“Keep Your Friends Close…”

Owning a gun and being able to carry it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting yourself and your family. Regular readers understand why we at the USCCA urge you to stay informed regarding what’s happening legislatively — and not just in Congress.

Recent legislative initiatives in California and other states illustrate why it is so important to keep tabs on who in your state supports your rights and, perhaps more importantly, who doesn’t. Courtesy of the latest report from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), here are a couple of examples that relate specifically to those of us who carry firearms in Florida:

On Monday, January 29, 2018 — PASSED out of House Criminal Justice Sub-Committee: HB-39 — A bill to stop the abuse of law-abiding citizens who are licensed by the state to carry concealed firearms for self-defense and whose firearms become temporarily visible to another person.

VOTING FOR THE BILL: Committee Chairman Ross Spano (R), Representatives Thad Altman (R), Dane Eagle (R), Julio Gonzalez (R), Bill Hager (R), Gayle Harrell (R), Chris Latvala (R), Jennifer Sullivan (R) and Clay Yarborough (R)

VOTING AGAINST THE BILL: Representatives Ramon Alexander (D), Sharon Pritchett (D), David Richardson (D) and Emily Slosberg (D)

On Thursday, February 1, 2018 — PASSED out of House Judiciary Committee: HB-1419 — Guns on Church Property. The bill would restore the right of individual churches to decide whether or not to allow concealed firearms license holders to carry on church private property for security. VOTING FOR THE BILL: Committee Chairman Chris Sprowls (R), Representatives Danny Burgess (R), Cord Byrd (R), Heather Fitzenhagen (R), Julio Gonzalez (R), Erin Grall (R), Shawn Harrison (R), Larry Metz (R), George Moratis (R), Daniel Perez (R), Scott Plakon (R), Ross Spano (R) and Jay Trumbull (R)

VOTING AGAINST THE BILL: Representatives Ramon Alexander (D), John Cortes (D), Ben Diamond (D), Joe Geller (D), Sharon Pritchett (D) and Cynthia Stafford (D)

PASSED out of Senate Rules Committee: SB-1048 — Guns on Church Property/Church Private Property Rights by Sen. Dennis Baxley (R) is a bill to restore private property rights to churches, synagogues and other religious institutions. It restores the right of individual churches to decide whether or not to allow concealed firearms license holders to carry on church private property for security.

VOTING FOR THE BILL: Committee Chairwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto (R), Senators Rob Bradley (R), Jeff Brandes (R), Anitere Flores (R), Tom Lee (R), Keith Perry (R) and Wilton Simpson (R)

VOTING AGAINST THE BILL: Senators Lauren Book (D), Oscar Braynon (D), Bill Monford (D), Jose Rodriguez (D) and Perry Thurston (D)

We at the USCCA are genuinely non-partisan. After all, gun owners come from across the political spectrum. And even within the major parties, support for the 2nd Amendment can vary, especially when it comes to state and local issues.

Our position is simple: We support any politician who stands firmly for protecting our rights, no matter what letter comes after their name. Conversely, if someone habitually comes down on the side of gun control and lobbies for increasing restrictions on our rights, we will expose their actions, regardless of party affiliation.

We simply encourage everyone to stay actively involved; monitor the votes and policies of all your elected officials, whether legislators, governors, mayors, sheriffs, etc. Then draw your own conclusions. Just remember the now famous quote from The Godfather: Part 2:

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

You'd do anything to protect your family.But did you know... You're still vulnerable to criminal charges and financial ruin…even if you did everything right? Your USCCA Membership arms you with the self-defense education, training, and legal protection you need to protect your family with confidence. Because, after all, doing the right thing shouldn't cost you everything...

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