County Commission Recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 Years of Service

The Board of Polk County Commissioners Recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 Years of Service

November 17th established as NRA Day in Polk County, Florida

Tuesday, September 7th, the Board of Polk County Commissioners, issued a proclamation recognizing the National Rifle Association for its 150 years of dedication to promoting firearms safety education.  The proclamation establishes November 17, 2021 NRA Day in Polk County.

The proclamation recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 years of protecting Second Amendment freedom, teaching marksmanship and gun safety, and passing self-defense laws across the nation.

Since its founding on November 17, 1871, by two Union Civil War officers, the National Rifle Association has served firearm owners across the nation through training and other initiatives aimed at promoting firearm safety, the shooting sports and hunter education.

The proclamation was initiated by In-Gauge of Polk County, of Winter Haven, Florida, a non-profit organization chartered by the National Rifle Association.   The stated mission of In-Gauge of Polk County is to preserve and promote the shooting sports through firearms training and safety education.

In-Gauge has been carrying out its mission in Polk County since 2015 and has been celebrating the NRA’s 150th anniversary by conducting free firearm safety training classes, giving away free NRA memberships and free commemorative, 1 ounce silver, collector’s coins to class participants.

In 2017, In-Gauge of Polk County became a proud sponsor of the Polk Senior Games when it petitioned Polk Senior Games, Inc. to include a pistol competition as an event.  Although the Polk Senior Games conducted rifle, trap and skeet and archery competitions, it did not have a pistol competition.  In 2017, for the first time in its 25-year history, the Polk Senior Games conducted a pistol competition sponsored by In-Gauge of Polk County.  The pistol competition continues to be a regular event in the Polk Senior Games annual program.

In-Gauge will be conducting other public events commemorating the NRA’s 150th anniversary through the month of November.

Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of suspected Capitol rioters

Florida Ag. Commissioner Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of 22 suspected Capitol rioters

Florida- FOX 13 News : 07-27-2021

https://www.fox13news.com/news/florida-ag-commissioner-nikki-fried-suspends-concealed-weapons-permits-of-22-suspected-capitol-rioters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hours after the first hearing investigating the US Capitol riot ended, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she was suspending the concealed weapons permits of 22 Floridians involved in the insurrection.

“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” Fried said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing administers the state’s concealed weapon licensing program.

Fried, Florida’s only Democrat elected statewide, said Tuesday the suspensions were effective immediately for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection who is charged with a felony or certain other offenses.

“Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists,” Fried said.

Fried’s office said it has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgment is rendered, if their sentence disqualifies the person from carrying a concealed weapon, the state will then revoke their license.

Fried said more suspensions could come in the future. Public disclosure by her agency of individual concealed weapons permits is prohibited by law.

The move comes as a select U.S. House committee began hearings into the Capitol riot with testimony from police officers who confronted and battled the mob that was supporting then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.

Fried is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, along with former governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and others. The winner would face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 election.

More than 500 people have been arrested since the U.S. Capitol was violently breached six months ago. Fifty-five of those arrested were from Florida and approximately a dozen called the Bay Area home.

The U.S. Capitol Police say the majority of threats come from California and Florida and that’s why it is opening two field offices – one in Tampa and one in San Francisco

CONCEALED WEAPONS IN CHURCHES – Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons In Religious Institutions Into Law

Today, June 30, 2021 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that allows persons holding a valid Florida concealed carry weapons license the right to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon on property owned by a religious institution that shares property with an licensed educational facility.

HB 259 was signed into law by Governor DeSantis today, June 30, 221. The bill takes effect immediately. 


Updated 06/30/2021 – 2:08 PM

DeSantis signs ‘Church Carry’ bill, legalizing guns at places of worship

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law will let concealed carry permit holders to have their guns with them at churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions, as well as property owned, leased, or rented by them.

HB 259, called a “Church Carry” bill by some, took effect immediately upon becoming law.

