Gun owners in Florida have a choice to make on Election Day, one that will determine who will spend the next several years in the governor’s mansion.
And the choice is one of the easiest they’ve faced. Ron DeSantis, who received an “A” rating from NRA-PVF, faces perhaps the most anti-gun candidate ever in F-rated Democrat Andrew Gillum.
The fact is, Gillum hasn’t seen a restrictive gun control proposal that he doesn’t fully support. Consider remarks he made during a televised debate earlier this year, which show what firearms he would willingly target as governor.
On April 18, the moderator asked Gillum how he would define the sorts of “assault weapons” he would like to see banned. Gillum’s answer not only showed his lack of understanding about firearms, but it also indicated he would like to see a wide range of guns outlawed.
“Yeah, well I’ll tell you, any gun that can fire off 45 rounds of artillery in less than 60 seconds and snuff out the lives of 20 kids or 49 adults or 17 individuals is a gun that I believe is a weapon of war and does not belong on our city streets,” he said.
Of course, artillery is, by definition, military-grade heavy weaponry, so he got that much right. But it is not common on the streets of America and is already very closely regulated by the u.s. government, as are the shells used in artillery pieces.
However, small arms that can “fire off 45 rounds” in “less than 60 seconds” include essentially all modern, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Gillum’s 45-rounds-per-minute limit could even extend to revolvers and some magazine-fed bolt-action rifles.
What Gillum is proposing, in other words, is a ban on tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of firearms owned by law-abiding Americans. He uses terms like “assault weapons,” “artillery,” and “weapons of war” to describe his gun control proposals. But Gillum’s own definition of those terms would reach into nearly every gun safe in America and encompass a large percentage of the handguns over 17 million concealed-carry permit holders use to protect themselves and their families. And there’s nothing “reasonable” or “common sense” about that.
Gillum also has repeatedly lied about “taking on the NRA, and winning.”
Here’s the truth. In 2014, Mayor John Marks and Commissioners Nancy Miller, Andrew Gillum and Gil Ziffer were sued by an organization called Florida Carry Inc. and the Second Amendment Foundation. While the NRA supported the lawsuit—which targeted the city’s refusal to repeal ordinances restricting the use of firearms in defiance of Florida’s firearms pre-emption law—it was not a party to the litigation.
As former NRA President Marion Hammer detailed in a Jan. 2017 Tallahassee Democrat op-ed, “Mayor Andrew Gillum’s attack on NRA is like stomping his feet for attention. He wants you to believe the NRA is bullying him. That makes big news, but Mayor Gillum is not being honest with you.
Hammer concluded: “Mayor Gillum knows the NRA is not suing him, but he also knows he wouldn’t get much attention by crying out that a small Florida group and another from Bellevue, Wash., have taken him to court. Getting media attention by trying to make voters think he is being sued and bullied by the NRA is an orchestrated falsehood and is shameful.”
Hammer now has an even simpler message for Gillum: “The bottom line is that in addition to being a zealous gun banner, Andrew Gillum has a hard time telling the truth. Ron DeSantis is the only candidate for governor we can trust to uphold the Second Amendment and protect our firearms and self-defense rights.”
Unless Florida gun owners want to see Gillum’s anti-gun, anti-NRA schemes come to fruition, they need to send him packing at the ballot box on Nov. 6.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky