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Who needs Democrats? Florida Bloomberg Republicans pass gun control out of legislative committee

Who needs Democrats? Florida Bloomberg Republicans pass gun control out of legislative committee

In case you thought Democrat control of Congress was the only thing standing in the way of conservative governance, take a look at what Republicans do even when they control all three branches in the state of Florida. Support for the Second Amendment and the understanding that criminal control, not gun control, is the key to public safety used to be universal Republican principles, dating back to the Reagan era. Evidently, not any more, with the likes of Florida state Senator Bill Galvano.

Rather than target known criminals with tougher anti-crime laws, Florida Senate’s Infrastructure and Security Committee unanimously passed SB 7028, a bill that will require private gun sales to include massive documentation, verification, and red tape. This casts a wide net on a protected constitutional right; already-burdened gun collectors and enthusiasts are going to have to spend even more money buying and selling guns.

The mastermind of the bill is Senate President Bill Galvano, the lead Republican in the state Senate. Galvano proudly accepted $500,000 from Mike Bloomberg’s anti-Second Amendment political action committee to promote gun control on his behalf in the Sunshine State.

The bill, now headed to the judiciary committee, also contains a provision requiring private gun owners to secure guns in their own homes against children under 18, raising that age from 16 under current law.

There are so many more effective public safety priorities that Galvano could focus on. If we are so concerned about gun owners who’ve never shown any proclivity for violence, shouldn’t we be much more concerned about actual known criminals and criminal illegal aliens?

Galvano’s handpicked chairman of the judiciary committee, Tom Lee, is opposing Governor Ron DeSantis’ bill to require mandatory use of E-Verify, which would ensure that federal law barring illegal aliens from working in the U.S. is finally enforced. Galvano himself has spoken out against it. As I reported last month, Ulises Mondragon Umanzor, an illegal alien who should never have been working in Florida, was charged with killing an American motorist while driving a forklift and running a stop sign. Had E-Verify been in place, James Zakos, a 70-year-old Floridian, would still be alive because this repeat offender would never have been able to get a construction job. When you allow criminals, including foreign criminals, to remain on the streets, they don’t need guns to kill. Forklifts are more than capable of murder.

The more effective approach to gun violence is actually keeping known gun felons and violent criminals behind bars, not casting a wide net on the constitutional rights of innocent people. Yet, much like Democrats in Virginia, these very same state Senate committees are promoting the exact opposite agenda. Buying into the very radical agenda of New York and Virginia Democrats, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously for a series of bills designed to let out career felons. Although not quite as radical as the Virginia proposal, the bills would release even violent gun felons with massive rap sheets after serving 10 years in prison once they reach 70 years old.

The committee also passed numerous other bills designed to reduce the prison population, not to reduce crime or deal with the under-sentencing and under-conviction problem of violent criminals. There is no effort to put more money into building prisons and expediting the criminal conviction process so that authorities are not faced with this false choice of releasing criminals. Perversely, the gun control bill that just passed allocates $4.8 million in recurring funds and $1 million in nonrecurring general revenue funds for “a statewide strategy for targeted violence prevention.” How about a strategy to lock up bad guys?

There’s an even deeper irony to the Florida Senate GOP’s liberal dichotomy of acting tough on guns and weak on the violent criminals most likely to harm people with them. All these gun control measures that have passed and have been considered in Tallahassee over the past two years are in reaction to the Parkland shooting at the Stoneman Douglas high school. Yet that horrific atrocity, at its core, was not about guns; it was about the so-called criminal justice reform agenda, designed to ensure that we do everything possible to avoid jail time for violent criminals, especially juveniles.

As I’ve reported before, the “PROMISE” program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) was designed to ensure that violent juveniles aren’t kicked out of schools, much less punished with prison time.

At the center of the incompetence was Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who bragged about keeping violent juveniles out of jail. Yet, when Ron DeSantis had him removed, Sen. Tom Lee was the only Republican to vote to have him reinstated.

So, let’s tally up the score: Let out violent criminals, reinstate sheriffs who turn a blind eye to real threats, and then infringe on constitutionally protected rights of those who want to protect themselves against government malfeasance on crime. Wasn’t that supposed to be the platform of the Democrat Party?

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Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz

Blaze Podcast Host

Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.
@RMConservative →