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Response To Rude Open Carry Blogger
By Marion Hammer

The following is in response to a blogger/website owner who is one of the overzealous “open carry” supporters whose behavior is far beyond arrogant and offensive — and who only cares about “open carry” and cares nothing about other gun owners and gun rights. He is attacking NRA & USF because SB-234 and HB-517 Relating to Firearms, was amended on the Senate floor. Those bills are our concealed weapons & firearms license reform/improvement bills that were filed for the purpose of protecting the rights of concealed weapons license holders. These response explains this issue and what the “open carry” faction has done in Florida — Marion Hammer

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Florida, USA --(Ammoland.com)-  Dear Sir:  First of all you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Neither NRA nor USF sold out anybody — we are protecting the rights of all law-abiding gun owners.

Second you are as rude and offensive as you are wrong. It is you, and other open carry supporters like you, who are also rude and offensive, who are selling out all law-abiding gun owners.

There are currently over 800,000 CW License holders and 8 million law-abiding gun owners in Florida. These bills are about their rights — not the small number of open carry supporters who are trying to hijack and control the bills. A few hairs on the tip of the tail are trying to wag the dog.

SB-234 and HB-517 were filed on behalf of NRA and USF and they were NEVER about “open carry.” Neither OpenCarry.org or FloridaCarry.org had anything at all to do with the purpose, the drafting, or the filing of those bills.

(Note: FloridaCarry.org intended to file their own bill this year to provide for “full constitutional open carry.” When they couldn’t find sponsors for their bill, they decided to support NRA/USF bills. Subsequently, some of their members started attacking NRA/USF because our bills didn’t give them all they were demanding. — MPH)

These bills also contain other important protections for gun owners including clarification of where CW License holders may have firearms in their vehicles when they park and language to repeal the contiguous state law and thus allow Floridians to purchase rifles and shotguns in other states.

Go back to the very beginning when we started working to pass the bill and read the first USF and NRA ALERT on SB-234 (ALERT ROUND 4 on February 18, 2011)

The sections of those bills that deal with how you can carry a firearm – that added “openly” — were ALWAYS about protecting concealed weapons license holders from being arrested and charged with a crime for violating the “open carry” law, s. 790.053 (click here: s.790.053 ) or the improper exhibition law, s. 790.10 (click here s.790.10 ) when carrying a concealed firearm and the firearm accidentally or inadvertently or unintentionally becomes exposed.

Because the terms, accidentally or inadvertently or unintentionally are highly subjective, it is clear that the use of those terms in legislation would not deter the law enforcement officers who are predisposed to harassing and abusing their authority with law-abiding gun owners.

The only way to fully protect CW License holders is to decriminalize open carry for license holders. That’s why the language in the original bill would have allowed CW License holders to carry concealed or openly. Open carry supporters would have benefited from that provision but the central point is that CW License holders would not have to worry every time they are carrying concealed, that their guns might become exposed and they end up being charged with a crime.

Unfortunately, because of the behavior of some overzealous, rude, ill-mannered, open carry supporters calling legislative offices and bullying, demanding, and threatening, Senators and their staffs, the bill had to be amended to gain support for passage.

Bad behavior of a few open carry supporters, NOT law enforcement and NOT the business community caused this bill to be amended — because the idea of ill-mannered bullies carrying firearms openly scared the heck out of people.

Even the testimony of Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats, who threatened that law enforcement would abuse gun owners carrying openly if the bill passed, (See Video Below to view excerpt of testimony: FL Sheriff Jim Coats’ Threats ) couldn’t cause the bill to be amended — it only angered legislators, other law enforcement officers and gun owners alike. Open carry supporters did it to themselves and have no one else to blame.

The current language of the bill as amended is not what NRA or USF wanted (click here CS/CS/SB-234 ). But it is what you and other overzealous open carry supporters forced on all law-abiding gun owners.

It is not perfect and it is not assured to provide protection from the few anti-law-abiding-gun-owner law enforcement officers out there.

