Florida: Protection Of Church Property Bill Killed Again

Opinion by Marion Hammer

Church Security Bible Gun
Florida: Protection Of Church Property Bill Killed Again

Florida – -(AmmoLand.com)- Once again the Florida Legislature has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of ministers, church administrators and church members. Churches have repeatedly – for over 3 years – prayed and urged the legislature to correct the provision in Florida law that usurps the right of churches to provide safety and security on their property.

While the Florida House listened and passed legislation removing the restriction, the Florida Senate refused to allow SB-1238 by Sen. Debbie Mayfield (R), to pass.

  • Sen. Mayfield’s bill passed out of the first committee (Senate Judiciary Committee) by a vote of 4-2. However, Republican Senator Anitere Flores refused to support the bill in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, thus preventing it from coming to a vote. Senate leadership did nothing to help. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats but Sen. Anitere Flores is one of the 3 Republicans on the committee and is anti-gun and anti-church property rights.
  • Sen. Flores not only blocked the Church Protection bill this year, she is responsible for effectively killing it with a bad amendment in 2018, gutting it, and making it unacceptable. She also voted to kill it in committee in 2017. It appears this is her specialty.
  • Sen. Anitere Flores’ history of opposing the private property rights of churches and other religious institutions, as well as her clear opposition to the First Amendment rights and Second Amendment rights of churches and other religious institutions, is well known. One is therefore prone to wonder if Senate President Bill Galvano deliberately referred the 2019 Church bill to the Criminal Justice Committee to allow Sen. Flores to kill it a third year in a row.

Reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections and reports in the media (Florida Politics article by Drew Wilson 11/2/2018) show that Republican President Bill Galvano took at least $500,000 from former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown/Moms Demand anti-gun groups. We know Everytown’s money was for something – killing the church bill might have been part of the reason they gave the money to Sen. Galvano in the first place.

In the House, the Church bill, HB-403 by Rep. Erin Grall, passed out of all three committees of reference (House Criminal Justice Committee 12-2; House Education Committee 15-3; House Judiciary Committee 11-6), and then passed on the House Floor by a vote of 79 to 35, with 9 Democrats voting in FAVOR of the bill.

The House is to be commended for passing the bill all the way through the process even though they suspected that Senate Leadership would kill it in the Senate

No Gun Control Bills Pass

While no gun control bills passed this session, no pro-gun bills passed either. However, several bills that are good for gun owners and all Floridians did pass and are awaiting signature by Governor DeSantis.

School Safety Bill Allows Teachers To Choose To Carry

SB-7030 Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – Requiring sheriffs to establish a school guardian program; requiring the Office of Safe Schools to annually provide training for specified personnel; requiring district school boards and school district superintendents to partner with security agencies to establish or assign safe-school officers; revising requirements for school district zero-tolerance policies; providing standards and training for classroom teachers who choose to go through training in order to be armed at school.

The House vote was 65 – 47 with five (5) Republicans voting AGAINST the bill. They are all newly elected freshman and probably not Republicans at all. They are: Vance Aloupis (R-Miami), Mike Beltran (R-Valrico), Mike Caruso (R-Boca Raton), Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs). The Senate vote was 22-17 with Sen. Anitere Flores voting against it (along with the Democrats). SIGNED BY GOVERNOR MAY 8, 2019

Privacy Rights Of Concealed Carry License Holders

HB-7059 Concealed Carry License – Keeps in place the exemption from public records requirements for certain personal identifying information of concealed weapons and firearms license holders and individual applicants for a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. There were no votes against this bill. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR MAY 14, 2019

Locals Must Pay Attorney Fees For Preemption Violations

HB-829 Attorney Fees by Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) Imposes an award of attorney fees and costs and damages in civil actions against local governments when organizations and individuals have to bring lawsuits against municipalities and counties for violating preemption laws. Effective Date: 7/1/2019. The vote on House Passage was 77-31 and in the Senate, 25-14. AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE.

Protecting The Constitution From Outsiders

HB-5 – Contains an amendment by Rep. James Grant (R) to restore the right of Floridians to control the Florida citizen’s initiative petition process. The amendment is intended to stop out-of-state millionaires and billionaires from sending paid, out-of-state petition gatherers into Florida to collect petition signatures to change Florida’s Constitution for the benefit of out-of-state special interests. The House voted 105-0 to pass the Grant amendment with 15 House members not voting. The Senate concurred in the Grant amendment and passed the bill 22-17. AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE.

