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Contributions Pour in for Assault Weapons Ban

September 13, 2019 - 6:00am

In the wake of two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last month, contributions flooded into a political committee seeking to ban possession and sale of assault weapons in Florida, according to a new campaign-finance report filed at the state Division of Elections.

Ban Assault Weapons NOW, the political committee behind the proposed constitutional amendment, drew more than 28,000 contributions totaling $595,000 in August, by far the largest amount in a single month since the committee was launched in March 2018.

Nearly 12,000 of the contributions were $5 or less, the campaign report shows. Also, more than 5,000 were for $10.

The committee is trying to put on the November 2020 ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit possession of “semi-automatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.”

The ballot proposal includes an exception for people who own the guns at the time the measure would take effect. Those people would be able to keep assault weapons if they register the guns with the state.

Last month’s contributions brought the total amount collected by the committee to just over $1.67 million. 

With 105,000 valid petition signatures submitted so far, the group has surpassed the number needed to spur a Florida Supreme Court review of the proposed amendment’s wording. The committee needs 766,200 valid signatures to make it onto the 2020 ballot.

Last month’s boost in contributions came on the heels of two mass shootings. On Aug. 3, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring two-dozen others. The following day, 10 people were killed and 27 others were injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

The committee received 763 contributions, totaling nearly $18,000, the day after the El Paso massacre. On Aug. 5, the committee received more than 1,500 contributions, ranging from $1 to $250, for a total of more than $36,000.

August’s largest contribution --- $50,000, on Aug. 23 --- came from Americans for Gun Safety Now, a political organization based in Virginia that was founded by Al Hoffman, a former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who lives in North Palm Beach.

A $3,000 contribution by a Miami donor and $2,000 each from people in Beverly Hills, Calif., and New York City were the next-largest contributions.

But the vast majority of the contributions were less than $25.

“Our strong August fundraising is a message from Floridians --- and concerned individuals across the country --- that we simply have to do something about the terror and devastation that military-style assault weapons can cause in our communities. Unfortunately, the catalyst for this outpouring of support was largely the back-to-back incidents of mass murder we all witnessed in horror over a single weekend in August,” Ben Pollara, senior adviser to Ban Assault Weapons NOW, told The News Service of Florida in a text message Thursday.

Writers, health care professionals, teachers, accountants, a pilot, a plumber, an art dealer and a number of people who identified themselves as “not employed” or “retired,” were included in the more than 28,000 contributors. The contributions came from dozens of states, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as from Florida donors from Pensacola to the Keys.

Until August, the committee’s largest monthly total came in March, with just over $170,000 in contributions, including $75,000 from Hoffman’s group.

The effort behind the proposed assault weapons ban was launched a month after the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, in which 17 students and faculty members were slain. Ban Assault Weapons NOW Chairwoman Gail Schwartz's nephew, Alex Schachter, was among the students who were killed at the Parkland school.


Here's and idea for the anti gun people talking about "assault weapons".Go to your local Ford, Chevy or Toyota dealer and buy an brand new car. Take it home and plaster it with decals for racing products and parts and slap a big number on the doors and roof. Then, load it up on a trailer and drive to Daytona and tell the race directors you want to run in the Daytona 500 race. They will laugh you out of Florida. Because what you have is a "Look A Like" race car and it will not perform like the true (real) race cars. It is the same damn thing with your scary AR-15. It is not, repeat NOT, a true assault rifle. Our soldiers in a combat situation would not want to have your store bought rifle to defend themselves and their comrades in a firefight as your rifle is semi-auto ONLY. The weapons the soldiers use can go full automatic fire when needed. Do you now understand the difference between a true assault rifle and a store bought AR-15. It. Is. Not. The. Same. Thing.

The tail does not wag the dog.

Wait a minute...does Rambo know about this? How are we supposed to settle for less than 10 shots a clip? This is an outrage! How DARE these people try to stop mass murder!

With 766,000 VERIFIED signatures required by February, these articles aren't even relevant.

You cannot outlaw semi-automatic firearms. Whenever government is allowed to make exceptions you may be the next exception.

If a gun can kill somebody - it MUST be an ASSAULT weapon, right? What is the FORMAL DEFINITION?

Except that in the entire history of humanity, guns have never killed anyone. When a drunk driver crashes into a pedestrian, we don't blame the car. When a Democrat commits suicide by jumping off a bridge, we don't blame the bridge.

We need more bridges.

89% of the Americans polled have repeatedly said they want stricter universal background checks, red flag laws, and elimination of the assault-style weapons and their ammunition and add-on magazines. And, obviously, that 89% would have to include a LOT of Republicans and a lot of the more responsible and reasonable gun-owners.

I saw that poll. FYI, that was done by a highly liberal institution.

Polls also said Hillary by a landslide. Do you believe everything the machine tells you to?

Pull a number out of your butt and go with it. It can’t be an even number. That would give it away. 89 ? Dat funny right there !

At one time in America, the vast majority of Democrats felt that slavery was a good thing. Democrats were wrong both then and now.


This ballot measure will be easily, and correctly, defeated.

Just wait until you see the enormous amount of contributions that "pour in" for elimination of the "First Amendment's", "Freedom of the Press", (as well as supporting creation of enforcement and prosecution of "yellow journalism")!!!!!

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