Going forward, if you’ve got a concealed carry permit and own a gun, you can now take it with you to church. The bill allowing the carry restriction at religious institutions was short, just over a page long.

The new law says that it does not limit the private property rights of churches, synagogues, or other religious institutions to exercise control over their property regarding firearms. The institutions will still be allowed to control whether or not firearms are allowed on their property.

While HB 259 expands Second Amendment rights for gun owners of faith, even supporters say the bill “doesn’t go far enough.”

Pro-gun organization Florida Gun Rights says the law doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t make Constitutional Carry the law of the land, though the new legislation is “a step in the right direction.”

Constitutional Carry is the right to legally carry a handgun, openly or concealed, regardless of permit or license. 21 states have Constitutional Carry currently, Florida is not one of them, according to Florida Gun Rights.

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In-Gauge of Polk County’s Church Guardian Training Program click on this link to learn more.

Florida Concealed Weapon Licenses Expired June 26th

Your Florida Concealed Weapon License May Have Expired Saturday As Executive Order Ended

June 26, 2021

Your concealed weapon license in Florida may have expired Saturday

http://www.northescambia.com/2021/06/your-florida-concealed-weapon-license-may-expire-today-as-executive-order-ends

During the pandemic, an emergency order extended the expiration of certain licenses until June 26, 2021. This included concealed carry, along with Class G and Class D security licenses.

“Any license that expired during the order period will no longer be considered valid after June 26, 2021,” said Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford. “You can not legally carry a concealed weapon with an expired license.”

Concealed weapon licenses can be renewed at the Escambia County Tax Collector Molino or Warrington location. Book an appointment by clicking or tapping here.

For questions about eligibility or specific questions about individual records, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).

Florida: Federal Judge Upholds Ban on Transferring Firearms to Young Adults

A federal judge upheld a Florida law that prevents law-abiding citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 from purchasing a firearm.

FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2021

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20210625/federal-judge-begrudgingly-upholds-florida-ban-on-transferring-firearms-to-young-adults

Yesterday (June 24, 2021), a federal district court judge in the United States District Court Northern District of Florida upheld a Florida law that prevents law-abiding citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 from purchasing a firearm.

The judge explained that “for better or worse,” he was bound by the Eleventh Circuit’s Second Amendment precedent and had to rule the way that he did. But in doing so, he expressed dismay at the unfortunate balance that this decision will create. Under the existing Florida law, 18-20-year-olds can legally acquire a firearm with the assistance of parents or other relatives. This creates a situation where individuals who do not have family members to assist them are unable to exercise their Second Amendment rights at all. The judge highlighted this disparity by asking, “why should the 20-year-old single mother living on her own be unable to obtain a firearm for self-defense when a 20-year-old living with their parents can easily obtain one?”

The judge also questioned the “Second Amendment framework that finds certain persons or activities either protected or entirely unprotected,” and stated that “this Court sees no reason why the Second Amendment, unlike other fundamental rights, should be an all or nothing affair.” Additionally, the judge stated that if the court “were writing on a ‘blankish’ slate … it would subject the Act to a more searching inquiry.”

While this decision is a setback, NRA-ILA remains dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens everywhere. NRA-ILA will examine this decision in the days to come and will decide the best method in which to pursue that goal.

The case is called NRA v. Swearingen.

CONCEALED FIREARMS DURING PANDEMIC

In 2020, the agency seized 10.2 guns per million passengers screened, twice the five firearms per million travelers screened in 2019. It was the highest gun seizure rate since the TSA’s inception 19 years ago.

Jun 14, 2021 : Suzanne Rowan Kelleher – Forbes Staff -Travel

Walt Disney World Resort has seen a spike of visitors carrying concealed firearms over the past year, the Orlando Sentinel reports, a remarkable trend considering that the world’s largest theme park resort was closed for four months during the pandemic and then in operation at reduced capacity.

At least 20 people were arrested on gun charges in 2020, compared with only four arrests in 2016, according to sheriff’s reports obtained by the Orlando Sentinel through a public records request.

