FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT!!
HB 1067: Reclassification of Offenses Involving Certain Firearms or Firearm Accessories by Rep. Watson (and SB 1102 by Sen. Thurston) adds level enhancements for certain crimes.
The part of the new Bills that is concerning is this: “whenever a person commits a misdemeanor or felony, and during the commission of such offense the person carries, displays, uses, threatens to use, or attempts to use a weapon or firearm capable of holding 13 or more rounds of ammunition without the necessity of reloading, the person possesses two or more firearms, the person possesses a firearm with a bump-fire stock, or the person possesses a firearm and possesses more than one firearm magazine capable of being used in the firearm”
One of the things this bill does is try to make is an enhanced crime to use a firearm that has a capacity of 13 or more rounds. Now what the Bill authors must have known, and one of the reasons we are sure for this Bill is that if you are charged with a violation of something like FSS 790.15 Discharging firearm in public or on residential property. which is a First Degree Misdemeanor, if you used a common handgun like a Glock that has 13 or more rounds in it, you are now charged with a felony! Now the problem with this is that even if you are acquitted, or charges dropped, you are forever branded with having been arrested for a felony. If you are convicted of 790.15, you then become a convicted Felon and lose the ability to own or purchase a firearm, because you discharged one on a piece of property the state deemed was too small. We hope others see the problem with this.
More than one magazine for a firearm? Really? It is very common and even recommended that a person who is concealed carrying a firearm for self-defense, carry an extra magazine. Either for additional rounds or in case of a malfunction or other issue that requires reloading after having engaged a threat, an extra magazine is very common and a good tactical move. So this Bill would increase the level of ANY crime you may be charged with because you carried an extra magazine for self-defense? So you are arrested for a suspended drivers license (which can happen without your knowledge) you can have the charged increased for a second offense to a FELONY. And then lose your right to own, possess or carry a firearm. All for a drivers license violation?
It also includes the new boogeyman of firearms accessories, “bump stocks”. Even though no one, including the FBI, has said that a bump-stock was used in the Las Vegas Mass Murder (it was reported that the murderer had them on some of the weapons he had in the hotel room, but has never been reported that they were used on the actual firearms he fired at the crowd) This is a response to a non-issue. Even if a bump-stock was used in a crime, it is something that really can be done without a bump stock, and even with just a little practice, becomes pointless. Bump-stocks are nothing more than an accessory that some people find fun to shoot. They reduce the accuracy of a firearm and actually make it less able to hit its target. While it may put out more rounds than normal unaided firing, it really is not an issue in crime. Having NEVER been used in a crime before and maybe even still not now. Until the FBI releases its final report on the LV Murders we will not know.
These Bills are nothing more than a simple knee-jerk reaction to the emotional cries of the anti-gun crowds. Making something more illegal will not make it stop. Crimes involving firearms already have enhancements, and making certain firearms and accessories “more illegal” will do nothing to stop murderers from using them, but they may stop a law-abiding citizen from carrying that common handgun that is used for self-defense because it has a 13 round magazine and they are afraid of being charged (wrongfully) by law enforcement with a more serious crime from something minor.
These are very bad, reactionary Bills that will do nothing to help stop Mass Murderers or Murderers in general and only hurt citizens who may be wrongfully charged with a firearm crime. Plus you do not have to be using or charged with a firearm crime for this to affect you, just having a firearm and being charged with ANY CRIME causes the enhancements to kick in.