Category Archives: Florida

More on Florida Case: DeRossett was Justified in Shooting Deputy

More on Florida Case: DeRossett was Justified in Shooting Deputy
U.S.A. –-( A few days ago, on 15 April, 2020, the Florida 5th District Court of Appeals dismissed charges against retired General Motors worker John DeRossett, who wounded a deputy in a gunfight at his home in 2015. It was at night. The officer at the door was in plain clothes at the time, had no warrant, and was developing a case of solicitation for prostitution on DeRossett’s niece, Mary Ellis. The other two officers were in plain clothes and hid in the dark outside the house.  The officers attempted to take Mary Ellis into custody, at DeRossett’s home.  The officers never identified themselves to DeRossett.
Everyone in the case admits going to the home of an alleged prostitute to make an arrest, after they fail to show up at the motel, where a controlled environment was set up, was highly unusual. From
Brevard County agents set up a prostitution sting on Aug. 20, 2015, arranging to meet DeRossett’s niece, Mary Ellis, at a motel where a controlled environment had been set up to conduct an arrest.
When she didn’t show, the three deputies in plain clothes went to her Covina Street home in Port St. John, where Agent Peter Stead grabbed Ellis from the doorway while John “Casey” Smith and Jason Roberts hid in the darkened yard.
During their testimony at the immunity hearing, the deputies said it was unusual to go to a suspect’s home for a sting operation when a controlled environment had already been established.
When she was grabbed, Ellis began screaming for help from her uncle, who was in a back room eating at the time, according to court records.
I wrote about the case in a previous AmmoLand article. Research has unearthed more about the case. I wish to clarify some of the legal and practical issues.
DeRossett knew his niece, Mary Ellis, had engaged in acts of prostitution in his home. He knew she had drug problems. That is why his sister had urged him to provide a place for his niece to stay. DeRossett had no criminal record. He worked as a security guard to supplement his retirement income. He had a concealed carry permit.
After DeRossett was in jail, two Brevard County deputies were dismissed because they were clients of Mary Ellis. Their names were found during the investigation of the case. From, September, 2015:
TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Two Brevard County deputies are off the job after participating in prostitution, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m absolutely disgusted by the actions of these two individuals,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said at a news conference Sunday.
The two now former deputies were clients of Mary Derossett, 42, whose uncle shot Deputy John “Casey” Smith last month in a Port St. John neighborhood, according to Sheriff Ivey.
Sheriff Ivy let slip his bias in the case:
While the findings are a tough pill to swallow for the sheriff, there’s something much more important to him.
“The most important thing for me is that the individual who shot Casey never sets foot on soil unless he’s got bars in front of him,” said Sheriff Ivey.
Sheriff Ivy wanted DeRossett in prison. It does not appear to matter to him whether the shooting was justified or not.
In 2015, Sheriff Ivy was up for re-election in a few months. He was re-elected in 2016, without opposition. He is popular in Brevard County.
This mudracking piece by shows potential bias on the part of Judge Lemonidis:
Prior to Lemonidis being elected to the bench (2014) – she was Michael Dunn’s defense attorney. On November 23, 2012, Michael Dunn shot and killed 17 year old Jordan Davis at a Jacksonville, Florida gas station for allegedly playing his car radio too loud. Dunn would allege that Davis and / or his teenage friends threatened him with a shot gun – this shot gun was never recovered by the police.
According to a November 28, 2012 Huffingtonpost article – Lemonidis attempted to justify her client’s eight gun shots, as being fired merely to scare off Davis and his teenaged companions.
The obvious question is – if Dunn can fire eight shots to scare off the teens – with Lemonidis still holding that her client qualifies for the SYG defense – then how as a judge, can Lemonidis ruled that Mr. Derossett waived his ability to claim an SYG defense – merely due to the fact that he fired ONE warning shot in the air?
Attorneys are hired guns in the legal profession. They are hired to do their best for their client. Just because Lemonidis argued for her client in the Dunn case does not mean she believed the argument in principle.
