The National Rifle Association mailed a questionnaire to Florida politicians this week targeting the state’s newest gun laws, passed in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.
The four-page survey asks if current candidates will repeal certain elements of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott just three weeks after the massacre for which it is named.
“We can never replace the 17 lives that were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and we can never erase the traumatic experience that lives on in the memories of those who survived this horrific attack,” said Senate President Joe Negron, a Republican from Stuart, about 70 miles north of Parkland. “However, we will do everything we can to address the failure of government to effectively address the numerous warning signs that should have identified the perpetrator as a danger to others.”
The NRA promptly sued the state for enacting the legislation — which criminalizes possession of bump stocks and implements age restrictions on long gun sales — insisting the bill violates constitutional rights.
“Florida’s ban is an affront to the Second Amendment, as it totally eviscerates the right of law-abiding adults between the ages of 18 and 21 to keep and bear arms,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm. “The ban is particularly offensive with respect to young women, as women between the ages of 18 and 21 are much less likely to engage in violent crime than older members of the general population who are unaffected by the ban.”
Some of the questions, excerpted by the Tampa Bay Times, in the survey include:
1. In our view, completion of this questionnaire and signing your name is giving your word. NRA and USF members as well as other constituents in your district trust you to keep your word. Do you agree that your answers are giving your word and that we expect you to keep it?
2 (c). Do you believe elected officials commit an act of malfeasance if they violate their Oath of Office and support legislation that contains provisions that they believe are unconstitutional?
3. The 2018 “Gun Control/School Safety” bill contained gun control provisions that we believe are unconstitutional. In addition to the lawsuits that have been filed against the state to overturn these provisions, pro-gun legislators have pledged to file legislation to repeal the gun control provisions.
3 (a) The new law prohibits adults between 18-21 years of age from purchasing a firearm. Adults 18 and older can vote, sign contracts, become law enforcement officers and join the military. Will you support legislation to repeal this provision of the law?
3 (b) The new law also imposes a 3-day waiting period between the purchase and the delivery of any firearm. There is no empirical evidence that waiting periods stop crime or violence. Will you support repeal of the 3-day waiting period provision of the law?
3 (c) Additionally, the law imposes a ban on the sale, transfer and possession of bump stocks, which are used to increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles AND any accessory, device or kit that can be used to increase the rate of fire of a firearm. This language, which is undefined, is so broad that it could include anything that improves the function of a firearm, including scopes, competition triggers and foregrips, to name a few such items. The law makes anyone who sells, transfers or possesses these items, which were acquired legally, a felon. Will you support repeal of the bump stock, accessory, device and kit provision of the law?
5. Licenses to carry Concealed Weapons & Firearms are issued only to persons who are 21 years of age or older. The constitutional right of self-defense does not end when a person enters the campus of a college or university. Do you believe that anti-gun school administrators should be stopped from discriminating against persons licensed by the state to lawfully carry firearms for self-defense?
Florida Democratic candidates criticized the timing of the mailer, just weeks before the second anniversary of the state’s deadliest mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Candidate questionnaire from the @NRA, sent to me a week before the two year mark of #Pulse. Hard pass, and heading to the recycle bin. @noNRAmoney #NeverAgain #sayfie #flapol pic.twitter.com/LT1tzNDb8W
— Anna For Florida (@AnnaForFlorida) June 5, 2018
NRA Chief Florida Lobbyist Marion Hammer told local media the survey is par the course for the organization, insisting voters “have a right to know” where candidates stand on gun policy.