Florida Ballot Initiative Seeks to Ban “Assault Weapons”

“Assault weapon” under proposed Florida ballot initiative.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)-Anti-Second Amendment activists in Florida are working to have a state Constitutional Amendment placed on the ballot for 2020. The Amendment would ban future sales of almost all semi-automatic rifles, some semi-automatic shotguns, and require registration of those currently owned.

The problem with having people who are proudly ignorant about firearms technology draft a referendum, is they know just enough to create supremely stupid and ineffective laws.

Here is the definition from the proposed state Constitutional amendment. From bawnfl.org:


 a)Assault Weapons -For purposes of this subsection, any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device. This subsection does not apply to handguns.

b)Semiautomatic -For purposes of this subsection, any weapon which fires a single projectile or a number of ball shots through a rifled or smooth bore for each single function of the trigger without further manual action required.c)Ammunition-feeding device -For purposes of this subsection, any magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device for a firearm.

Nearly all .22 semi-automatic rifles, qualify under this definition.  .22 semi-automatic rifles, as a class, may be the most common rifles in the United States. They having been in production and popular since the 1914.

They have been produced by every major and many minor firearms manufacturers. There are tens of millions of them existing in the United States. Virtually all of them who use detachable magazines can accept magazines of more than 10 rounds; virtually all of them that use tubular fixed magazines accept over 10 rounds.

The Marlin rifle pictured holds 17 rounds in the magazine.

The Florida referendum petition catches most .22 rifles in its net, rifles that are very rarely used in crime, rifles that only the most zealous of hoplophobes would describe as “assault weapons”.

At the same time, the referendum excludes all handguns. It is easy to understand why. The Supreme Court, in the Heller decision, specifically held that handguns were arms protected by the Second Amendment.  In addition, handguns are extremely popular in Florida, as is concealed carry.  Florida currently has about two million active concealed carry permits.

Handguns are legally defined items in the law. The referendum is specifically aimed at AR15 style rifles. The referendum authors either do not know, or do not care, that there are numerous AR15 style handguns.

AR15 style handguns use the same magazines the AR15 style rifles use. They use the same ammunition the AR15 style rifles use. They use nearly all the same accessories the AR15 style rifles use. Here is a picture of an AR15 style handgun, from AR15.com:

What looks like a stock on the AR15 pistol above,  is a legal arm brace, as approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (BATFE).

While the net cast by the Florida anti-assault captures almost all .22 rimfire semi-automatic rifles, it entirely misses pistols. This includes all AR15 style pistols, and others that use the popular pistol arm braces.

Because of fundamental definitions in United States law, pistols with arm braces and more than 10 round capacity magazines are becoming more and more popular.

The organizers of the Florida referendum have collected 100,000 signatures. That is the first step to put the Constitutional amendment on the ballot.  From floridapolitics.com:

Organizers of a drive to have a proposed assault weapon ban constitutional amendment on Florida’s 2020 ballot said they have topped 100,000 signatures and expect to get a review of ballot language by the Florida Supreme Court any day.

The organizers have a long way to go. To put a Constitutional amendment on the ballot, they need 76,620 signatures to have the ballot title and summary approved by the Secretary of State. That is the purpose of the initial 100,000 signatures.

Then the organization has to collect another 666,200 valid signatures, for a total of 766,200, to have the measure put on the ballot for the 2020 election, possibly more, if some of the first 100,000 are determined to be invalid.

Once the measure is on the ballot, it has to be approved by 60% of the voters in the election to become an amendment of the Florida Constitution.

If it passed with 60% of the vote in 2020, it would immediately be challenged as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States. The Heller decision, while it was about handguns, clearly stated the Second Amendment that

“extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” 554 U.S. 570, 582, 595 (2008).”

The promoters of the referendum are relying on the ignorance of voters, combined with an anti-Second Amendment media and massive funding from billionaire contributors, to pass it.

They are calculating most voters won’t read or understand the definition, or know about the exception for pistols.

The language is unconstitutional on its face, but the past decade has shown the Supreme Court unwilling to hold most lower courts to its decision in Heller.

The two new Supreme Court justices appointed by President Trump should change that; it remains to be seen.

Billionaire activists have learned they can buy referenda when the media back them up.

They can lose; but it takes enormous effort and resources to fight them in a referendum, most particularly when the media work directly against you, as they have in Washington state.

It is too early to know what will happen in Florida with this ill-considered referendum.

It may not gain enough signatures. It may not gain enough votes.

It is another example of the proud ignorance of anti-Second Amendment activists.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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franklin sokrates

Go, Go pass the word to all, put up a poster in the sports shops, run a copy of the proposed amendment and explain what fixed and detachable magazines mean. By the way, kiss your 5 shot tubular magazine shotguns a fond farewell too. Load it with the shorty shells and expect to load 11 rounds, so its banned. Same as any extended magazine shotgun. Tell everyone not to sign the proposal. Act now or this crap can be law. Political power does flow out the barrel of a gun, if ‘we the people’ rule here, which is why we… Read more »


Dean Weingarten,
When your enemy is doing something stupid, YOU LET THEM!!!
You don’t go spouting off about how they forgot to include AR pistols!!!!
Jesus, that is stupid.