Volusiaexposed brings up interesting speculation as to why the authorities in Brevard County might want to keep John DeRossett locked up. It is hard to believe he would *not* be allowed out on bail, for five years, when he was a homeowner, a retired autoworker, had no criminal history and was willing to put up a $450,000 bond (from relatives). I have not seen any reason to believe he was a flight risk or a danger to the community.  From Volusiaexposed:
Rumor has it that Mary’s client list may reveal some other interesting clients’ names. Making us wonder why they (BCSO) really invaded the Derossett home in the first place – was it simply to arrest Mary, or was it to recover her list of clients?
There are good reasons to believe DeRossett did not know the men accosting his niece were police officers. The deputies were not in uniform.  The area was dark. His statements, immediately after the shooting, in the hospital, and afterward, were all consistent with the belief unknown men were attempting to kidnap his niece.
It is the responsibility of the police to reasonably make known they are acting officially. It is not the responsibility of citizens to assume anyone claiming to be a police officer *is* a police officer.
If the homeowner does not know a police officer is acting officially, they may legitimately defend themselves against that officer, just as they have the right to defend against any other person. What constitutes reasonable notice that an officer is acting officially, is up to judges and juries.
Prosecutors have accumulated enormous power over the last 50 years. The Supreme Court granted prosecutors absolute immunity for their actions. This has lead to prosecutors abusing their power. A person may be completely innocent, yet suffer enormous punishment, without ever being convicted of a crime.
This is known as punishment by process, or in common police parlance, “you may beat the rap, but you won’t beat the ride”.
Part of the reason the Stand Your Ground law was passed in Florida, was to curb prosecutor abuse of people who legitimately defended themselves, but were punished by the process.
One of those people was Gabriel Mobley in Florida.
Judges were given authority to determine if the case had any merit before the case was brought to trial, to curb punishment by process.  Legislators required a judge to review the evidence, to see if there was a reasonable chance of conviction. If the evidence did not meet the standard of proof of “clear and convincing evidence” to a judge,  it would be unlikely a jury would find the higher standard of proof of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. From
Supporters says the legislation, HB 245, which passed on a 23-15 vote, puts the burden of proof where it belongs: on the government.
“If you have been charged with a crime, the burden of proof is on the state,” said state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. “We are not shifting the burden of proof, we are putting it where it belongs.”
John DeRossett is a free man today. He was not convicted and sentenced to life in prison for shooting a police officer.
He beat the rap. He did not beat the ride. He spent almost five years of his life in jail, because he shot a police officer in legitimate self-defense. If the person attempting to grab his niece had been a pimp, he would have been hailed as a hero.
DeRossett had no reasonable reason to believe the person who grabbed his niece or the three men who shot at him were police officers.
Why was he held without bail for nearly five years?
One of those primarily responsible for this travesty of justice is former Assistant State Attorney Gary Beatty. He wrote an opinion piece about the case. It was published on 22 April, 2020. He admits the appeals court followed the law correctly when they dismissed the case. From
.. the Judges aren’t to blame for the outcome. They were bound by the statute the Legislature enacted.
Yet Beatty was the prosecutor who petitioned Judge Lemonides to keep DeRossett in jail without bond:
After DeRossett’s arrest, when he was in court for his first appearance, the judge granted my request that he be held without bond.
But why? DeRossett does not appear to have been a flight risk. He had been granted bond on 14 December, 2015, in the amount of $450,000, when the judge granted the request of prosecutor Gary Beatty to hold him without bond. Beatty says he requested DeRossett be held without bond at the first appearance, which would have been at the end of 2015 or early in 2016. It probably was before 24 February, 2016, because video footage in court on that day shows DeRossett in custody.
It would be interesting to find a transcript of the hearing to determine what reason was given for withholding bond. If anyone is able to locate it, please let us know. Beatty, in his opinion piece, does not give a reason for his request to have DeRossett held without bond.
