A Florida referendum to ban common shotguns and rifles labeling them as ‘assault weapons’ failed by a wide margin on the 2020 ballot. While 147,304 signatures may seem like a lot of names that was just over 19 percent of the number needed to ratify the referendum.
Dean Weingarten of Ammoland reports:
To make it on the November ballot, organizers had to gather 766,200 verified signatures by today. The organizers fell well short with just 147,304, according to the Secretary of State.
The proponents of the measure and the mainstream media touted it as a “ban on assault weapons” supported by a “swelling grass roots” movement in the Sunshine State. If passed, the referendum would have banned virtually all semi-automatic rifles and most semi-automatic shotguns.
Weingarten, in an earlier Ammoland article raised legitimate suspicions that those sponsoring the Florida Ban on Semiautomatic Rifles and Shotguns Initiative ever expected it to appear on the ballot as an “initiated constitutional amendment on November 8, 2022.” In other words, he believes they knew it had no chance of ever being on the ballot.
Had the measure gotten another half-million votes it would have to be approved by 60% of the voters to become an amendment of the Florida Constitution.
So why spend all that time, effort, and money on pushing a measure everyone knew had no chance of making it on the ballot? Understanding this offers some light into the end game of gun-control zealots. Consider these imponderables:
• As written, State Attorney General Ashley Moody told the Miami Herald the measure was “misleading to the point of being fraudulent.” She said, “It is so far-reaching and misleading, it would also include guns like the gun my grandfather gave my father and his brother when they were 9 and 10, 60 years ago.”
• The Florida Supreme Court would have to approve the measure had it gained enough signatures, and then AG Moody would have to persuade the court to accept a measure she has already gone on record as labeling bogus.
• If the Florida Supreme Court approved the measure, it “would immediately be challenged as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States.”
In 14 months, the Florida Ban on Semiautomatic Rifles and Shotguns Initiative could only muster less than 20 percent of the signatures needed to pass. Finding the remaining 80 percent needed in just the ten months remaining before the November ballot is less than likely.
Add to that signatures on a Florida referendum are only good for two years before the whole thing has to start over again and you can see, this was never intended to create anything, except media buzz.
The group promoting the failed measure is Ban Assault Weapons Now. It’s petition read, “BAWN is leading the grassroots movement to put an amendment on Florida’s 2020 ballot to constitutionally ban the sale of assault weapons.”
BAWN’s website has a “Donate” features that links through Act Blue which Weingarten calls “a Democrat/ progressive suckerfunding site.” Its advertised address is 6619 S Dixie Hwy #148, Miami, FL 33143, a box in a UPS Store in Miami.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a little investigation found the names of Michael Bloomberg and David Hogg.
So much for grass roots.