Opinion by Marion P. Hammer
Florida – -(AmmoLand.com)- A devout anti-gun Commissioner of Agriculture (Nikki Fried) and an even worse anti-gun Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture (Mary Barzee Flories) have taken over the administration of the concealed weapons and firearms licensing programs under the Division of Licensing at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
And, of course, 2.1 million current firearms license holders are watching.
If you believe the media, you would think newly elected Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is hell-bent on destroying the licensing program. Further, Fried’s newly hired Deputy Commissioner Mary Barzee Flories (D), might be planning to take a wrecking ball to it.
A 1/14/19 article in the Tampa Bay Times reports that in a previous campaign, Deputy Commissioner Barzee Flories, said that she was “100 percent committed to taking on the NRA” further that “she supports universal background checks and the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban. Her stance on gun control drew donations and volunteers from groups like Moms Demand Action, a gun-control advocacy group…”
Don’t be fooled by campaign rhetoric. Commissioner Fried and staff must uphold the Constitution and the law. They can’t use their personal political philosophies to re-tool or dismantle a program governed by the Constitution and the law.
Fried campaigned on a pledge to fix problems with the program, not destroy it. We actually welcome efforts to fix any real problems – but they have to be actual problems, not imagined or manufactured problems like those in the media.
We’re willing to let Commissioner Fried show Floridians that she can be fair and properly administer the program. If she’s afraid to keep the Licensing program, we’ll find out soon enough. The CW Licensing Program is not a political football, it’s a program that facilitates the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the constitutional right of self-defense Over 2 million license holders will hold her accountable.
The answer is not moving the program anywhere, and certainly not to a law enforcement agency. The answer is that it should remain squarely under an elected official who must swear to uphold the Constitution and the law and can be held accountable by the people.
BOTTOM LINE: We believe the program should stay where it is and it’ll be up to Commissioner Fried to keep her campaign promise to correct any problems a legitimate investigation reveals. And if she really wants to be a workhorse and not a show horse, we’ll be happy to hold her coat or help if she wants our help.