It may not protect:

  • Folks like the New Smyrna Beach sportsmen (a CW License holder) who was unlawfully detained, abused, injured and jailed overnight because 1/4 inch of the tip of the barrel of his gun was exposed through a hole that had worn in his pocket (He sued and won, by the way — but who wants to go through that?);
  • OR the South Florida business man, (a CW License holder) who had his suit coat blown open by the wind exposing his gun in a shoulder holster who was forced to lie spread-eagle on the sidewalk, searched and detained for over 45 minutes before being released and told to “keep your coat buttoned;”
  • OR the elderly gentleman (a CW License holder) who withdrew some cash at the bank, and after the teller expressed concern for him walking around with cash, opened his shirt to show her his gun so she wouldn’t worry — and was subsequently arrested for “brandishing” a firearm.
  • Or the lady, (a CW License holder) who put her purse on the counter to take out her wallet to pay for her purchase and the store clerk saw her gun and called police who stopped her outside the store, pushed her up against the wall, searched her and detained her for more than 30 minutes before telling her “we won’t arrest you this time, but if you show that gun again, you’re going to jail.”

If the abuse is not stopped by the amended version of this bill, we will be back again to try to fix it and we will not ask for nor want any “help” from you.

But lets be clear. Neither NRA nor USF are opposed to open carry, it is just not a priority right now and that is not what this bill is about. Over 800,000 CW License holders just had their rights jeopardized by the misconduct of a few shortsighted open carry supporters. Sleep with that if you can.

You are the one with no credence, and if you don’t want to renew your membership with USF, fine. We’ll miss you like we miss a migraine.

Now, let’s see if you post this on your blog like you did the last time I responded to one of your rude and obnoxious emails.

Marion Hammer

P.S. By the way, you seem to be a big fan of Jon Gutmacher. You support him financially by posting information about his books on your website. Why did I not find any criticism of his anti-open carry editorials recently published by anti-gun newspapers in Florida and published on his own website? Were you too busy attacking us to even notice the real opponents of open carry? Jon H. Gutmacher: The problem with ‘open carry’ laws | Gainesville.com

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  • 31 User comments to “Response To Rude Open Carry Blogger”

    1. Marion Hammer must have taken lessons in truth telling from Bill Clinton.

      It was an Open Carry bill until the very last day when it was gutted by an NRA endorsed floor amendment.

      The NRA has killed Open Carry bills in three states in a row; Arkansas, Oklahoma and now Florida.

      Texas has just passed an Open Carry bill out of committee. Watch the NRA try to kill the Texas bill as well.

      Twenty years ago I was invited by the NRA to make a video on Marion Hammer’s outreach program for Women and Guns.

      When I arrived at the shooting range she decided that she was not going to be interviewed, nor would she allow any of the other women to be interviewed but I was allowed to stand at the back of the range and video tape the girls punching holes in paper targets, which is what I and my assistant wound up doing.

      Needless to say the video was never made.

      The NRA has been sliding downhill ever since, and they wonder why they’ve lost a third of their membership.

    2. Does that mean you were the “rude” blogger that the (NRA (Negotiate our Rights Away) rep was complaining about?

    3. the nra wants me to renew my membership,but not after this stunt of an article!they sold us out here in florida and are trying to blame anyone but themselves!those groups are both great groups that were let down like the batfe let down the american people!not a bit of difference,other than their wording!

    4. Rob PBG, FL on May 1, 2011 at 7:01 PM said:

      Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (Obama’s new BFF) and her left leaning antigun lobbyists gutted the bill and killed the open carry provision. The NRA and republicans senator stood impotent while this happened (they need to grow a pair of b@lls). The only good thing about all this is Bogdanoff is up for reelection 2012 in my district 25, so I get to cast a vote AGAINST this liberal in republicans clothing.

    5. stainless1911 on May 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM said:

      The NRA will probably never get a renewal for my membership. They have gotten too political, and have forgotten those grassroots people that fund them . Open carry is at the tip of the spear of gun rights activism, not the Negotiate Rights Away.

    6. @Wayne Crawford,

      No, I am not the one Hammer is referring to. Jon H. Gutmacher is the target of her rant.

      The only article of mine the NRA has publicly responded to was my condemnation of the D.C., bill the NRA has endorsed which would ban Open Carry in the District, criminalize the victims of firearms theft unless they keep their firearms locked up at home, allow landlords to decide who can keep a firearm in his home or place of business; in short, reversing everything we won in the Heller decision.