The Florida First District Court of Appeal sums up what was shown by the evidence to the trial court for the immunity hearing. This is not my interpretation of the events, but the summation of what happened, by the Florida First District Court of Appeal, based on the voluminous evidence presented over five days to the trial court.  From the First District Court of Appeal order, 7 November, 2019.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE— Petitioner, John Derossett, a sixty-five-year-old retired General Motors autoworker, owned a home in Brevard County, Florida. Derossett’s adult niece, Mary Ellis, lived with him in this home. Derossett had no criminal record, worked part-time as a security guard at Port Canaveral, and lawfully possessed a concealed weapons permit. He had also apparently taken a firearms training course.
On August 20, 2015, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Ellis answered a knock on the front door. As she opened the door, a man reached inside the threshold of the house, grabbed her arm, and began pulling Ellis out of the home and onto the covered front porch. Ellis struggled to resist her apparent abduction and screamed to her uncle (Derossett) that she needed help. At this point, two other men approached to physically assist the first man in pulling Ellis off the porch of the home and into the front yard.
Derossett, having heard his niece’s screams for help, hurried from his bedroom to the front porch. He was armed. One of the three men saw Derossett rapidly advancing to the front door with his firearm and announced to the other two men that a man with a gun was approaching. The three men abruptly released Ellis, pushing her towards the front door, and scattered on the front lawn. Derossett immediately came out of his front door and stood under “the canopy part of the porch.”
At this point, Derossett raised his gun, called out to the men, and fired a warning shot up in the air. The three men, now at diverse points on Derossett’s front yard, and likewise armed, immediately shot their respective firearms at him. Derossett fired back. In total, more than forty rounds were exchanged. Despite being fairly close to each other, because it was dark at the time, none of the four men engaged in this incident had a clear view of the others. Derossett and his niece were both struck by gunfire, as was one of the three men in Derossett’s front yard, who was severely wounded in the abdomen.
(As an aside, all four of the people shooting in the gunfight were shooting .40 caliber Glock pistols.  WESH News archive 24 February, 2016. The deputy who was severely wounded was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, which stopped one the bullets.)
The court of appeal found Judge Lemonidis erred when she ruled that DeRossett was not justified in firing the warning shot; the court of appeal found Judge Lemonidis made several errors of fact, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. First District Court of Appeal order:
 For the following reasons, we conclude that certain factual findings made by the court in its order were not supported by competent substantial evidence and that its legal conclusions were erroneous.
First, the court’s findings that the deputies had neither entered the home nor removed Ellis from the home were not supported by any evidence. The testimony from Ellis and the deputies at the hearing conclusively showed that the first deputy reached into the home and pulled Ellis out and that the deputies thereafter physically engaged with the now-screaming and agitated Ellis on the covered front porch to eventually remove her to the front lawn within seconds of Derossett coming onto his porch with a firearm. No evidence was presented at the hearing that either refutes this sequence of events or suggests otherwise. Therefore, under section 776.013(5)(a) and (b), and directly contrary to the trial court’s factual findings, these actions of the deputies did constitute an entry into Derossett’s dwelling and a removal of Ellis from it.
Second, these unsupported factual findings led the trial court to its legal conclusion that Derossett was not entitled to the statutory presumption under section 776.013(1) of having a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to his niece at the time he fired the warning shot. The trial court essentially determined that the imminent threat of Ellis being abducted or kidnapped had dissipated because Ellis and the deputies testified that the deputies had released her and pushed her towards the front door just prior to scattering onto the front yard. Thus, the court found that Derossett’s firing of his warning shot at that precise moment after the deputies had scattered was “completely unprovoked” and, therefore, “unjustified.”
We conclude that the court’s apparent interpretation of subsections 776.013(1)(a) and (b) does not comport with the statute’s plain language. The statute directs a court to presume that a person held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself, herself, or another when using deadly force against a person if, among other things, that person had just removed another from the dwelling and the person using the deadly force knew that the abduction had occurred. Here, the three men clearly had just removed Derossett’s niece against her will from his dwelling. Derossett, as the person using the defensive deadly force, knew that this apparently unlawful and forcible act (his niece’s abduction) had just occurred. Thus, under these circumstances, Derossett was statutorily entitled to the presumption of having held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to his niece at the time that he used the defensive deadly force.12 The trial court’s conclusion that Derossett was not entitled to this presumption was incorrect.
