Richard Corcoran: ‘Grave concern’ about gun-related CRC measure
Richard Corcoran is questioning the issue of prayer before school sporting events.

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran is telling the Constitution Revision Commission that a pending gun proposal is “inappropriate for inclusion in the state Constitution.”

The speaker sent a one-page letter to commissioners Wednesday.

He pointed to “an ‘assault’ weapons ban, a ban on specific magazines, and an extended waiting period,” saying he had “grave concern.”

An amendment, filed by CRC member Chris Smith, to Proposal 3 (P3) would prohibit “sale or transfer of assault weapons,” among other things. Smith, a former Senate Democratic Leader, is an appointee of Republican Senate President Joe Negron.

The underlying proposal, by Commissioner and former South Florida U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez, would “remove a provision authorizing laws that regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition, and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship.”

“As you know, the Legislature recently made changes to aspects of firearm policy, including the age to purchase firearms, and the regulation of a device known as a “bump stock,’ ” wrote Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican and likely candidate for governor.

The Legislature recently passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed a school safety, mental health and guns measure after the February shooting at Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Gun-related policies “are matters that are best left to the purview of an elected legislature in a constitutional republic,” Corcoran said.

“The Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. All firearm policies flow from that fundamental right and should remain policy matters for the Legislature,” he added. “I would respectfully request that the CRC reject calls to codify firearm policy in the state Constitution.”

Smith and CRC chairman Carlos Beruff were unavailable for comment as the commission was meeting Wednesday morning.

The letter, in trying to exercise influence over a proposal, is an unusual move for an elected leader who has appointees on the panel.

Negron, a Stuart Republican, has said he favors proposals that would raise the retirement age for judges and help with K-12 education “flexibility.”

But though he added he had “general conversations” with his appointees on his “guiding principles,” Negron said he trusts their “good judgment.”

Corcoran’s letter follows a recent call to action by the National Rifle Association with an email from former NRA President Marion Hammer asking supporters to contact Commissioners and “tell them to OPPOSE gun control amendments!”

Updated at noon — State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat, responded to the letter in a statement, saying Florida NRA lobbyist “Marion Hammer has Richard Corcoran running scared.”

“Speaker Corcoran just opened the door for future legislatures to fully reverse even the weakest gun safety provisions signed into law after Parkland. His ‘grave concern’ over making any gun control permanent, exposes what we already knew. Florida Republicans are not committed to addressing gun violence over the long term and are eager to continue implementing the NRA’s extreme agenda once the attention has shifted elsewhere. Just like Adam Putnam, Richard Corcoran is nothing more than an NRA sellout.”

 

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


3 comments

  • Nancy Argenziano

    March 21, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Someone needs to ask Corcoran if he used one of those guns when he was charged and ticketed for killing birds while he was on the big sugar junket years ago in South Florida. Maybe he has affection for those guns while killing endangered birds too. It’s all on record. The man is scared by the NRA and a 4 ft tall lobbyist.

    • Kelvin

      March 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Nancy
      Go fix me a sandwich and leave important matters to those who know best.

  • Steve Hough

    March 21, 2018 at 10:01 am

    “The letter, in trying to exercise influence over a proposal, is an unusual move for an elected leader who has appointees on the panel.”

Comments are closed.


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