      The bill is the same bill introduced by McCain in the last session of congress which pretty much says it all.

    7. Equal Justce on May 2, 2011 at 8:50 AM said:

      This is in direct response to questioning by Moe Mensale over at http://www.floridashootersnetwork.com.

      http://tiny.cc/77trh

    8. Joe M on May 2, 2011 at 9:54 AM said:

      As it has been stated, this bill was about OC and campus carry from the get go. The only ones who were vocal and making accusations and threats were those who were against the bill as orignally posed. Lies and hyperbole were allowed to be used as an excuse for removing campus carry from the bill. Meanwhile no opportunity was given by the committee to counter those lies with facts. Where was the NRA outrage then when a bill they were supporting was damaged?
      When the Bogdanoff amendment was introduced, and then withdrawn, it caused the voting gun owners of the state to take notice and realize that the bill was jeopardized. So they began to contact their senators asking them to stand fast and not allow any amendments. The NRA was silent then too. Sadly the Senate allowed the Bogdanoff amendment to be reintroduced on the floor and adopted it at the literal last minute during the 3rd reading of the bill.
      At that point gun owners emailed their senators to express their displeasure and feelings of betrayal. It was when this communications campaign was created that the message of “this bill was never about open carry” began. The first I heard of this was from Senator Evers office last week. Of course this statement conflicts with prior statements.
      So now the gun owning voters of Florida have begun an effort to get the house to reject the bill as passed or as a last ditched effort to get the governor to veto the bill.
      The Senate / NRA / USF has been completely caught off guard. Senators are hearing from voters who will not support them in 2012. They are all trying their best at damage and spin control. Suddenly the ungrateful, extremists citizens are the problem. Interesting rhetoric considering which side of the political spectrum normally resorts to such demonizing statements. To paraphrase, Ms. Hammer doth protest too much.

    9. Joe M on May 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM said:

      Oh and here is the video from Ms. Hammer saying that this bill was indeed about open carry.

      So Ms. Hammer, which of yours is the correct statement? Your recent comment that the law was never about open carry or the video where you say the bill is about open carry? Your own words ma’am.

    10. tector on May 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM said:

      Marion is positively Clintonian in her approach to the truth. She was a good and respected leader in her day, but that day has passed–it happens to us all. Her pathetic attempt to demonize her constituents is both appalling and utterly transparent. Florida remains one of a handful of states where open carry is explicitly illegal. Good job, Marion–you were completely outmaneuvered by the Florida Retail Federation, the Mouse and the other tourist traps, and the most authoritarian elements of law enforcement. Yet you blame us–disgusting.

      I am an NRA life member, but they will not get another cent from until we get the leadership we need here in Florida. And if the NRA does not make defeating Ellyn Bogdanoff–the symbol of everything that is wrong with the Florida GOP–a top priority, they can forget about me EVER supporting them again. GOA all the way.

      PS: Some of us are writing Gov. Scott and asking him to veto this disastrous “compromise” if it gets to his desk, which seems likely. It is a longshot, but I urge you all to do the same. This horrible bill will be harder to undo than to get a clean bill next year (an election year).

    11. Cody Evans on May 2, 2011 at 11:29 AM said:

      By ‘bullying’ they must mean that open-carry advocates from around the state filled their email in-boxes until they completely shut down. However, the rants of one stupid red-neck will be heard over thousands of intelligent debates…

    12. Cody Evans on May 2, 2011 at 11:31 AM said:

      Mr. Alexander,

      Thank you for contacting our office with you concerns regarding SB 234. Senator Evers understands you frustrations, however this bill was never intended to restore open carry in the state of Florida. The intent of this bill has always been to protect those lawfully concealing a firearm from being arrested due to accidental exposure. This bill allows for brief exposure. Current law does not allow for exposure at all. This bill also clarifies the parking lot law, electronic finger prints, and removes the contiguous states provision regarding the sale of long guns. The objective was not to conform Florida’s gun laws to the gun laws of other states. Senator Evers filed this bill in reaction to a serious and growing problem regarding accidental exposure. This bill is a positive step for gun owners.

