The Central Florida Ridge Friends of NRA Dinner & Auction is the premier sportsmen’s event in central Florida.
The Central Florida Ridge Friends of NRA Dinner & Auction is the premier sportsmen’s event in central Florida. All other sportsmen’s events pale in comparison.
The Central Florida Ridge Friends of NRA is a 5 time HIGH CALIBER Committee and in 2019 earned the prestigious 2 Star PROTECTOR rating.
Last year: – Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the NRA was the guest of honor. – over $50K was raised to fund LOCAL youth shooting sports programs. – over 525 people attended – Sheriff Grady Judd made his annual appearance and auctioned off a full day “Ride Along With The Sheriff” – The event SOLD OUT 2 weeks in advance
This year over 70 new, quality firearms will be either raffled, auctioned or given away.
The Polk County Commission on Tuesday reversed
course from its Friday meeting and approved a resolution affirming its support
for gun rights, including language declaring the county a sanctuary.
BARTOW — Polk County is a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The Polk County Commission on Tuesday reversed course
from its Friday meeting and approved a resolution affirming its support for gun
rights, including language declaring the county a sanctuary.
The vote came after 12 people spoke out in favor of the
sanctuary measure. Several commissioners also indicated they received phone
calls and emails from gun-rights supporters over the weekend.
Although the commission could not take an official vote
during its Friday workshop, four commissioners clearly indicated they had
trouble with the sanctuary language while maintaining they supported Second
Amendment rights. Only Commissioner John Hall supported the entire resolution,
including the language declaring Polk a Second Amendment sanctuary.
That changed Tuesday as the commission initially voted
4-1 to approve the sanctuary resolution with Commissioner George Lindsey
opposing it. Later, Lindsey asked for a reconsideration of the resolution and
switched his vote to affirm the commission was unanimous in supporting the
Second Amendment, he said.
“I don’t want this to be a divisive issue,” Lindsey said.
Commission Chairman Bill Braswell said he changed his
mind because he hadn’t realized the word “sanctuary” was the label adopted by a
Second Amendment movement.
“The word ‘sanctuary’ to some of us wouldn’t be our first
choice,” he said. “When I hear ‘sanctuary,’ I think of ‘sanctuary city,’ and
Braswell was referring to the sanctuary city movement
asking local officials not to support some of President Donald Trump’s harsh
immigration and deportation policies.
Commissioner Rick Wilson agreed he reacted against the
word because of its association with immigration policies.
“I don’t like the word. I wish we could change it,” he
Yet Wilson and the other three commissioners declined to
support Lindsey’s proposal to substitute “pro-Second-Amendment county” for
“Second Amendment sanctuary.”
Before the first vote on the resolution, Lindsey said he
opposed including the sanctuary language because one historical definition of
the word is “immunity from the law.”
“That’s the part that bothers me,” he said. “I can’t do
that if there’s an implied immunity from the law.”
Lindsey pointed out he supports the Second Amendment as a
life member of the National Rifle Association, a handgun owner and holder of a
state concealed weapons permit. But immunity from the law “is not what we stand
for,” he said.
Several of the resolution supporters appeared motivated
by the so-called “red flag” law passed by the Florida Legislature following the
Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
That law allows local law enforcement to seek a temporary
court order, called a “risk protection order,” to seize firearms from persons
it believes might use them against themselves or the community. Law enforcement
can get an emergency order to seize weapons immediately followed by a final
order at a court hearing within 14 days.
The law was passed because the Parkland shooter and many
other perpetrators of mass shootings had shown behavioral signs of violence
before the incidents.
“Polk County has a Second Amendment problem,” said Royal
Brown III of Winter Haven, president of Winter Haven 912 Project, a gun rights
group. “We lead the state in the use of the unconstitutional risk protection
order, or RPO, which allows an ex parte seizure of firearms and ammunition
without prior notification, without the right to be represented by a public
defender and without due process based on a judge’s fear of what might happen
in the future. This also violates the legal precedent of being innocent until
Brown cited information from the Polk County Clerk of
Courts office, which The Ledger also obtained.
The statistics show Polk did lead the state in seeking
risk protection orders between March 2018 and October.
Polk sought 501 orders during that time followed by
Pinellas County with 429 cases and Broward County with 393 orders sought. Only
five other counties had more than 100 risk protection order cases during that
time, and the state total was 2,933 cases.
The Clerk of Courts also reported a total of 525 risk
protection cases filed in Polk from March 2018 through Nov. 20 with no
additional state data.
Among those Polk cases, 15 petitions were denied an
emergency order, or 3%. Among the 510 emergency protection orders granted, the
court denied a final order in 49 cases, or 10%.
“We ask you to declare Polk County a Second Amendment
sanctuary county and to be aware of the problems with the risk protection
order, including conducting oversight of the RPO process until such time as it
is challenged in the courts and declared unconstitutional or changed or deleted
from law by the Florida Legislature,” Brown said.
