October 20, 2022
#GUNVOTE Quick Shot: Florida Senate Debate
Florida voters got a preview of what’s at stake in the U.S. Senate race for The Sunshine State on Nov. 8. #GUNVOTE® issues will have an significant impact on voter’s minds and national gun control groups are spending big to sway voters on the issue, albeit using flawed calculations and disgusting race politics.
Law-abiding Floridians have purchased firearms in a big way since 2020. More than 3,889,000, according to NSSF-adjusted FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications. Firearm retailer data over the same time also suggests 40 percent of those buyers – or more than 1.5 million – lawfuly purchased a gun for the first time, including large percentages of women, African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
This week, those voters had a chance to watch U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) face off in a debate where Second Amendment issues were prominently featured.
Rep. Demings’ Gun Control Guarantees
During a fiery exchange about gun control, Rep. Demings attempted to pull the wool over on voters.
“Every time we talk about responsible gun ownership and legislation that could help protect lives, you pull the Second Amendment out,” she said to Sen. Rubio. “My father was a gun owner. It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. This is about taking dangerous guns out of the hands of dangerous people!”
It was an interesting choice of words from the Congresswoman.
Rep. Demings has a long track record of supporting Second Amendment restrictions. Before her first election to Congress in 2016, Rep. Demings spent nearly 30 years as a police officer, including as Chief of the Orlando Police Department. Her tenure as chief included making news – and not good news.
Police Chief Demings’ service sidearm was stolen after she left it, unlocked and unsecured, in a vehicle outside her home. Police Chief Demings tried to keep the incident under wraps but a tipster alerted media. The firearm still hasn’t been located and it’s not certain it hasn’t been used in violent crimes. FBI data shows nearly 90 percent of criminals obtain the firearms they use in crimes by theft, the black market or other illicit and illegal methods.
As for her Congressional voting record on gun control, it’s a long one. Her “everything including the kitchen sink” approach to limiting gun rights earned her a slot in President Joe Biden’s Veepstakes audition. Rep. Demings has introduced a package of gun control laws, including restricting sales at gun shows, regulating privately-made firearms, restricting lawful firearms already included under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and more. She’s also made it clear she supports President Biden’s gun control executive actions and proposals, including his never-ending push to ban commonly owned Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), of which there are more than 24.4 million in circulation today.
Sen. Rubio’s Gun Rights Response
Sen. Rubio didn’t let Rep. Demings’ flawed gun control response go unanswered. He criticized her approach that piles law on top of law that won’t hold criminals accountable for their crimes and only penalizes law-abiding Floridians. Sen. Rubio pointed out that layering flawed laws over each doesn’t stop deranged individuals from breaking the laws. Criminals, by definition, flaunt the law.
“Here’s the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue why are these kids, why are these individuals going out and massacring people?,” he asked. “Because a lot of people own AR-15s and they don’t go around killing everyone. The vast majority of people don’t.”
Sen. Rubio pointed out that law-abiding citizens are the targets of Rep. Demings’ gun control efforts.
“What makes no sense is that we’re going to pass laws that only law-abiding people will follow and that criminals will continue to violate,” Sen. Rubio added later. “The truth of the matter is at the end of the day Americans have a Second Amendment right to protect themselves.”
Sen. Rubio has co-sponsored S. 1522, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and earned an A+ on NSSF’s 2022 Senate Report Card.
Polling shows Sen. Rubio with a slight advantage in voter preference heading down the stretch to Election Day, but whether they are voting early or heading to the polls on Nov. 8, Floridians should #GUNVOTE so they don’t risk their rights.
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