      Support for open carry simply was not there at this time and that is why Senator Evers accepted the amendment. Senator Evers is the only Senator who filed this language and is a tireless defender of 2nd amendment rights. Senator Evers will continue to work hard for gun rights.

      Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any further questions or concerns.

      God bless,

      Ryan Rice
      Legislative Assistant
      Senator Greg Evers, District 2
      24 Tarragona
      Pensacola, FL 32502
      850.595.0213 office
      850.595.0214 fax
      rice.ryan.s02@flsenate.gov

    13. tector on May 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM said:

      Cody, it is a lame whitewash for (a) the Florida GOP caving into “business” interests and (b) Marion Hammer being unable to stop it. So they both blame the victim–Florida’s law abiding gun owners.

      As shameless as it is obvious.

    14. @Charles: Thanks for the clarification. I like the articles you write and try to read them all, so I wasn’t sure if I missed one about the Florida. bill.

      @Equal Justice: Thanks for the link.

      @Marion Hammer: Stop trying to help gun owners. You are a failure.

    15. tector on May 2, 2011 at 1:04 PM said:

      My letter to Gov. Scott:

      As a Lifetime NRA member, I ask you to veto the misleading “open carry” bill

      Dear Governor Scott,

      During your campaign you vowed to sign an “open carry” bill if one was approved by the legislature. No such bill was passed, although one passed through every required Senate and House Committee. But on the floor of the Senate, special interests, using dubious procedural mechanisms, drastically changed this bill. It no longer protects open carry–in fact it explicitly says it is illegal. Instead, it establishes arbitrary and capricious standards to be applied by law enforcement officers in the field which put law-abiding gun owners in peril of arrest. Perhaps, after the cost and trauma of a trial, these innocent gun owners might prevail under this new law. But this hardly seems to comport with the dignity that should be afforded to a citizen’s rights under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as Article I, Sec. 8 of the Florida Constitution. Can you imagine the outrage if the First Amendment were so treated, such as with a prior restraint power presumed lawful?

      This bill denigrates the Second Amendment and law abiding gun owners. It is worse than nothing. If you veto this bill, the law abiding gun owners of this state will return next year–an election year, I might add–to let their representatives know that the Second Amendment should not be treated as an inconvenient afterthought. But if this bill becomes law, the prospects for open carry in Florida–lawful in 43 other states–are immeasurably dimmed. The Legislature, under the same baneful influence of the same special interests, will now say, falsely, “We’ve changed the law your benefit–those not satisfied are extremists.” And the anti-gun press will obligingly peddle this story. For gun owners this is deja vu from 1986, when an otherwise welcomed piece of gun legislation was before Congress–when, at the last minute, under very suspect circumstances, Democrat-demanded provisions regarding automatic weapons were inserted. And they have not been able to be undone in the quarter century since. Indeed, anyone who questions them now is labeled “an extremist”, although law abiding gun owners acted responsibly without them for decades prior. This is how rights are eroded.

      When you declined to accept the Obama adminstration’s high speed rail funds, we supported you and your courage. In fact, in your campaign, gun owners were perhaps your greatest supporters, and we hope to be so again in 3 more years. Please, support us and do not bless this dirty, ill-conceived compromise. As it did in 1986, the NRA will try to save face and will support this bill. It was wrong then and it will be wrong now. Please listen to the rank and file gun owners of Florida who will have to live under this bad law.

      [NAME]
      Sunrise, Florida
      [Phone number]

      NRA Life Member
      Registered Republican

    16. Lisa@three coverage on May 2, 2011 at 3:12 PM said:

      Hello,
      Some blogs are really rude, I think blogger should ban those, who's with me?
      Really great post, enjoyed reading it. Thanks

    17. [...] bill so open carry is dead for this session. Why? This link from Ammoland Blog should explain. Response To Rude Open Carry Blogger Basically, it says that because of the actions of a few rude open carry supporters, the measure [...]

