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October 26, 2022

Florida Gov. #GUNVOTE Debate Quick Shot

By Larry Keane

National gun control groups are flailing. They can’t understand why voters won’t give up their rights. The groups continue insisting Florida voters want stricter gun control but repeating it ad nauseum won’t make it reality. They’re even targeting Florida voters based solely on race. It’s disgusting. The Second Amendment is for all law-abiding Americans.

Florida voters themselves are telling a different story. They care about crime, holding criminals accountable and their right to protect themselves. Those themes were apparent once again as the state’s candidates for governor faced off in their only debate. NSSF’s #GUNVOTE® is reminding all voters Election Day is Nov. 8.

More Bans

Former Republican governor turned failed Independent candidate for U.S. Senate, turned failed Democratic candidate for governor and now former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) resigned to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Rep. Crist’s gun control record earned him the endorsement of billionaire and failed gun control presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. That record includes support for instituting an illegal national gun registry to impose universal background checks on all firearm transfers – including private ones – and supporting a ban on America’s most popular-selling semiautomatic centerfire rifle, the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), or so-called “assault weapons” as they are labeled by gun control groups and President Joe Biden.

Rep. Crist’s congressional voting record backs this. He voted Yea on H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, as one of his last votes before resigning. Numerous polls show not only that gun control doesn’t rank among the top issues voters care about leading up to Election Day, but also that support for banning “commonly-owned” and “commonly-used” MSRs is at an all-time low. NSSF data shows there are more than 24.4 million MSRs in circulation today, more than there are Ford F-150 pickups on the road.

During the debate, former Rep. Crist reiterated his support for an MSR ban. “I think it’s really important that we have common sense applied to all these issues,” the former governor said. “He won’t even effectuate a ban on assault weapons to keep our kids safe in school? That’s wrong. I think it’s right. We ought to do it.”

Expanding Floridians’ Rights

Gov. DeSantis’s approach to protecting Floridians’ rights to lawfully possess firearms stands in stark contrast to Rep. Crist. While Rep. Crist was caught and called out for his lies – the current governor wants to do more for law-abiding Floridians. For starters, the governor called out Rep. Crist’s support for soft-on-crime policies and defunding the police.

“He used to be tough on crime, six political parties ago. That’s why all these police groups are endorsing me,” said Gov. DeSantis. “People are moving to Florida because it’s a much safer state than California and New York.”

Gov. DeSantis also wants to expand gun rights. He’s stated he wants to sign into law permitless carry, or Constitutional Carry, in Florida before he leaves the Governor’s Mansion. Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp carried through on that same promise last year and Gov. DeSantis is looking to do the same should he win another term.

As for his Second Amendment record during his first term, his support is undeniable. In 2020, the governor rebuffed an effort to pass expanded background checks on firearms to include private transfers. This is known as “universal background checks” by gun control groups and it’s unworkable without a national firearm ownership registry, which is prohibited by law.

In 2022, Florida state Democratic legislators urged him to call for a special legislative session so they could pass more gun control, including limits on magazine capacity and “red flag” laws that deny Due Process rights to the accused. Again Gov. DeSantis blocked them.

“With all due respect to these leftists, they just want to come after your Second Amendment rights. Let’s just be honest, that’s what they want to do,” the governor told media.

In less than two weeks, Florida voters will make their choice for Florida’s next governor. NSSF urges all voters in the Sunshine State to #GUNVOTE® so they don’t risk their rights.

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Tags: Gov. Ron DeSantis. Rep. Charlie Crist gunvote

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