The Florida Supreme Court Just Shot the Assault Weapons Ban Ballot Initiative Out of the Sky

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Posted: Jun 04, 2020 5:25 PM
The Florida Supreme Court Just Shot the Assault Weapons Ban Ballot Initiative Out of the Sky

Source: AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan (I am certainly not), you’ll understand this: you’re riding high, and then it all falls apart. Give it time, it’ll happen. And for the past quarter-century, that’s exactly how things have turned out for the Cowboys—supposedly America’s Team—in their quest for another Super Bowl. Well, it’s the same for the anti-gun crowd. The gun-control movement scores some state-based wins, get a ton of media attention, and then things fall apart. It’s inevitable. All you have to do is let these people talk and voters quickly find out the insane bits of their agenda. Support for gun control usually spikes after a mass shooting, especially at a school. Parents worry; it’s a total emotional response. Let things settle and that voter good faith evaporates. Given the rioting that has erupted across the country over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police, there is an even bigger rush to buys guns. Six million firearms have been purchased in the past three months. The COVID lockdowns spurred this, but the rioting has seen many gun stores have lines running out the door. People value their property and security. They’re protecting what they own; that’s indelibly American.

If anything, the overreach on the quarantine and the rioting shows why we have a constitutional right to own firearms. And in Florida, the state Supreme Court just shot the assault weapons ban ballot initiative out of the sky for being deceptive. The initiative did not get enough signatures for the 2020 ballot, which shows how pressing this is for Floridians, but now—it won’t show up on the 2022 ballot either. Victory is ours (via WLRN South Florida):

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to ban possession of assault-style weapons does not meet requirements to go before voters.

[…]

The Supreme Court plays a key role in the ballot-initiative process. It reviews initiatives to determine whether ballot titles and summaries — the wording that voters would see at polling places — meet legal requirements. It does not decide on the merits of the initiatives.

Thursday’s 4-1 decision focused on part of the ballot summary that said the initiative “exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date.”

The court majority, made up of Chief Justice Charles Canady and justices Ricky Polston, Alan Lawson and Carlos Muniz, said that provision “affirmatively misleads voters regarding the exemption” because of a contradiction with the broader text of the proposed constitutional amendment.

The contradiction involves whether the exemption would apply to weapons or to the people who possess the weapons. The distinction could be important, for instance, if a gun owner dies.

“Specifically, the next to last sentence of the ballot summary informs voters that the initiative ‘exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date’ … when in fact the initiative does no such thing,” the majority opinion said. “Contrary to the ballot summary, the initiative’s text exempts only ‘the person’s,’ meaning the current owner’s, possession of that assault weapon.”

Even during a pandemic, or nationwide riots, the fight to secure our Second Amendment continues, and we scored a big win here. It always happens. Give it time, these anti-gunners eventually go down in flames on most things, but that doesn’t mean we just abandon our anti-aircraft batteries that blast their trash ideas to hell. Keep fighting.