The undisputed, rapid events that happened and were happening at Derossett’s home that night did not occur in a vacuum. There was no other evidence presented at this hearing other than that the forcible taking of Ellis from the home had just occurred, and that Derossett knew, or at the very least had reason to know, that it had just occurred. Accordingly, we hold that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by competent substantial evidence and its legal conclusion was inconsistent with the plain language of the statute. However, for reasons more fully discussed below, we presently withhold the issuance of a writ of prohibition and relinquish jurisdiction to the trial court with directions that the court specifically address at a subsequent hearing whether either of the two exceptions under section 776.013(2)(c) or (d), Florida Statutes (2015), apply to preclude Derossett from being entitled to immunity from prosecution under section 776.032(1) for his otherwise justified use of deadly force.13
The account shows DeRossett was well within his rights to defend himself and his niece when he fired the warning shot and got into the gun battle. The only issue was if the exceptions to Florida Stand Your Ground law applied. The evidence was presented in an immunity hearing before the trial, in front of Judge Lemonidis.
Judge Lemonidis was also in error when she found DeRossett had failed to state a prima facie claim of immunity. From the Court of Appeal:
The trial court also separately found that Derossett failed to state a prima facie claim of immunity. This was erroneous for two reasons. First, after Derossett had presented his evidence for self-defense immunity at the hearing, the trial court in fact found that he had made a prima facie claim for immunity. The State then put on evidence at the hearing to rebut the claim. If Derossett had failed to present a sufficient basis for immunity, the trial court arguably would have denied his motion without the need to receive and consider evidence from the State.
A pertinent question is: Why did Judge Lemonidis make these factual and legal errors? Could it be she was biased against John DeRossett, because the person he shot was a police officer?
The Court of Appeals found the State failed to present clear and convincing evidence, to prove DeRossett knew or should have known, the men who had grabbed his niece were police officers. The case was sent back to the trial court. The trial court now looked at the other potential exception: whether DeRossett was furthering criminal activity because he knew his niece had conducted acts of prostitution in his house.
Judge Lemonidis ruled against DeRossett again, finding his knowledge of illegal acts constituted furthering criminal activity. During this period, DeRossett is still being held in jail without bond. DeRossett appealed this finding to the same Court of Appeal.
DeRossett was released on bond, on 20 March, 2020. On 15 April, 2020, the Court of Appeal again found Judge Lemonidis at the Trial court had erred.
The Court of Appeal then dismissed the charges against John DeRossett, and he was freed.
This is not a case of mere legal technicalities. This case was about the basic right to defend yourself, and whether defending yourself against police will bring harsh penalties, even if the police are in the wrong, and you are within your rights.
The repeated errors of the Trial court, in favor of the prosecution and the police, and against John DeRossett, show a remarkable pattern.
If you are out walking, and find steel tracks laid on wooden ties; you see an engine with a motor running on the tracks; you see the engine hauling cars on wheels on the tracks; you very likely are seeing a railroad.
Prosecutors and judges have great power. They are people. People are fallible. It is often difficult for people to set aside their biases. Justice is supposed to be blind. Prosecutors and judges are to set aside their biases, but they sometimes fail.
From a previous Ammoland article:
In Washington State, if a prosecutor’s office charges an individual, and the individual is found not guilty in a self defense case, the state pays the legal fees of the accused, under RCW 9A.110.
The full text of RCW 9A.16.110 (2) provides:When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense.

In 2015, the Florida legislature considered whether the State should be liable for legal fees if the defender was found to be immune. That bill did not pass. The Florida legislature should reexamine the issue. They should follow the example of Washington state. The requirement for reimbursement of legal fees, when a defendant is found not guilty in a self-defense case, has worked very well, in Washington state, to rein in prosecutors who have absolute immunity from the Supreme Court.  Such a bill in Florida should include those times the case is dismissed in an immunity hearing.