And 2021 is off to a record-breaking start. Deputies arrested at least 14 Disney visitors for carrying concealed firearms in the first three and a half months of the year, through mid-April. If that pace continues, there could be four dozen arrests of this kind this year.

Disney World did not respond to a request for comment.

“Firearms, ammunitions, knives and weapons of any kind” are banned at Disney World, according to its park policy. At the entrance to each theme park, security officials search each visitor’s bags.

Last July, just three days after the Epcot theme park reopened, a Georgia woman was arrested after park security at the Epcot entrance found a 9mm handgun and a plastic bag of marijuana in her child’s diaper bag, as reported by NBC Miami and other outlets. When Orange County deputies responded, they also found a .45 caliber handgun on the bottom of the diaper bag. The woman was arrested on misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.

While not all incidents result in arrest, Disney will separate gun-toting guests from their firearms if they are discovered on Disney property. Last September, a Florida man staying with his family at Disney’s Polynesian Resort packed an AR-15 in a tennis bag and also brought a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun with him, three rifle magazines with 30 rounds each and two Sig Sauer magazines with 10 rounds each, per a report by CBS-affiliated 10 Tampa Bay News. The man claimed he had concerns about recent protests in the area. The Orange County Sheriff’s office did not arrest him because he reportedly had a valid concealed weapons permit in Florida, however the hotel stored the man’s guns for the remainder of his stay. Guests are prohibited from bringing firearms, ammunition or any weapons to its properties, per Disney policy.

During the pandemic, nearly three-quarters of the arrests occurred at Disney Springs, the dining, shopping and entertainment district that is free to enter without a ticket. Until last year, Disney Springs guests did not go through security or bag checks.

Local law enforcement has discretion whether to make an arrest if someone is caught with a concealed weapon and no permit, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Records revealed several instances where the Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to make an arrest in such circumstances, including an incident where a man who was stopped at the entrance of Hollywood Studios park had no permit for a concealed gun that was gifted to him by his brother, a police officer. In that case, law enforcement took the gun but allowed the man to enter the park with his family.

“Generally speaking, if someone has a valid concealed carry license, they would be afforded the opportunity to put the firearm into safe storage,” a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said via email. “If someone does not have a valid concealed carry permit, they are illegally carrying a firearm and could either be arrested, or the report can be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office to review, and they can determine whether criminal charges are levied.”

The spike in concealed weapon arrests at Disney World is part of a larger picture in the United States where in both gun sales and gun carrying rose dramatically during the pandemic.

Guns sales in the U.S. surged last year, driven by a variety of factors that include fears about the Covid-19 pandemic, political unrest, and the 2020 election. Nearly 23 million firearms were sold in the United States in 2020, estimates the consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF). It was the busiest year on record for the gun industry, with sales up 65% over 2019. In the first five months of 2021, Americans purchased nearly 9.2 million firearms, compared with the 8.7 million purchased during the same period in 2020, according to SAAF.

And last year, despite a dramatic decline in the number of air passengers flying during the pandemic, the rate at which the TSA discovered guns during routine screenings doubled. In 2020, the agency seized 10.2 guns per million passengers screened, twice the five firearms per million travelers screened in 2019. It was the highest gun seizure rate since the TSA’s inception 19 years ago.

Florida Second District Court of Appeals: Judges have limited power in seizing guns

“We conclude, based on the allegations in the petition, that the trial court erred . . . “

Florida appeals court warns trial judges their power to seize guns is limited

Trial judges need specific information about physical threats before ordering firearms seized, according to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

Lee Williams – June 5, 2021

It took a team of 15 lawmen and court bailiffs an entire day to remove all the firearms and ammunition from Alecs Dean’s Southwest Florida home last year.

They filled an entire box truck.

Dean, a firearms expert and consultant, had amassed an incredible collection.

Most of the firearms seized weren’t even firearms, legally.

