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Mike Hill files bill to repeal Florida’s ‘red flag’ law

‘Red flag laws infringe on our Constitution. They are a clear violation,’ Hill said.

As much of the country including President Donald Trump reacts to the El Paso and Dayton massacres by considering something like Florida’s “red flag” laws, Republican state Rep. Mike Hill has filed a bill to repeal the provisions intended to take away guns from individuals whom a judge has determined to be dangerous.

Hill on Friday filed House Bill 6003 that would repeal the red flag provisions and also other gun law changes Florida made in the wake of the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They include the prohibition of mentally ill people to buy guns, the ban on bump-fire stock devices, the three-day waiting period for gun purchases, and the increase in minimum age to 21 for the purchase of rifles.

He filed a similar bill, House Bill 175, last year, though it went no where and was withdrawn.

Hill, a Republican from Pensacola, hopes to gut gun provisions included by the Republican-led Florida Legislature when it approved the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act [SB 7026].

That landmark bill and its provisions were decried by many Democrats as not going far enough to address gun violence in Florida, especially following the assault weapon powered massacres at Pulse in Orlando in 2016 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018. Still, the measure was hailed as the furthest the Florida Legislature and any Republican Governor, Gov. Rick Scott in this case, had gone in a generation to restrict guns.

Hill, who was first elected in 2018 after that bill was approved, said he supported the rest of the bill but thought the gun provisions went too far, were unconstitutional, and unwise.

 “Anything that infringed upon ownership of guns, that’s what I wanted to  repeal,” Hill said.

Key among them were the red flag provisions, which allow law enforcement to go to court to ask a judge to temporarily seize firearms from someone deemed by the court as showing clear intentions of violence, and also to prevent people found to be mentally ill from purchasing firearms.

Now, after the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, something like Florida’s red flag provisions are being considered coast to coast, and being pushed in Congress. Trump has expressed some support. Meanwhile, Florida Democratic Sen. Lori Berman and Rep. Richard Stark are again backing legislation, Senate Bill 114, to expand the red flag laws. Their proposal would allow family members of potentially dangerous individuals to petition a court to restrict that person’s access to weapons.

Hill said the timing of his bill’s filing is entirely coincidental to the mass shootings last weekend in El Paso and Dayton and the responses this week from various Republicans, including Trump, endorsing the red flag laws. He said he sent the bill to drafting weeks ago, before the latest atrocities, and it just emerged.

“In terms of President Trump wanting to look at, perhaps strengthening the red flag laws, which, if you call them what they are, they’re gun confiscation laws. I support President Trump 100 percent. I’ll have to say I hope he gets some further advice on this and not try to strengthen the red flag laws, because I believe they’re unconstitutional,” Hill said. “It goes against our Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the 14th Amendment.

“The red flag laws infringe on our Constitution. They are a clear violation,” he said.

Hill also expressed another concern. He noted the high number of military veterans coming back from war with some form of post traumatic stress disorder. Representing a district [House District 1] with large numbers of active duty military and veterans, Hill said he is concerned, and has spoken with some veterans who have expressed, that they might be unwilling to seek mental health treatment because they are afraid someone could pursue red flag laws and confiscate their guns, or prevent them from being able to buy guns.

The other gun provisions in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act he seeks to repeal also violate the U.S. Constitution, Hill insisted, though he also has other beefs with each of them. He said the bump stock provision is too vague, and could get gun owners in trouble for gun modifications that really are not bump stocks. The three-day waiting period, he said, would not stop any mass shootings. The age requirement, he said, means  young people can be old enough to go to war but not old enough to buy a rifle in Florida.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. SIMON VENESS

    August 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    You have to wonder what timewarp world Rep. Hill is living in. This is the 21st century, with huge concerns over the continued mass-shootings of innocent Americans. Floridians have had their say, and demanded sensible gun restrictions by an overwhelming majority. The legislation has acted. Why does Hill think he can drag us back to the 19th century, unless it’s just because he’s trying to improve his B+ rating with the NRA to an A? Not enough money in your campaign coffers, Representative? Disgusting.

    • gary

      August 9, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      open carry works for me

  2. Rebecca Jamin

    August 9, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    This guy is delusional. ‘Red Flag’ law is NEEDED! I work at a large VA and there are MANY Veterans who should NOT be allowed to own or have free access to firearms! I DON’T believe that EVERYONE who has had treatment for mental health issues should be denied a legal firearm. I DO believe that those who have documented cases of intensive mental health treatment, such as hospitalization in a MH unit/facility, or domestic violence history SHOULD be denied. Why is it so important that these people have guns? How many more people have to die? These lawmakers want ANYONE to have access to a gun. That’s just stupid.

  3. Rebecca Jamin

    August 9, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    OMG! This is the SAME guy who said that gay people should be executed! o wonder he wants all the crazies to have guns!

    • gary

      August 11, 2019 at 1:57 am

      The only thing that stops a crazy with a gun? A good guy with a gun dummy!

