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After gun bill falters in Congress, Fla. Legislature sends 'Hands off our guns' memorial to Obama

Though gun control efforts in the U.S. Senate appear to stall Wednesday, the Florida Legislature is sending a message to Washington just in case: Hands off our guns.

In a 81-36 vote, the Legislature passed House Memorial 545, which warns federal officials not to infringe on the rights of gun owners.

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes,”  said bill sponsor Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, quoting a 19th century essay by Cesare Beccaria. “Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.”

When a Democratic lawmaker pointed out that the Manchin-Toomey compromise on expanded background checks failed in the U.S. Senate, some lawmakers burst into applause in the chamber. Combee’s bill was co-sponsored by 57 other House members.

Combee said he still wanted the letter to be sent to Washington just in case the federal government considers gun control in the future.

One Representative shouted out “Let liberty ring!” before making the sound of loading a gun and asking his colleagues to support the bill. It passed in a lopsided vote that broke down mostly along party lines.

Democrats did not speak much on the bill (the agenda for the day was quite long and the House had been debating for six hours by the time the memorial was heard).

One Democrat did get a gun bill passed shortly after the memorial vote.

A bill to require expanded gun restrictions for some mentally ill people passed the House 117-1. It was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami Gardens) and supported by the National Rifle Association. It was a small victory for gun control advocates, who have filed several gun bills this year with little success in the Legislature.    


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Matt B

What's sad is that this sounds like a story from "The Onion."

L. Reste

Screw you Republican Senators and the four "chicken" Democrates who voted against this bill. If I ever had the chance to NOT VOTE for you .... I will.

Lee Goaa

This is why, after the next election, Florida will no longer be a Republican ("Red") state. Republican leadership in this state is terrible for the citizens of Florida. They vote against workers, against health coverage, against crime prevention legislation, against taxing the rich, the list is endless. They could care less what the people of Florida want. They are only interested in their own opinions and financial gain. These jerks make me ashamed to be a Floridian.

dont tread on me

I am proud to say I live in Florida. Thank you senators for protecting the 2nd amendment. America!


well after this Fla might not be republican, (voted out by democrats? Da) put america will be free for a while longer :) I truly believe if all democrats gave up their almost gun problems would go away!Why are there no studies on this? I think we all know the answer! but yet they will do studies on why sperm swim sideways? or why snow flakes are different shapes? So why not be good democratic and turn in your guns? vote on that.

ric bradley


Sean Watkins

When gun violence happens in your state, close to your home, close to your children, remember you were happy bills were rejected that asked for better background checks. Children died and you are concerned about your happiness, not the next kid that will die from gun violence. And even in light of Boston. This is indeed a sad day for America.


Stupid is as stupid does.

Ima Fedup

Knowing that your victim might be armed is a deterrent to most criminals.
Being an armed, trained and responsible gun owner gives you the ability to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Why can't people understand this simple statement?

wake up

None of the gun bills that Obama proposed would of saved any childrens lives. The fact is the 2nd amendment is in place to protect us from government tyranny. If you don't like the constitution move to a communist country and take Obama with you. A mentally unstable person can walk into a classroom with a knife or bomb and do just as much damage as a person with a gun. What we need to do to protect our children is simple.... More Americans armed including teachers.


Who should not be armed? Should we attempt to prevent our most dangerous citizens from obtaining guns?


Who should not be armed is those convicted of felonies, non-citizens, and anyone unable to use a gun safely. I realize gun ownership is a right, but at what cost? I will not attempt to relate privledges to rights. When do we say enough? When do we understand the devastation that gun violence causes? A simple background check does not inhibiit citizens who abide by the law from attaining firearms; it only assures those who should not have them do not. Mark our words Republicans in the Florida legistature, stand your ground and unchecked access to firearms is NOT what your constituents want.

get real

Love how all the folks moaning about their loss of 2nd Amendment rights can never seem to point to anything that's actually been taken away from them. And to "wake up" up there: wake up yourself. A guy wandered into a community college very recently with a knife and didn't do "as much damage" as Lanza did at Sandy Hook - in fact, no one died at all. Fail of a comparison for you there.

wake up

Fail of a comparison how so? That was one incident. What are we going to do next ban pressure cookers because they can be turned into bombs? Get real I don't know what city you are from but here a felon can get a gun just as easy as a pot head can get a bag of weed. As long as there is a black market there will be guns. You can even print guns out of paper. Let's not waste time and money with this issue like we did with the "war on drugs". The votes agree :P


what a lot of you people dont understand is there are already background checks in effect,have been for years!doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand that criminals can get guns on the street all day long!you think they care about background checks?you go ahead and give youre guns up,i will never!an unarmed people cant stop a tyranical government.wake up people!

Shaun Cantu

The uninformed that are screaming that the Republicans simply voted against trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals are wrong. Actually read the legislature. What the anti gun movement (including Obama) wanted was to use a tragedy to push for gun bans under the guise of background checks.
The original background check legislation proposed such tight definitions of the term "transfer" as to make loaning a firearm to your buddy while at the range a FELONY!! Nothing in the background check bill or the "assault weapons" bill keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Nor do they keep unusually dangerous firearms off the streets. The "assault weapons" ban targets look-alike and cosmetic issues ONLY!! These are not modern military rifles. They lack selective or automatic fire. These feature are already regulated by the AFT. At best these are WWII era semi-automatic military rifles. They became popular because they were cheap to buy and cheap to shoot. The bill even expressly bans a few .22lr!!! To call a .22 an "assault weapon" is absurd. Maybe if you are planning to assault a squirrel.
I would support measures that would make us safer. But we must be careful to make sure that our legislation does what it is intended to. This was some of the worst legislation I've seen in a long time.
The fact that this administration would exploit tragedies to push an anti gun agenda is deplorable. The fact that many Americans bought it is sad.

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