“They were antiques,” said Dean’s Attorney, Eric Friday, who is also general counsel for Florida Carry, Inc.

Dean’s ammunition collection was as extensive — consisting of thousands of rare and exotic rounds, including many pinfire cartridges, which Dean had painstakingly sorted with a magnifying glass over the years.

“They all got dumped in a box,” Friday said. “They took ammunition components that weren’t even covered by the order. They sure didn’t have the authority to seize them.”

To be clear, the court ordered Dean to surrender his weapons. It did not authorize the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to seize anything.

“They seized them on their own,” Friday said. “They just went in and grabbed them without a court order or a search warrant.”

Dean told the deputies he had a third party on the way to take possession of his collection, and he even offered to hand over the keys to his home and stay elsewhere until things could be worked out. The lawmen didn’t relent.

“We did everything we could to try to prevent this catastrophe,” Friday said.

Dean had been the subject of a temporary court order for protection against stalking, which was brought by Jaclyn Bevis, a local TV reporter in Ft. Myers, Florida.

The temporary court order prohibited Dean from possessing any firearms or ammunition, which he was ordered to surrender to law enforcement.

After the seizure, Dean immediately filed a motion seeking the immediate release of his property, arguing that the court did not have the authority to order him to surrender his firearms and ammunition based solely on a temporary injunction for stalking. The trial court denied his motion, which Dean appealed to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

In an opinion released Friday, the appellate court agreed with Dean.

“We conclude, based on the allegations in the petition, that the trial court erred in relying on section 784.0485(5)(a), Florida Statutes (2019), and thus we reverse the temporary injunction to the extent that it prohibited Dean from possessing firearms or ammunition and ordered their surrender,” the three-judge panel said in their opinion.

Backstory

In her March 30, 2020 sworn petition for the temporary protection order against stalking, Bevis alleged that Dean would provide her with news tips when she worked as a local TV reporter. Over time, she claimed, he “became obsessed with her,” and that when he learned she was seeing someone else, he “lost connection with reality.”

“While his threats of me have not typically been physical in nature, he did once tell me he was ‘looking to kill off another character in his autobiography,’” she wrote in her petition.

Dean’s attorney, Friday, pointed out that this statement was from an online meme, which has been shared with tens of thousands of people.

Bevis wrote she feared for her safety “on the basis of his statements, his mental state, and his access to firearms.”

The court found for Bevis, and ordered Dean to surrender his weapons.

In his appeal, Dean argued that “his right to keep and bear arms as provided for in the Florida Constitution was violated when the trial court entered the temporary injunction, which ordered that he ‘shall not use or possess a firearm or ammunition’ and that he ‘shall surrender all firearms and ammunition’ that he possessed.”

In their opinion, the appellate court noted that Bevis “did not allege any expressed threat of physical violence against her, and she did not allege any expressed or implied threat of the use of a firearm or any other weapon against her.”

The three-judge panel affirmed Bevis’ temporary injunction, but they concluded that the order to surrender his firearms “infringed upon Dean’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms as provided for in the Florida Constitution.”

“Therefore, we reverse the temporary injunction to the extent that it prohibited Dean from possessing firearms and ammunition and ordered their surrender,” the opinion states. “We otherwise affirm the temporary injunction.”

What this means

Friday pointed out that Dean’s ability to obtain fair and impartial hearings was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. At one hearing, Friday was told he could not appear telephonically, and Dean was subsequently told he would have to appear pro-se.

Dean’s firearms and ammunition are now in the hands of a third party, but since the trial court issued a final injunction, Dean cannot have access to his collection for an entire year, or until he can quash the final order at an upcoming hearing, which was delayed due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the appellate court’s opinion has statewide impact, which Dean’s attorney believes is a strong message to lower courts.

Said Friday: “The Florida 2DCA said trial judges need to be more careful. They do not have blanket authority to take guns from people solely because they issue a temporary injunction. Their power is limited. Their power to deprive someone of their constitutional rights is limited. Judges need more information about specific threats — and there were none in this case — before ordering firearms removed from someone’s home.”  

