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NRA's Marion Hammer Fires Another Round at Proposed Assault Weapons Amendment

August 23, 2019 - 5:15pm
Marion Hammer, left, and supporters at Friday's meeting
Marion Hammer, left, and supporters at Friday's meeting

Florida’s top gun lobbyist took a second shot Thursday at a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent the possession and sale of assault weapons.

Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, appeared before state economists for the second time in a week to clarify her opposition to the proposal she claims would result in all rifles and shotguns being outlawed in the state.

Hammer, a former president of the national gun-rights organization, accused supporters of the ballot initiative of peddling an “abundance of erroneous information” about the proposal.

“Clearly the sponsors of the assault-weapons ban are confused and seem to be trying to confuse you and everyone else,” Hammer said. “No matter what people think the amendment says, no matter what they want it or don’t want it to say, it says what it says and it’s a disaster of confusion.”

The Financial Impact Estimating Conference is reviewing the potential economic impacts of the proposed amendment, as required by state law. The conference will hold additional meetings on Sept. 3 and Sept. 6, the state's chief economist, Amy Baker, said Thursday.

Hammer a week ago warned the panel that the proposal, if approved by voters, would have a negative impact on more than 150 major gun manufacturers in the state.

The proposal, backed by the Miami-based political committee Ban Assault Weapons Now, would prohibit possession of assault weapons, “defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.”

At a July 30 meeting, the economists struggled to reach consensus on what the language of the proposed amendment means.

Hammer noted the dilemma over the word “capable” in her remarks to the conference Thursday.

“There is no clarification, no qualifier, no modifier,” she said. “Anything you can do to a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun, to extend the capacity of rounds, means it is capable of holding more than 10 rounds at once.”

But Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the political committee behind the proposal, blamed Hammer for “doing everything she can to try to confuse voters.”

“What we have in the amendment is very simple. If you have a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun that can accept a high amount of ammunition, 10 rounds or more, then it is prohibited. And if you own one of those guns when this is passed, then you can keep it,” Pollara told The News Service of Florida in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.

The measure, which would not prohibit handguns, includes an exemption for military and law-enforcement personnel “in their official duties.”

The proposal would allow people who already own assault weapons at the time the constitutional amendment goes into effect to keep them, if they register the guns with state law enforcement.

“It isn’t terribly confusing, what this amendment does. We’re not trying to take anybody’s legally owned weapons. What we’re trying to do is stop the sale and future possession of military-type assault weapons that are capable of firing of a bunch of rounds in a very short time and killing a lot of people,” Pollara said.

Countering Hammer and other critics of the proposed amendment at Thursday’s meeting, Tom Enoch, a retired Tallahassee family practice physician, said human lives should be weighed above the economic benefits of selling guns.

“They can sell plenty of guns that are not weapons of mass destruction,” said Enoch, accompanied at the meeting by members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who were clad in the group's iconic red T-shirts. “People did just fine hunting before they were widely available. I don’t see the need for those sorts of weapons for hunting.”

In late July, Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the Florida Supreme Court --- which reviews the wording of ballot initiatives to make sure they meet certain legal standards --- to keep the proposal off the 2020 ballot, arguing that it is “clearly and conclusively defective.”

Moody also focused on the use of the word “capable,” which she argued would “ban the possession of virtually every semi-automatic long-gun.”

Ban Assault Weapons NOW , which has been working in the wake of the massacres in 2017 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year, is trying to get the assault-weapons measure on the November 2020 ballot.

Apart from the court approval, Ban Assault Weapons NOW also needs to submit at least 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state.

As of Thursday, the state had received 104,070 valid petition signatures, up nearly 5,000 from late July, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

--- News Service of Florida Senior Writer Dara Kam and Assignment Manager Tom Urban contributed to this report.


STUPID, partisan headline ... "Marion Hammer Fires Another Shot ..." Hopefully, somebody shoots back. Hopefully, on January 21, 2021. a Democratic President, Democratic House, and Democratic Senate begin negating the claptrap of Marion Hammer and the National Rifle Association and begin sending the Republican party into extinction (pretty much a certainty if Texas and Florida both should vote Democratic in 2020 - which is clearly a likelihood.)

Blah blah blah...