John DeRossett spent nearly five years in jail, because bond had been denied, even though it had previously been granted. Let us see those transcripts from the hearing which are supposed to justify that ruling. Given the numerous factual and legal errors the trial court made, it may make interesting reading.
It appears Florida residents need more protections from overzealous prosecutors, not less.

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About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
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Florida Alert! Future of the US Supreme Court Targeted by Anti-gun Dems

With core liberal issues on the Supreme Court docket, anti-gunners are desperate to find ways to help Joe Biden become the next U.S. President.
U.S.A. -( The potential retirement of two U.S. Supreme Court Justices has liberal Democrats on edge. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 87 years old and Justice Stephen Breyer is 81.
With core liberal issues on the Supreme Court docket, anti-gunners are desperate to find ways to help Joe Biden become the next U.S. President so he can chose the next Supreme Court replacements. Even CBS is reporting it.
Gun owners need to recognize the importance of who chooses the next U.S. Supreme Court Justices. This should be particularly important to new gun owners who came face-to-face, during this COVID-19 pandemic, with the reality that gun control is not what they had been told.
Democrats push Joe Biden to release Supreme Court shortlist and run on future court battles
CBS News
April 21, 2020 | 2:32 pm
The docket of the Supreme Court this year is packed with core liberal issues: abortion access, federal protection for LGBT workers, and gun rights. But given the court’s 5-4 conservative majority, liberals are nervous about how those cases will be decided — and how future issues will be resolved if the balance shifts further after 2021. At the same time, they’re also viewing this as a prime opportunity to press Joe Biden to make his case for the White House by running on the judiciary.
In doing so, Biden might galvanize his moderate base and bring along reluctant progressives. It’s the same approach used by conservative groups for decades.
“We are about 40 or 50 years behind the conservatives on realizing that a lot of excitement actually happens at the courts,” Indivisible Project’s director of democracy policy Meagan Hatcher-Mays told CBS News. She cited the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Wisconsin’s primary, which effectively forced voters to brave the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a clear example of how the high court’s decisions can directly impact lives… READ MORE HERE….

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:
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Florida Alert! Dozens of Gun Control Bills Died In Florida This Session

The NRA Headquarters building
U.S.A. -( It was another very tough Legislative Session in Florida this year. Anti-gun Democrats were emboldened by Michael Bloomberg’s money. His money had been strategically placed to help pass another major gun control bill.
Democrats filed so many gun ban, gun control, ammo and magazine ban bills this year that one had to wonder if they were filing the worst bills they could think of in order to attract some of Bloomberg’s money for themselves.
Thanks to strong Second Amendment supporting legislators, who are true Republicans, and are committed to protecting constitutional rights, none of those bad bills passed.
We look forward to real Republican leadership in the Florida Senate next Session.
Below is a list of some of the worst bills that we worked to keep from passing this past session. In all, we dealt with a list of over 125 bills that could have spelled trouble for gun and hunting rights. It is worth noting that the Florida House leadership and Governor Ron DeSantis were standing tall to protect Second Amendment rights the whole Session.