2nd Amendment Sanctuary States – Missouri Joins the Growing List

First there was illegal alien sanctuary cities. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

The Left first established illegal alien sanctuary cities. From that, it was learned we could establish 2nd Amendment sanctuary states. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Missouri – Missouri passes Second Amendment Preservation Act
  • WisconsinAssembly passes ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ bill
  • TennesseeGovernor’s signature makes Tennessee a Second Amendment sanctuary

Proclaimed 2nd Amendment Sanctuary States To Date:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Where does Florida stand?

42 out of 67 counties, 3 cities, and 1 town have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary (or other pro-Second Amendment) resolutions.

In 2013, all 67 sheriffs in Florida had signed a letter saying that they will not enforce laws that violate the Constitution or infringe on the rights of the people to own firearms


Amended June 14, 2021, 3:20 PM: Op-Ed: Constitution Killers, Part 6 – Constitutional Cities, Counties, and Sheriffs

Florida 6-year-old shot by gun “owned” by 15-year-old

Florida 6-year-old grazed by bullet after 4-year-old relative fires gun

June 09, 2021 : By JAMI GANZ -NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Who are we to judge? However, by all appearances the author does not want to hold the 15-year-old accountable. The article should have more correctly stated: “The firearm was illegally in the possession of a 15-year-old family friend.” In the state of Florida, a 15-year-old cannot legally own or be in possession of a firearm.

A Florida child was grazed by a bullet after a 4-year-old relative fired a gun at the kids’ home, according to authorities.

Tampa Police said the bullet grazed the leg of the 6-year-old, who did not sustain serious injuries but was hospitalized, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Authorities said the firearm was hidden under a sofa at the residence and “appears” to belong to a 15-year-old family friend, according to the outlet.

Andrew Warren, State Attorney for Hillsborough County, in which Tampa is located, took to Twitter to weigh in on the incident.

“My anger-fueled tirade on gun safety & the gun violence epidemic does not lend itself to 280 characters. So I’ll just say thank God he’s alive,” tweeted Warren.

Police said that no one else was injured in the shooting, according to the paper.

Whether any adults were home when the shooting unfolded was not detailed in a media release referred to by the outlet.

At least 369 unintended shootings by children occurred in the U.S. last year, leading to 142 deaths and 242 injuries, according to statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The site and AAP recommend that while guns should not be kept in homes with children, if firearms are present, they should be stored in a safe or lock box.

Boynton Beach, Florida gun buyback program collects 127 firearms

Police say the buyback was a huge success.

Boynton Beach gun buyback program

By: Jon Shainman – 2021-06-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A gun buyback program was held Saturday in Boynton Beach.

It required the combined efforts of the police, the community, and the church.

With the 4th of July approaching, Minister Dominic Murray knows what that means.

“You’re going to hear fireworks, you’re going to hear gunshots,” he said.

The police presence Saturday at the Boynton Beach Church of God House of Kingdom Worship was not there to mark a crime scene, but to partner up in a crime-fighting effort.

For the first time, Boynton Beach police held a gun buyback program.

“Everywhere there are guns. I have nothing against guns. It’s just people and what they use the guns for,” said Rev. Chiquita Jones.

Functional firearms could be returned with no questions asked.

$100 gift cards were offered in exchange for handguns, and $200 gift cards were offered for shotguns.

As for the church location, that was done for a reason.

“A church is where everybody is to come together and feel safe here,” said Minister Murray.

Church leaders say it’s an effort to continue to build bridges between law enforcement and the community.

“We’re here for them. We’re not against police officers. I’ve got law enforcement in my family,” said Pastor Kenneth Jones.

Police say the buyback was a huge success.

127 firearms were collected and $18,000 in gift cards were distributed.

“I want the community to be peaceful. We come together as one,” Rev. Jones said.


Boynton Beach police to offer gun buyback event for first time in department history