Other speakers made more general arguments that the
sanctuary language was needed to “send a message” to the Legislature and
Congress on passing further gun restrictions. Several speakers warned of a
looming socialist or communist threat to take away Second Amendment rights
“Florida came within 1% of becoming a socialist state,”
said Glynda White, a Winter Haven 912 member, referring to Republican Gov. Ron
DeSantis’ narrow victory margin over Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.
“The gun grabbers are coming,” said Danny Krueger of Lake
Bob Grimes of Lakeland compared the gradual diminution of
gun rights to livestock being herded into a corral.
“What happens to sheep or cattle when they’re herded into
a corral? They’re headed to slaughter,” he said.
After the meeting, Braswell told The Ledger the
resolution was a symbolic affirmation of the Second Amendment because state law
prohibits local government from passing any legislation dealing with firearms.
For that reason, he doesn’t anticipate the commission acting on any gun-related legislation, Braswell said. “I don’t think we have any authority there,” he said. “This today was a symbolic proclamation.”
Ryan McMaken | January 2, 2020 – This article has been republished from the Mises Institute.
On December 29, an armed gunman entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas and shot two members of the congregation. Within six seconds, a third member of the congregation drew a weapon and shot the gunman dead.
The events were captured on live-streamed video, with the dramatic events – in the minds of many observers – highlighting the benefits of privately owned firearms as a defense against armed criminals. Moreover, the gunman, who had a criminal history, obtained his gun illegally, and demonstrated one of the central pitfalls of the gun-control narrative: namely, that those with criminal intent are not easily restrained by laws controlling access to firearms.
Nonetheless, many media outlets were unable to bring themselves to admit that privately owned firearms in this case were the key to preventing a wider massacre. After all, had the congregation waited around for the police to arrive, it is unknown how effective a police response could have been. Nor is it clear that had the police arrived quickly, they would have immediately engaged the shooter or even engaged the right person.
These considerations were not sufficient to divert many media observers from their insistence that private gun ownership is helpful in situations like these. Both government agents and their media boosters continue to insist that even well-meaning ordinary citizens ought not be trusted with firearms and that what is really needed are “experts” with government-approved police training.
Elvia Diaz at the Arizona Republic demonstrated this premise well when she wrote:
The reality of Wilson’s heroism is a lot more complex. He wasn’t just an ordinary parishioner, as gun advocates may want you to believe. The church’s volunteer security team member is a firearms instructor, gun range owner and former reserve deputy with a local sheriff’s department, according to a New York Times detailed account.
In other words, he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm. But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.
And that’s terrifying.
To many people who aren’t left-leaning journalists, it is hardly “terrifying” that some other private citizens of unknown expertise were armed in the congregation. After all, these people never fired a shot once they saw the shooter had been incapacitated. None of them provided any reason to suspect they pose any risk to anyone else.
On the other hand, 2019 has provided plenty of reminders of what sort of “expertise” and heroism government-provided security forces offer.
In the spring of 2019, the parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting sued the Broward County school board and the sheriff’s office for failing to take timely action against the school shooter who killed seventeen people at the school in February 2018. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, police officers repeatedly sought to protect themselves rather than the victims in the school. An analysis of communications among law enforcement officers at the site of the massacre confirmed there were “at least two times a Broward deputy urges another officer to protect themselves, not confront the killer.”
Meanwhile, 2019 provided reminders that police officers will shoot citizens dead in their own homes for no justifiable reason, as was the case with Atatiana Jefferson on October 12. According to multiple accounts the shooter – a now former cop named Aaron Dean – entered Jefferson’s private property unannounced in the middle of the night. He peered into Jefferson’s windows, and within seconds, the officer had shot Jefferson dead. Jefferson had been playing video games with her nephew.
Also, in October, former police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison for unlawfully shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment. At the time, Guyger was a police officer returning home from work. She illegally entered the wrong apartment and promptly shot Jean – the unit’s lawful resident – dead.
If there is anything that ought to be “terrifying” to ordinary Americans, it is not the idea that some law-abiding citizens might be carrying firearms. The far more terrifying thought is the knowledge that some police officers are so eager to murder residents in their own living rooms.
More Guns, More Crime?
These facts will no doubt fail to derail the usual media narrative that there are too many guns and that the police – the same people who shoot residents in their homes or cower behind cars when faced with real danger – will ensure public safety through weapons prohibitions and by generally “keeping us safe.”
Fortunately, the facts certainly offer little to support the idea that more legal gun ownership is a problem in terms of homicides.