HB-117 CW License/ Requires Psychiatric/Mental Health Exam – by Rep. AI Jacquet (D) Requires a mental health evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist & a letter attesting that the applicant is of sound mind and competent to carry a firearm for CW License Applicants . DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-245 Firearms Prohibited – by Rep. Cindy Polo (D) Prohibits concealed weapon or firearm license holder from openly carrying handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into any
child care facility. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-289 Background Check to Purchase Ammo – by Rep. Dan Daley (D) Requires background checks for sale or transfer of ammunition. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-451 Universal Background Checks – by Rep. Margaret Good (D) Requires a background check on all persons involved with the sale or transfer of any and all firearms. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-627 Ban of Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines – by Rep. Carlos G. Smith (D) Bans sale, transfer and possession of a long list of so-called “assault weapons” and bans sale, transfer and possession of any magazine that holds or is capable of holding more than 10 rounds. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-885 Gun Control by Local Governments – by Rep. Cindy Polo (D) to specifically allow local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition and impose gun control. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-809 Fingerprint Database of CW License Holders – by Rep. Javier Fernandez (D) Creates a Permanent Fingerprint Database of CW License Holders; Decreases the number of years that CW Licenses are valid. Requires PROOF of NEW training at every license renewal. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-923 Mandatory Storage of Firearms – by Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil (D) Mandating specific storage requirements for firearms by licensed importers, manufacturers, & dealers. DIED IN COMMITTEE
HB-6009 Repeal of Firearms Preemption – by Rep. Dan Daley (D) Repeals the firearms preemption law to specifically allow cities and counties to regulate firearms and ammunition and impose gun control. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-94 Universal Background Checks by Sen. Lauren Book (D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-134 Repeal of Firearms Preemption / Sen. Annette Taddeo (D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-266 Mandatory Firearms Storage by Sen. Gary Farmer (D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-270 Universal Background Checks by Sen. Gary Farmer (D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-310 Ban of Three-dimensional (3-D) Printed Firearms – by Sen.
Linda Stewart (D) Prohibits a person from printing, transferring, importing into this state, distributing, selling, possessing, or giving to another person certain 3D-printed firearms; requires persons in possession of a 3-D firearms to turn them in to a law enforcement agency or to FDLE or to destroy them before a deadline. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-398 Firearms Prohibited by Sen. Lori Berman (D) (Identical to HB-245) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-428 Prohibited Places for Firearms by Sen. Oscar Braynon II (D) Prohibits CW license holders from carrying a firearms into any performing arts center or legitimate theater. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-460 Background Checks on Ammo by Sen. Lauren Book (D) Requires a background check on the sale or transfer of ammunition. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-548 Excessive Data Collection on Firearms Purchasers by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D) Requires the Department of Law Enforcement to create a standard form to collect additional data on firearms purchasers. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-558 Ban of “Large-capacity” Magazines by Sen. Randolph Bracy (D) Defining the term “large-capacity magazine” as more than 10 rounds. Prohibits the sale, transfer, or possession of large-capacity magazines. DIED IN COMMITTEE
S8-586 Private Sales of Firearms by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D) Prohibits private sale or transfer of firearms EXCEPT sales or transfers between two CW License holders. Requires such a seller or transferor to retain a copy of the buyer’s or transferee’s concealed weapons or firearms license and the serial number of the firearm sold, etc. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-634 Prohibiting the Lawful Ownership, Possession, and Use of Firearms – by Sen. Bobby Powell (D) Prohibiting a person from owning, possessing, and lawfully using firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for hunting, fishing, or camping within 1,500 feet of the real property which comprises any school, any house of worship, any government building, or any guarded beach. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-794 Bans Large-capacity Magazines by Sen. Linda Stewart (D) Prohibits POSSESSION or the importing, distributing, transporting, transferring, selling, or giving of large-capacity magazines (1more than 10) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-1208 Ban of Assault Weapons and Large-capacity Magazines by Sen. Gary Farmer, Jr. (D) Bans the sale, transfer, possession of any assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine . DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-1248 Mandatory Firearms Storage by Sen. Vic Torres, Jr .(D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-1300 Assault Weapons Ban by Sen. Linda Stewart (D) Bans sale, transfer, possession of semi-automatic firearms. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-1566 Fingerprint Database of CW License Holders by Sen. Oscar Braynon (D) DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-1622 Confiscation of Firearms and Ammunition by Sen.Lauren Book (D). Authorizes Law Enforcement and the Courts to confiscate firearms and ammunition under certain circumstances. DIED IN COMMITTEE
SB-7028 by Sen. Bill Galvano (R) Massive Gun Control Regulations. DIED IN COMMITTEE

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:
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Failed Florida Semi-Auto Ban Petition Still Helped Divert Gun Owner Attention

Who wants to break it to them that the red slash is supposed to go in front of the gun? (Ban Assault Weapons Now – Facebook/Requested Attribution: Lorie Shaull)
U.S.A. – -( “Florida semi-auto ban fails in 2020 with 19% of needed signatures,” AmmoLand correspondent Dean Weingarten informed readers Tuesday. “While touted in the legacy media and in proponents’ advertising as a ‘ban on assault weapons,’ the measure bans possession of virtually all semi-automatic rifles, many semi-automatic shotguns, but no handguns or pistols.”