    18. Stephanie on May 3, 2011 at 9:13 PM said:

      I don’t understand what the big deal is about open carry. Once the educational groundwork has been laid ( including among LEO agencies), it just isn’t that big of a deal to open carry. I’ve open carried in PA in areas full of MD transplants and where alot of people from MD and Baltimore will actually make the drive to go to shop or whatever. I’ve had basically no experiences, other than one guy who noted that I was carrying and wanted to know what gun I was carrying, and a guy at a gun store who seemed intruiged that I was a customer there and was open carrying, rather than carrying concealed ( I told him that PA is an open carry state).

      I understand there is a good bit of open carry in northern VA too, in the area on the other side of the Potomac from DC/MD ( read: plenty of liberal progressives and anti gunners live in NoVA too), and there haven’t been any issues about it for 2-3 years now.

    19. Charles still can’t read a bill or he intentionally lies about the DC gun bill. http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=6288

      The bill simply doesn’t do what he claims. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr645ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr645ih.pdf

      ‘‘SEC. 3A. (a) Private persons or entities owning
      9 property in the District of Columbia may prohibit or re10
      strict the possession of firearms on their property by any
      11 persons, other than law enforcement personnel when law12
      fully authorized to enter onto the property OR LESSEES OCCUPYING 13
      RESIDENTIAL OR BUSINESS PREMISES.

    20. Now that the NRA has killed three Open Carry bills in three states; Arkansas, Oklahoma, and now Florida, don’t be surprised if the NRA tries to do the same in Texas.

      HB 2756 passed in committee and now awaits a vote on the floor of the Texas House.

      The bill can be tracked at this link:
      http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB2756

    21. Charles,

      So NRA testifying in support of open carry in Arkansas and asking their members to call their lawmakers in support of the bill is now “killing” the bill. http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=6242

      They also supported open carry in Oklahoma this year as well.
      http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=6457

      How did NRA kill the bills in OK or AR?

      Do you just make crap up? You clearly can’t read a bill given your nonsensical and blatantly false write up on the NRA supported DC gun bill.

    22. Douglas on May 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM said:

      Ms. Hammer — please respond to the comment which provided the YouTube video clip of you talking with Ginny Simone of NRANews and describing this as an OPEN CARRY bill.

      Your words: “Open carry was banned 24 years ago and the time has come to fix it.”
      Your words: “This is Florida. It gets really hot here in the summer. Lot of time folks might go into a restaurant or into you know a meeting and they want to take off their jacket. They can’t take a jacket off and expose the firearm. It’s just silly.”

      The public is looking forward to your response.

    23. Mike, the NRA telling the legislators in Arkansas that the “Bill needs work” and that the “NRA looks forward to working with the author” is like Mark Anthony’s speech from Julius Caesar, only instead of praising the bill they buried it.

      The NRA sent out an Open letter to the legislature in opposition to Open Carry in Oklahoma.

      Florida speaks for itself.

    24. Charles,

      The NRA did no such thing in Oklahoma. You are lying again. The letter of which you speak was sent by the Oklahoma Rifle Association, not NRA. Their is a difference. NRA supported the bill even though ORA did not. http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=6518

      As for the Arkansas bill, saying it needs work isn’t the same thing as trying to kill it. Lots of bills need work because of improper drafting and that is part of the legislative process. I would expect NRA to work to clarify legislation if it is unclear or work to make it better. However, it’s clear that NRA supported the bill despite what you claim. http://www.usacarry.com/forums/arkansas-discussion-firearm-news/16617-feb-8-vote-open-carry-local-restrictions.html

      What’s clear is you hate the NRA which is why you lied about their DC bill, lied about their position on the Oklahoma open carry bill and lied about their position on the Arkansas bill.

    25. Mike, Chris Cox has been invited to debate me as has Ed Worley on the NRA endorsed D.C., Gun Ban bill.

      The fact that it is a rehash of the bill that Senator John McCain introduced in the last session should speak for itself.

      Instead of talking out of your hat, how about citing a specific example from my article which is factually incorrect?

      Better yet, find a lawyer willing to debate. I know you have your opinion but as that old saying goes opinions are like…everybody has one; some people more than one.

      Why don’t you ask Alan Gura his opinion. Last time he and I debated a point of law, he conceded that I was correct.

