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League of Women Voters Florida celebrates blockage of 3 gun bills in Legislature

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The League of Women Voters of Florida celebrated blocking a trio of gun bills considered by lawmakers in the 2016 Legislative Session, including one that would have allowed concealed weapons on college campuses.

“Our joint forces succeeded in killing these bad bills this year,” said Patti Brigham, LWVF’s newly appointed 1st vice president and the founder of the group’s statewide Gun Safety Committee. “We remain determined to keep Florida’s colleges and universities gun-free zones, and our state safe from other reckless firearm proposals in the future.”

The House passed its version of the “campus carry” bill, HB 4000, early last month with an 80-37 vote, but it never gained traction in the Senate, where its companion bill, SB 300, stalled two committee stops before a floor vote.

Lawmakers also pondered granting open carry rights to Florida concealed carry permit holders and changes to the “Stand Your Ground” law that would have shifted the burden of proof to the prosecution in cases where the law was invoked as a defense.

The former passed the House alongside campus carry but stalled in the Senate, while the Stand Your Ground changes were approved by the upper chamber but voted down in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

LWVF acknowledged fellow bill opponents Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, Association of Florida Colleges, United Faculty of Florida, Moms Rising, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, State Voices, Organize Now, Everytown for Gun Safety in an email sent out Friday, though it warned the National Rifle Association wouldn’t sulk away in defeat.

“We must be forever alert of the NRA,” LWVF President Pamela Goodman said. “Laws will be passed. The League’s dedicated work is for legislation that ensures the safety of our citizens, not the will of one lobby group.”

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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