Weingarten does a great job of showing us how the petition was based on ignorance and fraud, so there’s no reason to restate his work here. Instead, I’d like to ask a question repeated in the classic Western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:
“Who are those guys?”
After all, if they are trying to infringe on our rights, shouldn’t we at least know who is attacking us, and importantly, who is either feeding them or pulling their strings?
“BAWN is leading the grassroots movement to put an amendment on Florida’s 2020 ballot to constitutionally ban the sale of assault weapons,” the group calling itself Ban Assault Weapons Now claimed on its petition page. First, there is no provision to do that “constitutionally,” and second, we still don’t know who the man behind the curtain is and what his special interests may be.
Oh, sure, we see it’s “leadership” consists of dropping names like oath-breaking political opportunist Ted Deutch and a dead Bloomberg mayor on the “steering committee,”  that its committee members include David Hogg and various “survivors,” their kin and the like, and that other groups like Brady Campaign and Marx…uh…March for Our Lives are presented as “partners,” but that still doesn’t tell us who’s really running the show (with one exception, Gail Schwartz, who I’ll get to in a bit).
Why not?
Checking their URL on the “Who Is” registry is no help—they used a proxy out of Toronto.
So now what?
Their website lists a “Donate” feature, but that goes through Act Blue, a Democrat/ progressive” suckerfunding site, so we’re still no closer to getting names of any significant principals. Not very “transparent,” these gun-grabbers, are they? Still, we do find a clue, the same meatspace address that appears at the bottom of the BAWN site:
6619 S Dixie Hwy #148, Miami, FL 33143
It turns out that’s a box in a UPS Store in Miami and you can reach both BAWN “Chair” Gail Schwartz (who I mentioned earlier) and one Gloria Maggiolo. You can see that for yourself by doing an “entity name” search at the State of Florida’s Division of Corporations website.
Ms. Maggiolo evidently plays both sides of the street regardless of what they believe, because in addition to BAWN and Mary Barzee Flores, “a gun control advocate and critic of the National Rifle Association [who] will oversee consumer services for the department, including the concealed weapons permitting and licensing program,” the Tampa Bay Business Journal identifies her as “campaign treasurer” for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, called “the most anti-gun Commissioner of Agriculture in over 40 years — maybe ever!” by former NRA President Marion Hammer.
I said “both sides” of the street” because another entity listed at Maggiolo’s SunBiz link is Javi for Congress, LLC, which the Federal Election Commission tells us:
“This committee is a Principal Campaign Committee. Candidate: Javier Manjarres Party: Republican Party.”
Manjarres, per Florida political analysis site FLAPOL, lost in a three-way primary where contestants were vying for the seat of the aforementioned Ted Deutch (small world, eh?). Per the “Issues” page on his discontinued campaign website (but copied at the time on my The War on Guns blog), he had pledged:
“The right to self-defense is protected by the 2nd Amendment. I will protect this most fundamental right by standing against those who are trying to undermine it. We can all come to the table and agree on enforcing sensible and existing laws that will keep us safe, but these laws can not undermine or erode the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
First of all, there are no “sensible and existing” Intolerable Acts, and what a load of crap his contention that infringements keep us safe. Still, his statement makes it fair to wonder how incestuous politics are, where fundamental principles don’t even enter into who you do business with (kind of like with NRA and its Obama and Hillary donor lawyer).
Anyway, we’ve taken some side tours, but aside from these “fun facts” and peculiar relationships, we haven’t really followed the money to a place that those seeding and feeding BAWN are. I suspect it’s because the “group” looks to be mostly there to make noise rather than get things done.