      The offer to debate Chris Cox and Ed Worley is an open invitation.

    26. Andrew Benson on May 21, 2011 at 5:10 PM said:

      Marion is off her rocker- talk about polarizing her own supporters- she is making deals and giving in to pressure. She needs to be the Hammer, not the Dove.

    27. Let’s see what exactly was ratified on December 15, 1791, because many felt that the U.S. Constitution did not explicitly state what was commonly held belief, and some knew would be trampled by those who would usurp the power vested in the people of the United States, especially those in Government:

      “A well regulated Militia,
      being necessary to the security of a free State,
      the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
      shall not be infringed.”

      Reread it again, folks. It is not rude or bullying behavior for me to point out that ANY law restricting the possession and carrying of weapons infringes your right and my right “to keep and bear Arms”. You and I are “the people”. Very plain. Very simple. If you do not like my opinion and my expression of it, look up what the First Amendment states, also. Get over it.

      What many forget is that keeping and bearing does not allow anyone to mishandle and negligently or malevolently use weapons to unnecessarily threaten or intimidate others. What current law does enable is the arrest and conviction of people before a violent crime is committed. What many also confuse is what might happen, what did happen, and what will happen. The only justifiable arrest is for what did happen. Convenience never takes precedence over the enumerated rights that we the people possess. The promotion of feeling “comfortable”, “safe”, and “secure” can never justify the deprivation of the people’s rights, as security of one’s self is ultimately the responsibility of the individual, not the Government. This was as true 235 years ago as it is true today.

    28. Bruce Michael Grant on June 8, 2011 at 5:14 PM said:

      Unbelievable. Marion Hammer seems to be blaming the failure of Florida open carry legislation on those who pay her salary!

      Instead of open carry parity and clarity, Ms Hammer has simply given anti-gun Florida LEO’s another weapon to harass law-abiding carry permit holders.

      The definitions of ‘briefly’ and ‘inadvertently’ depend on the purely subjective whim of a particular officer who may or may not have an agenda.

      In fact the officer will rarely see a permit holder’s firearm displayed firsthand. His already subjective judgment will be colored by the even more subjective and irrational fears of a reporting party who is already alarmed enough to call police.

      The meanings of ‘briefly’ and ‘inadvertently’, instead of being a matter of settled law, will be left up to some terrified librarian or anti-gun liberal strolling through a mall.

      This is a recipe for a highly emotional encounter which rarely works out in favor of the permit holder’s civil rights.

      SB234 has changed nothing for the vast majority of Florida carry permit holders. I, for one, remain unwilling to subject my liberty and civil rights to the whim of an anti-gun LEO by exposing my firearm at all.

      SB234 was a missed opportunity for equal treatment under the law and a victory only for the forces of politics and demagoguery.

      Ms. Hammer, I’m sorry your feelings were hurt. But don’t blame your failure to do what you were paid to do on those who paid you to do it in the first place.

    29. Old FL Gator on June 8, 2011 at 5:59 PM said:

      Face it the truth is the open carry supporters were to pushy and blew the bill and some restraint and decorum next time.

    30. What and who decides what ‘pushy’ is?

      If we hold a rally, is that too ‘pushy’?

      If we write too many ‘not nice’ letters to our legislators, is that ‘pushy’?

      Why is standing up for your rights ‘pushy’?

      It’s the height of arrogance for any official or advocate, like Ms Hammer, to belittle the people who have either elected or hired them to advocate on their behalf.

      I am staggered by Ms Hammer’s condescending behavior. The NRA has fallen far since the exit of Mr Heston.

    31. GREGORYBROWN on March 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM said:

      TO:Mr.Bruce Micheal Grant,I wanted to know why you and Ms.Marion Hammer CAVED in to Brady Camp?maybe you 2 should just LOBBY 4 them instead for now on!You 2 and others are no FRIENDS of the 2nd Amendment and will comprise the LIBERITIES of everyone of the USA!WHO ARE YOU?WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?The 2nd Amendment is what it says and nothing less or more!Please everyone in FLORIDA don’t give up on this open carrt ever and keep pushing a clean bill so the GOVERNOR SCOTT CAN SIGN IT,OK?

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