According to 2019’s gun manufacturing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), total gun production and importation in the U.S. has increased significantly over the past twenty years. If we look at total guns produced in the U.S. (not counting those exported), added to total guns imported, we find that new gun production increased from around 4.5 million in 1998 to more than twelve million in 2017.1 Over that same period, homicide rates decreased from 6.3 per 100,000 to 5.3. In fact, after years of rising gun production, the U.S. homicide rate fell to a fifty-year low in 2014. This correlation doesn’t prove more guns reduce crime, of course. But this relationship strongly suggests that the benefits of increased gun ownership – namely greater self-defense capability on the part of private citizens – are greater than the potential costs.
Many states with weak gun-control laws are also among the states with the lowest homicide rates. For instance, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – all of which have few gun restrictions – report remarkably low homicide rates. Other gun-permissive states like Utah, Iowa, and South Dakota all have homicide rates comparable to Canadian provinces, although we’re told Canada only has low homicide rates because of gun restrictions. Clearly there’s more behind the reality of violent crime than is suggested by the usual “more gun control means less crime” claims.
Many anti-private gun ownership activists continue to insist that only police officers and other government personnel ought to be carrying firearms, and that the police will protect the people from violence criminals. Yet, it’s unclear why the public ought to accept this rather strained claim. In 2019, police were repeatedly shown to endanger the public while pursuing their own safety. Meanwhile, the end of the year brought another case of private gun owners stopping a murderous gunman far more effectively than police ever could have. Nor was the Texas church case the only notable example we can recall this year. It is entirely possible, of course, that cases like these are not typical or representative examples of police behavior or what happens when armed criminals attack innocents. But there’s no denying the optics this year were bad for the pro-gun-control side. Faced with the choice of owning a gun for protection or trusting in police for protection, many apparently continue to choose the former.
Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014
Polk County Commissioner John Hall wants to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary, part of a nationwide movement against proposed restrictive gun laws.
BARTOW – The Polk County Commission will consider becoming a sanctuary county for gun rights under the Second Amendment.
The commission on Tuesday instructed County Attorney Michael Craig to research the relevant law and to present his findings at a future meeting. Craig told The Ledger after the meeting he expects to complete his research and present his findings to the commission at its Jan. 3 or Jan. 17 agenda review meeting.
Commissioner John Hall requested Craig look into a sanctuary measure because he feels Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are threatened by recent efforts for tighter restrictions on gun possession and ownership. Those efforts appear to be gaining momentum recently after well publicized mass shootings in recent years.
“Every time a deranged person picks up a gun and kills people, those of us who are legal gun owners come under attack,” Hall told The Ledger after the meeting. “We should defend the rights of our citizens on all constitutional rights.”
Other commissioners agreed to have Craig research this issue with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Chairman Bill Braswell said he didn’t know whether such a sanctuary measure is necessary but agreed to have the commission look at Craig’s findings. Commissioners Martha Santiago and Rick Wilson agreed.
“I think of this as political theater,” Commissioner George Lindsey said. “This seems to be a solution looking for a problem.”
The Second Amendment sanctuary movement appears to have gained momentum as a backlash against the movement for more restrictive gun laws.
In Virginia, for example, more than 40 local governments passed such measures after control of its legislature passed from Republicans to Democrats last month, according to a Dec. 11 story in USA Today. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he would support measures such as universal background checks for gun purchases, limits on the sale of certain types of firearms and a so-called “red flag” law allowing authorities to take guns from persons posing a danger to themselves or others, as determined by a court.
The various sanctuary measures adopted so far vary widely in scope and impact, according to internet research by The Ledger.
Some measures, such as a resolution passed by the Lake County Commission on Nov. 5, go no further than declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary and its support for those rights. The Ledger obtained a copy of that resolution.
Other measures go a step further and declare county officials will not cooperate with federal or state law enforcement authorities carrying out gun restrictions they consider unconstitutional.
That’s similar to the stance taken by some local governments over cooperating with federal officials enforcing immigration laws considered too harsh or illegal. That gave rise to the term “sanctuary city” or county.
Most Second Amendment sanctuary measures fall along these lines.
But a few, including some Virginia localities, declare their right to nullify any state or federal gun laws they consider unconstitutional, according to a Dec. 11 article on the news site Slate.com.
Hall told The Ledger he favored a nullification measure if the Legislature or Congress passed a gun law he considered unconstitutional.
He would not advocate nullifying a law found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Hall said.
“The Supreme Court will be the ultimate decider of the Constitution,” he said.
Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and advocates that citizens carry concealed weapons through the state’s licensing process.”
But he said he could not support a local law that instructed him to ignore state and federal gun laws.
“State and federal laws always supersede a county ordinance,” Judd told The Ledger. “What I would do as a law enforcement officer is enforce the laws of the state of Florida and the United States of America.”
Judd said he has reviewed dozens of Second Amendment sanctuary laws across the country and agreed they fall along the three categories outlined above.
Hall distinguished between Second Amendment and immigration sanctuary measures because the latter involved people breaking the law to enter and reside in the U.S., he said.