Democrats urge Attorney General to rescind opposition of assault weapons ban amendment

By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
September 18, 2019

The 53-page filing by Florida Carry argued not getting a solid yes or no within 24 hours has deprived people of their constitutional right to own a gun. (MGN)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida Democrats are demanding the Attorney General drop her fight against the proposed constitutional amendment to ban assault weapons.

She believes it misleads voters.

“The way that they have phrased this language, it would ban virtually every firearm,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody at a press conference in August.

The amendment would ban any weapon with the capability of carrying more than ten rounds with the exception of hand guns.

“Guns like the gun my grandfather gave my father and his brother when they were nine and ten 60 years ago,” said Moody.

Now, Democrats and gun advocates are firing back.

They argue the amendment doesn’t go as far as Moody claims.

“This isn't an attempt to raid people of their second amendment [rights],” said Rep. Cindy Polo. "This is an attempt to save lives and to take some sort of action, because it seems that we don't even take one step forward."

The decision to block the amendment or allow it to go before voters will ultimately be made by the state Supreme Court.

Its only role is to decide if the amendment is misleading or contains multiple subjects.

Moody said policy aside, it’s her constitutional duty to fight the amendment.

"To tell you whether or not we believe it meets that statutory definition of clarity and if it's going to mislead the voters we have to communicate that to the court,” said Moody.

But Democrats assert the ballot language speaks for itself.

“There's very specific language on this and I think Attorney General Moody is attempting to be misleading when she talks about that the language is misleading, because it is not,” said Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

With or without Supreme Court approval, the ballot initiative still has more than 600,000 additional signatures it needs to gather before it would be eligible for the 2020 ballot.

The constitutional amendment would also require anyone currently in possession of a banned fire arm to register the gun with the state.

There’s disagreement over whether the guns could be passed down after the original owner passes away.



 
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