Florida Democrats are ramping up their calls for a special session to discuss gun control, submitting enough letters to the Secretary of State’s Office to trigger a poll of members.
A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State said the department received 46 letters requesting a special session. State law requires 20 percent of members to request a special session to trigger a poll of members.
According to letters sent to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Democrats are asking for a special session to address a loophole that allows known or suspected terrorists to purchase and own firearms in the state.
Sen. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat, sent his letter June 21 requesting the special session. In the letter, Soto said he was specifically asking the state to “pass emergency legislation banning those who are or have been on the FBI’s ‘Watch List’ and/or ‘No-Fly List from such purchases.”
“The murder of 49 people and the mass shooting of more than 100 people in Orlando during the early morning of June 12 revealed the vulnerabilities in our current system that must be addressed immediately,” he said in his letter. “The identified shooter in the Orlando attack was twice investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for suspicious activity and ties to international terrorism. Omar Mateen was able to legally purchase firearms in the days before his murderous act and no authorities were notified.”
The letters prompt a poll of the entire membership. Convening a special session requires three-fifths of the members in each chamber to vote in favor of a special session. A spokeswoman for the Department of State said members would have until noon on July 5 to respond to the poll.
In Jacksonville, Gov. Rick Scott did not voice support for a special session when asked by FloridaPolitics.com, saying the “49 people slaughtered” was not a Second Amendment issue, but instead was caused by “ISIS, radical Islam, and evil.”