Opinion by Marion Hammer
Florida – -(Ammoland.com)- On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the League of Women Voters’ lobbyist, Stephanie Owens of Tallahassee, was in the House Judiciary Committee meeting to oppose HB-55 on behalf of the League.
HB-55 by Rep. Frank White (R-Pensacola) is a bill to authorize to FDLE collect background check fees from gun dealers by electronic means.
Sometimes when you when think a group cannot be any more ridiculous, they prove you wrong. That was the case last week.
This bill is a no-brainer. It simply brings FDLE into the modern age. In a day when it is easy and cheap to set up website to simply collect payments electronically oneline, FDLE is requiring Gun Dealers to mail in paper checks every month to pay the background check fees collected the previous month.
Not only is it an enormous inconvenience to gun dealers, FDLE has to handle and open the mail, process, track and deposit paper checks. It is an outdated, and costly process.
Political candidates (legislators) set up simple websites all the time with “DONATE” buttons so they can collection donations electronically – and the money goes directly into their accounts immediately. Simple websites with payment buttons are rarely cot more than a couple thousand dollars.
So legislators understand that it’s cheap and easy and want to make the convenience available to gun dealers and FDLE. There is no real fiscal impact to do this, in fact if anything, it should save FDLE money (our tax dollars).
But the lobbyist for League of Women Voters submitted an appearance card to testify against the bill and when called upon simply stood up and said the organization opposes the bill – no reason, no explanation, no testimony.
One can only assume the organization’s leadership is so biased against law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment, they oppose anything that impacts guns, gun owners, gun dealers in any way.
Committee members weren’t moved by the League’s opposition, Democrats and Republicans alike supported the bill. They voted unanimously (19-0) in favor of this bill.
Marion P. Hammer is past president of the National Rifle Association and is executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.