  4. Pedro

    August 10, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Only in a state that underfunds public education can we get legislators like this.

    • gary

      August 11, 2019 at 1:59 am

      Underfunds education? More like education under delivers for the price moron!

  5. Seber Newsome III

    August 10, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I support Mike Hill 100%. He is a veteran like myself. You do realize Florida has the third highest number of veterans in the country. This is a time of high emotion and when people act on emotion, bad things happen. If a neighbor does not like a neighbor, they can petition a judge to take away their guns. Lets use common sense and this is what Mike Hill is doing. Lets all calm down and take a deep breath, this is what Mike Hill is doing and it is right.

    • Jo

      August 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

      I agree with you. And Mike Hill

    • Mike Manion

      August 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Im’s also A Veteran and you must have A problem – And he is a Real Problem and needs to be Thrown out of Politics!

  6. blake harper

    August 10, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Communist countries threw people into internment camps because they were ‘psychologically unfit’, needed ‘reorientation’ . . . ERPO’s take the law of out of the legal system and give it to psychologists. Think psychologists don’t have an agenda, can’t be manipulated, don’t succumb to emotionalism?

    This one-sided press are getting people killed and creating civil unrest in this country. They long ago abdicated their obligation and responsibility to be fair and objective.

    On the gun crime issue, they fail to report:
    1) The overwhelming statistics of the number of guns, gun-owners and the overwhelming lawfulness of gun owners.
    2) That a Federal Bureau of Prisons survey of 255,000+ inmates published in January 2019 (this year) shows that 90% of people in jail on gun-related offenses obtained them illegally and that 9% had purchased their guns with a background check.
    3) The many thousands of gun-involved crimes that were stopped and lives saved as a consequence of concealed weapons permit holders intervening.
    4) The magnitude of gun-crimes within a specific demographic and within specific cities that have extensive gun control laws, all of which are Democrat-controlled.
    5) The low rate of gun-related violence in cities and states where the 2nd Amendment is honored and gun-ownership is unfettered.

    Florida Politics is just such a biased media outlet . . . . I challenge them to publish my fact-based response.

    • Timothy

      August 11, 2019 at 1:51 am

      amen

  7. P K Perrone

    August 10, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    What a tone deaf politician! Congratulations Florida. You only elect the least qualified! Mike Hill is an embarrassment to the state.

  8. Arleen

    August 10, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Fewer guns and fewer users can make a small difference… giving or allowing guns in the hands of certain people leads to more death! I think the second amendment needs to be amended!

    • gary

      August 11, 2019 at 1:55 am

      @Arleen

      Then you live in the wrong country! The Majority of American will NEVER give up their guns! I think we have proven that over and over! Perhaps now it is time for the anti gun people to consider moving to a gun free country! No hard feelings really! I will help you pack!

  9. Clarence Edwards

    August 11, 2019 at 12:45 am

    This bill will go nowhere.

    • gary

      August 11, 2019 at 1:56 am

      Said no patriot EVER!

  10. SIMON VENESS

    August 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

    It’s amazing how tone deaf some of these comments are. Mike Hill is actively trying to subvert a DEMOCRATIC process whereby Floridians have demanded sensible restrictions on gun buying, and the legislation has enacted (a few) basic laws. They could certainly do a lot more. But Hill’s NRA paymasters demand that there are NO laws on gun buying; everyone should have one, no matter their state of mind, age or predilection for violence. That’s the very definition of insane. But Hill’s campaign coffers are probably running dry, so he needs a boost, and he has his hand out to the NRA with this proposal. Well, the majority won’t stand for it. They demanded these changes, as they are doing all over America, and change will come. No-one needs assault weapons on our streets, and anyone who argues that we do is flying in the face of common-sense. And the will of the vast majority. Anyone who argues that the majority are unpatriotic just isn’t paying attention. There have been 253 mass shootings in the USA this year. 253. And the majority now demand that it stop.

  11. NoMoreRepublicans!

    August 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Apparently, the Republican party is a collection of jerks wherein each and every one of them is constantly striving to be Jerk #1.

  12. best shop for cvv

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  13. Robin Michael Hutcheson

    August 18, 2019 at 12:17 am

    You all have to understand that these Red Flag Laws are rife with the potential and likelihood of abuse. First, it inverts due process and assumes one is guilty until they prove their innocence. It violates the forth amendment prohibition by allowing the confiscation of private property.It clearly violates the 14th amendment. Who do we trust to make these subjective judgments? The government? This is not about public safety; it is about power and control. And remember that shooting in Broward had multiple opportunities to be prevented but were thwarted by inaction by their sheriff and federal agencies identifying a prohibited possessor. This law takes us down a road where we are freely surrendering our rights and we will never get them back.

  14. SIMON VENESS

    August 18, 2019 at 9:12 am

    They are also rife with the opportunity to save lives. It really is that simple: https://coloradosun.com/2019/08/08/wesley-gilreath-accusations-mosques-synogauges/

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