Updated: Apr 7, 2022
In the supposed “Free State of Florida” your constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is currently usurped by Section 870.44, Florida Statutes during a declared “state of emergency.” Throughout the duration of such an emergency in an affected jurisdiction, the Statute automatically prohibits:
(1) The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(2) The intentional display, after the emergency is declared, by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(3) The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.
Recognizing that especially during states of emergency, Florida citizens may wish to arm themselves to provide for their own defense against those who might wish to capitalize on the inability of law enforcement to respond and maintain order, Republicans in the Florida Legislature have filed bills that would repeal Section 870.44, Florida Statutes. Despite their titles, which may seem ominous to Second Amendment advocates, HB 6095 & SB 1529 “Restrictions on Firearms and Ammunition During Emergencies” are actually welcome actions to 2A supporters.
Contact the members of these committees and your individual legislators to urge them to support these bills, and get legislation to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Here is some sample text for use in emailing or calling your legislators. Modify as you see fit.
REPEAL SECTION 870.44, FLORIDA STATUTES – SUPPORT HB 6095 and SB 1528
Section 870.43, Florida Statutes says a state of emergency may be declared when there is “reason to believe that there exists a clear and present danger of a riot or other general public disorder, widespread disobedience of the law, and substantial injury to persons or to property…” Such times are exactly NOT the times to limit a Floridian’s right to obtain firearms and ammunition. During such periods of lawlessness, law enforcement will be, by definition, unable to maintain law and order, and will likely be delayed in their ability to respond to crimes against citizens, their families, friends, or property. Citizens may be on their own to defend themselves, some of whom may not yet own firearms and ammunition and would not be able to obtain them.
I’m asking you to support HB 6095 and SB 1528 - Restrictions on Firearms and Ammunition During Emergencies, which would repeal Section 870.44, Florida Statutes. Get these bills through your committees, pass them in the House and Senate, and get this legislation to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of emergency.