I say that based on its Facebook page with under 6,000 “followers” and its Twitter feed with under 200, and that’s despite all the free press the effort received. Ditto for Ms. Schwartz. Had a big national group funded this to any real extent, its footprint would be much larger, and one gets the feeling BAWN is more like a puff adder, venomous but nonetheless self-inflated to appear larger and more threatening than it is. That tells me that those with big money did not feel the timing was right – yet – to invest significant resources, but still found it convenient to support the petition enough to create a bluff against which gun owners would need to spend time that could be put to better use against more probable perils.
This points to a need for organized “gun rights” groups to perform and then publicize threat analyses subject to updates as conditions change. I can’t begin to tell you how many breathless fundraising alerts I receive wherein some rice bowl groups hysterically warn against this bill or that, only to check on sites like GovTrack to find the measure we were being all stirred up over had a “3% chance of passage” prognosis, like this one from, again, Ted Deutch.
Sure, we need to be aware of everything that approaches, and sure, it helps to show where the enemy would like to go if he could, but as a general practice, we also need to have our state and national leaders give us the real lowdown to help us direct where our attention and limited resources would best be placed. And then we ought to do a bit of checking ourselves.

About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.
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Political Violence – Republican Party Headquarters Shot Up in Florida

Republican Party Headquarters Shot Up in FloridaSouth Daytona, Florida –-( least 4 bullets were fired through the windows of the Volusia County Republican headquarters late Sunday night or early Monday morning.At the time of the shooting, no one was in the building. Workers arrived Monday morning to find the windows shot out of the South Daytona building. The shooting happened on the same day that gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis was scheduled to visit the location.“I’m angry. I’m mad — I mean Ron DeSantis is coming here today. I don’t know if they are trying to send a message to Ron, but I’ve notified the campaign that we’ve had this incident here,” Tony Ledbetter, Volusia County Republican Chair told WFTV, the local ABC affiliate.South Daytona Police are investigating the incident that left shattered glass on the sidewalk of the Nova Fountain strip mall according to Police Captain Mark Cheatham. Police will step up patrols around the area to prevent a repeat of the shooting incident.There is a tightly contested race for the Governors seat in Florida between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. The incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott is in his second term and cannot run again due to term limitations in Florida. Ron DeSantis is running to Be Florida’s next Governor IMG By Fox NewsPolitical violence is on the rise across the country. In 2017 James Hodgkinson, who was a radical leftist, shot up a Congressional softball practice. The shooting ended in the wounding Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. Earlier this year the Republican Party office in Laramie, Wyoming was set on fire.Republican workers believe that this attack was politically motivated. The shooter did not shoot up any neighboring businesses. Both Democrats and Republicans have condemned the attack.“Glad everyone at the Volusia County Republican headquarters is okay and that no one was inside when the shooting happened. Violence of any kind does not belong in our state and I appreciate law enforcement’s quick response to keep these Floridians safe,” Governor Rick Scott said in a Tweet.Democratic State Representative Patrick Henry emailed out a statement that read:“After one of the deadliest and most violent weeks in America, I’m disheartened and angry to learn that shots were fired at a Republican Party office in my district.”The Florida Democratic Party did not share Henry’s sentiment. They seemed to deflect any idea that it was a Democrat that lashed out at the Republican’s headquarters.“Our reaction is it’s appalling,” Jewel Dickson, the Volusia Democratic Party chair said of the shooting. “It’s a sign of things going wrong. I would not be quick to blame a Democrat for doing that. It could be anybody angry.”Police are checking security camera from surrounding business to see if they can find any identifiable information about the shooter or shooters. Police are also asking for any witnesses to come forward with any knowledge of who did the shooting.Police could charge the perpetrators of the shooting of a hate crime. Committing a crime in Florida against someone for political reasons is considered a hate crime under the law .Police do not have any suspects at this time but are asking anyone with information to come forward.About John CrumpJohn is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at post Political Violence – Republican Party Headquarters Shot Up in Florida appeared first on

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