Gunner 98, it is curious that you use a NRA slogan in your comment, yet all the MILLIONS of membership dollars that have been thrown at that organization and where is there voice??? Well, SELLOUTS Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox are A) to busy trying to stay in power as they have been EXPOSED as SELLOUTS and CHEATS B) they’re busy SELLING OUT GUN OWNER’S with their Pro RED FLAG GUN CONTROL SIESURE LAW’S. Wayne LaPierre’s coup against Oliver North at the NRA INDIANAPOLIS Convention in April was how Mr. LaPierre cheated the members right under their noses. Allen West,… Read more »


The Second American Revolution may begin in Florida.

Charles Moore

So, if the language of the proposal as printed above is accurate, a break-action single shot 20-gauge is an “assault weapon” because it discharged a round with a single function of the trigger??? Guess they really DO want to ban them all! (As we’ve all known for virtually forever . . . )

Charles Moore

The new and improved semi-fully-automatic single -shot!


I do not believe there is any definitiin of what “ball shots” are. I can see the words “or a number of ball shots” being applied to ANY shotgun (smoothbore) firing ANY round containing pellets or shot except a single slug.
Definition from legislation:
“b)Semiautomatic –For purposes of this subsection, any weapon which fires a single projectile or a number of ball shots through a rifled or smooth bore for each single function of the trigger without further manual action required.”


Voter initiatives SHOULD NOT be able to alter Constitutional guarantees! Imagine an initiative limiting religion or speech.

American Patriot

It’s coming….don’t worry!

David Andrews

It may not be very wise to tell the stupid democrat socialists and leftists gun control crybabies that there is a PISTOL that looks very much like and performs very much like the “Armalite Rifle -15. They will strain their weak little brains trying to include such pistols in a gun control/gun ban legislation.


From my cold, dead hands; and only after the smoke and bodies have been cleared out.


I have 60 years; my hands are already getting cold and dead; my cold black heart is already dead. What are they going to do to me? Kill me? Big deal. I’m getting there on my own already, and I owe you guys the rest of what little I have left to give. Let them start this; let’s see how long it lasts, and how it ends. I predict about 10 minutes at the most, and “we” will “win”; for the time being.

Captain BOB

Personally wish Bloomberg, Soras and the rest of the ultra rich billionaires CHRONIC DIARRHEA for the rest of their pathetic lives. These creeps are worse than all the James Bond villains put together. God Save America.


Molon Labe.


They are not only after so called assault weapons. If you read the entire text they want to ban sniper rifles which is every hunting weapon used.They also want to ban people that the neighbors called twice for being loud and anyone who ever got a 2 day DL suspension for a dropped charge.

Ansel Hazen

Model 60 was the first rifle I bought as a kid. I still have it 45 + yrs later.


Me too got mine from Santa Claus in 1973 and still have it awesome rifle very accurate still


That was before Santa became liberalized and a Democrat… Now he brings nonstop electronic Chinese manufactured JUNK for the “make believe” game world. Now you push or squeeze a button on a hand held controller to fire your make believe gun and never run out of ammo. IF you ‘die” you just start over. The real world has been taken away and replaced with a video game… MEANTIME the VERY REAL criminals are multiplying like rats, thanks to the Dem/lib BULLSHIT laws, YOU are nothing but an unarmed moving target in their real life game of KILL THE UNARMED CITIZEN…… Read more »


Marbury v Madison. ‘Nuff said.

Apfillip caputo

That happens here in Florida, bet your ass I’ll be leaving with a trunk full

The Destroyer

An ill-conceived amendment being spearheaded by a group funded by Michael Bloomberg – welcome to Florida “politics” in 2019! Most of the people who are “heavily involved” in this movement are transplants, or first generation Floridians, at best. They’re coming here from up North and turning Our State into the EXACT type of SH!&HOLE they worked, so desperately, to ESCAPE! Hopefully, the REAL Floridians will come out, en masse, to defeat this BS legislation. If not, my family, my businesses, and the great paying jobs that go with them, will be finding a new place to call “home”. Remember that,… Read more »


I’m a recent transplant(3 year) from the NE and the only thing I wish I could bring to Florida is a REAL forest. They can keep their tyranny and intrusion.


Well, they’re not there, yet. They will make it to their deadline though, unfortunately.

Steven Sarasky

People of Florida if your a strong 2nd Amendment move to Arizona I did I am from the Socialist State of NY Arizona is number 1 for gun rights


I moved to Florida almost ten years ago from Illinois, A State with onerous gun control. I have a Florida CCW and I advise all youmisguided Snowbird/snowflakes to leave. You want to change things to what you left? Get the F*ck out! Go back to where you came from!


Damn right brother!


Hey, Kel-Tec, you are welcome in Alabama if it passes!

John Timmins

That’s exactly my thoughts too hippie biker I live in Florida all my life and I ain’t leaving cuz some c*********** gun hater wants to take my guns away MOLON LABE


@ hippybiker, Some do leave Fla. and head back north. The only problem is that the stop half way back to their shithole. They settle in Tennessee and you can tell them right away because of their big mouth, sharp comments and dissatisfaction with every thing they can imagine.They are almost impossible for business people to deal with because they treat everyone like they are beneath them. They are called halfers.


Amen. I have said it before, the liberals among us in FL left their original state with taxes and misguided laws. They are like Johnny Appleseed, spreading liberal crap wherever they go. It is like they want to run government like a HOA, complete with those with Hitler complexes. Fight this brothers and sisters. These are periless times and we are surrounded by some erogant, twisted a-clowns. Get your friends to join the NRA. Remind all who those things in brown shirts were when we fought them at D-Day. They were socialist. Call them Nazis, since the brown shirts fits… Read more »


Why should gun laws change at every state border? Isn’t this supposed to be one country, all under the “shall not be infringed” umbrella?