Death of Florida’s gun evacuation bill sparks feud between NRA and sheriffs

A battle has erupted between the National Rifle Association and the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

In response to the emergency concealed carry bill being killed in the Florida legislature during this year’s session, the NRA sent a letter to members that said the FSA “declared war on the Second Amendment,” according to an Associated Press report.

The statement read, in part:

“Be perfectly clear, this was a straight up Second Amendment issue in its purest form.  And the Florida Sheriffs Association opposed your fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms at a time when you most need to be able to protect yourself and your family.”

The letter was from former NRA president Marion Hammer, who added that the “sheriffs repeatedly made it clear that the only thing they cared about was their convenience.”

The president of the FSA, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, responded: “I would tell you I suspect the majority of the Florida Sheriffs are NRA members. We’re all staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment. We are personally and professionally offended by her statements.”

Judd added that Hammer “wanted a very vague bill” that would be difficult to enforce and lead to innocent people being “inappropriately arrested,” WFSU reported.

Hammer responded in a follow up statement:

For the record, the Florida Sheriffs Association president could not have possibly known what Marion Hammer wanted or did not want. He never bothered to ask me. He never had the courtesy to talk to me. He never had the courtesy to tell me that the Florida Sheriffs Association was going to try to either gut or kill the NRA supported bills.

They sent their contract lobbyist to try to get me to sacrifice your Second Amendment rights and your right of self-defense for the convenience of law enforcement.  I refused.

On charges that the NRA was being uncooperative, she added: “When anyone says we would not ‘cooperate’ with the Florida Sheriffs Association, it is only partially true. We refused to give up or diminish your Second Amendment rights to make them happy. We don’t view that as refusing to cooperate. We view that as standing strong to protect your Second Amendment rights against those who put their convenience above the Constitution.”


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Tom Tillison


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