Mr. Turner, "Assault weapons" have been banned since the 30s. just because liberal Shills like you keep trying to change the definition and terms does not make your ignorance of the facts valid.

It time for old Ms Hammer to be put out to pasture. She has scammed the people of Florida for to long as the mouth piece for the gun manufacturers. Take the blood money they paid you and retire once and for all.

The election of 2020 will negate her and her anti-consumer, anti-democratic, and anti-American employer - along with the political party they have in their pocket!

Wake up Snowflake. Your dreaming.

You Sir are a fool and a tool.

Shut your insane pie hole fool.

You picture identifies the hoplophobes from Moms Demand Action as Marion Hammer supporters. This is a joke, right?

Ok. I'm tired of this bull$hit. Pure & Simple; Liberal democRATS want control. The Brits came to confiscate our firearms in the 1700's, we shot them. The only way to absolutely control the populance is to take away their only means of protection. Just look at history and other countries and the atrocities committed. A gun has always been considered "The Great Equalizer" It allows a 110 pound female the ability to defend her life against a physically over-powered adversary of 200-300 pounds with a few well-placed shots...before the police arrive 4-10 minutes later. The 2nd amendment was NEVER about hunting! We had just been involved in a war with England in which King George tried to confiscate firearms and quarter "Redcoats" in colonist's homes, among other things. Do you really think the forefather's trusted a government entity for "Safety"? When it comes down to it, YOU and YOU alone are responsible for your safety and your family's safety. NOT THE POLICE. If you deny this, ask why Orlando PD isn't bankrupt in failing to protect the Pulse Nightclub victims. THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INDIVIDUAL SAFETY. Only the public at large to maintain the peace. LOOK IT UP! GET RID OF GUN-FREE ZONES!!! They are veritable shooting galleries! If you have psychological problems & on medications,(Or a DemocRAT) then your right to own a firearm should be rescinded until psychologically stable & off medications! Your emotions and feelings have nothing to do with my God-Given right to defend myself and my family any way I choose. If 3 or 4 people break into my house at night, I WANT a "High-capacity"...meaning STANDARD-capacity magazine readily available. PEOPLE WAKE UP! It's NOT the gun, It's the PERSON! LOCK UP Criminals! If we REALLY wanted to talk about "Safety". How about we outlaw planned parenthood and abortions? The statistics are publicly available and completely make the "Gun Debate" a moot point. According to their latest annual report (2014-2015), Planned Parenthood reports that their affiliates performed 323,999 abortions - that's nearly 35% of the estimated 926,190 abortions performed annually in the United States. Latest annual report documents Planned Parenthood’s aggressive abortion agenda -- An analysis of Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report by Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research Based on Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report, an unborn baby dies every 97 seconds inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Planned Parenthood's revenues for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 were just under $1.3 billion. They report that 43% of their income came in the form of "Government Health Services Grants and Reimbursements." GOD BLESS THE NRA, Gun Owners of America(GOA) and Firearms Policy Coalition! IF it wasn't for them, we'd BE Kalifornia! Just with a better ocean...Don't need a wetsuit to go swimming in the summer...


and our government's democrat representatives are proving themselves ever more tyrannical every day.

Unconstitutional!!!! It will leave criminals with weapons and law-abiding citizens unable to protect ourselves!!!! At this time I don’t own a gun, but I will buy one before this amendment is voted on!!!!

May GOD Bless Marion Hammer, a wonderful and strong women who refuses to get to the back of bus. Its going to take the best to fight off the hoards of insane people, the fighters are crazed, insane Jews and Saracens with blades, the left and right, the lost who gather without a true leader.

Hammer is a woman who has made a living pimping for the gun manufacturers. She could care less about gun laws of any kind Her mission is sell guns no matter how many people they kill. Hero? I don't think so!

Skipper, Please for once get a copy of the Bill of Rights and every where it says " The People " high-lite those words in what ever color you like and then read it back to yourself with emphasis and just maybe a light will go off in your head. The words " The People " appear in more than the second amendment so treat them all the same.

That's funny. Neither my gun, nor anyone elses has ever got up and killed anyone. It's fools like you that kill people. Pull your head out of your butt and educate yourself. You don't deserve the liberty that bought with our forefathers blood.

No,.. She cares about preserving our U.S. Constitution, PERIOD ! ! ! ! !

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