For the final disposition of pro-gun and anti-gun bills during the 2019 Session please click here:

USF 2019 End of Session Bill Report

  • 13 thoughts on “Florida: Protection Of Church Property Bill Killed Again

    1. It might be a benefit to the churches to write an amendment to their bylaws stating the church is not responsible for any shootings. If the stand your ground law protects the concealed carrier then a notice such as this might protect the church against a lawsuit or some investigator.

    2. (IANAL!!) Churches without schools are already allowed. Only when there is a school of any kind on campus property including the parking lot. Without a school, concealed carry in church is permissible. This legislation would have removed the school exemption.

    3. Civil disobedience is all that is left. I doubt there are too many people who are not aware of the rise of Church and Synagogue mass shootings, burnings and bombings here in the U.S. The only thing we can do is defend ourselves when the government won’t defend us or refuses to defend us or can’t defend us. You might want to look up Luke 22:36 right about now. When you find yourselves in a situation that can be lethal in seconds, the police are just minutes away. That is NOT their fault. They can’t be everywhere at the same time. Thus, we must be able to defend ourselves at least until the cavalry arrives.

      I personally run a security team for a Church. I / we have met with the FEDS many times and were clued into various threats to specific Churches and various general threats. The threats were both domestic and terroristic in nature. So, the facts are the threat(s) are out there, they do exist and to ignore this fact is death.

      If your Church does not have a security team I highly recommend you start one. Maybe you have some off duty police in the congregation? If so, put them to use. You may be able to hire a professional security service or you can ask for volunteers. You might consider having roving guards in the parking lot. You might want to place guards @ each entrance and also place them tacitly among the worshipers and up close to the pastor. This goes for the nursery as well. The team will need training. There are course of fire requirements. They are easy enough for someone who knows what they are doing and they are timed. This should tell you which ones qualify to carry and which one just carry a radio.

      Anyone taking pictures of lic. plates in the parking lot must be addressed. Large purses, back packs and other bags are suspect especially if they are unattended People dressed out of the norm, people acting shady, and anything that your guts tell you is trouble probably is. All of these types of things have already happened at a Church where I worshiped. Don’t ignore the insurance issues, they need to be addressed also.

      Just for the record, the average mass shooting is finished in 4 min. The average police response time to arrive on site is 9 min. That is not the time it takes to engage and stop the problem, that is just arrival time. Most people know about the worst mass shooting in American history. In Las Vegas, two years ago, at a concert, shooters fired into the crowd for 10 min. It tool the police just over an hour the breach the room where the shooters–yes that IS plural–had set up and accomplished their evil deeds. There were plenty of L.E. actually on site but through the confusion and the echo of the rounds because of the buildings it took some time to figure out where the shooters were. L.E. were well intentioned, armed and on site yet the shooters were able to maintain their murderous rate of fire for 10 min.

      Arm up, carry on

    4. When are these morons going to be held accountable? Every killing should be attributed to the politicians who impose restrictions on its citizens. Every law maker and bureaucrat who is anti-2nd Amendment should be procecuted as an accessory to the crime for denying would be victims the basic right to defend themselves.

    5. Self-defense is a Tenth Amendment right. The Second Amendment is about restrain on government.
      Churches have been targets of and for violence for at least 2,000 years.
      Wish they weren’t soft targets. Traditional churches look like forts and castles because they were structures intended to protect the flock.
      Madmen, crazies and insane are not stupid. Unarmed sheep are easier to kill and the news media loves to report 25 dead at a _______________ more than they like to report “Attempted Church Killer Stopped by Armed Pastor.”

    6. Anitere Flores is an anti gun RINO!
      I believe she is term limited out this session
      She single handedly blocked open carry and campus carry last year.
      This bill is to apply stand your ground protection to Churches as an organization if they create armed self protection plans.
      The individual church members are already covered by Florida’s stand your ground law, but the church as an organization could be sued for damages under current law.
      This bill would have extended the law to include protection from legal liability to the Church.
      Seems like a good law.

    7. We have some real turncoats here in Florida. Flores is the worst. Reminds me of the crap the Texas senate president pulled with his committee appointments. They dont even try to hide their motivations anymore.

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