it to the Governor.
Please e-mail these Senate members IMMEDIATELY and ask them to SUPPORT and Pass HB-209 with NO AMENDMENTS
IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT: TAKE UP & PASS HB-209 With NO AMENDMENTS
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