Florida Push to Ban Assault Weapons Hits Milestone Ahead of Pulse Shooting Anniversary
A group pushing to ban assault weapons in Florida has hit a significant milestone in its effort to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot.
Ban Assault Weapons Now!, a bipartisan organization led in part by survivors of mass shootings in Orlando and Parkland, announced Monday that it has obtained 103,000 signed petitions. The total should be enough to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of its proposed ballot question, a mandatory step in the process.
The group held a press conference outside the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office after submitting thousands more signed petitions.
“Hundreds of thousands of Floridians across the state are getting behind this effort to place a ban on the ballot, because they know that this isn’t a partisan issue — this is an issue of public safety,” BAWN Chairwoman Gail Schwartz, the aunt of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Alex Schachter, said in a statement.
The announcement comes two days before the third anniversary of the June 12 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, during which a gunman with a legally purchased Sig Sauer MCX rifle killed 49 people. Pulse survivors Ricardo Negron-Almodovar and Brandon Wolf are on the BAWN steering committee, as are the parents of Pulse victims Jerry Wright and Drew Leinonen.
The organization must compile 766,200 signed petitions from verified voters by February in order to get a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot. The verification process is conducted by local election supervisors, and a mandatory Supreme Court review is triggered once 10% of the requisite signatures are obtained.
A court review can take several months but won’t stop BAWN from seeking more petition signatures.
Schwartz said Monday that she’s confident the ballot question will make it before voters in 2020 and pass, but her organization still has a lot of work to do. It so far has submitted only about 10% of the 1.1 million signatures it plans to gather in order to meet the ballot question threshold. And it has little more than half a year to do it.
©2019 Miami Herald
Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
Former Vice President Joe Biden has widened his lead to 26 points among Florida voters in the race to be the Democratic party's nominee for president in 2020, a new Florida Atlantic University poll shows. The statewide survey was conducted by FAU’s Business and Economics Polling... Read More
WASHINGTON — For Jewish voters in Florida deeply interested in U.S. policy in Israel and the Middle East, Donald Trump’s presidency has posed something of a conflict. His strong stance for Israel and decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem were praised by... Read More
WASHINGTON - "The first thing you have to understand about Florida is, it's a complex state," the political operative said. "Trump won by just 1.2 percentage points," she said, speaking on background as she assessed the 2016 presidential race. "That's just 119,770 out of something like... Read More
MIAMI — Sonia Domínguez, 74, and her husband, Miguel Morejón, 81, can’t recall the last time they’ve seen a dentist in Miami, the city they’ve called home for more than two decades. “It may have been around three, four years ago,” said Domínguez. “Probably more.” At... Read More
MIAMI — As part of his effort to help down-ballot Democrats grow their numbers in the Capitol, one-time gubernatorial candidate and former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has decided on 21 candidates to endorse and support financially in 2020. Gillum’s Forward Florida political committee expects to spend... Read More
ORLANDO, Fla. — Almost halfway through the ACA open enrollment period, Florida is leading the nation in the number of people who have signed up for health insurance, according to the federal data released on Wednesday. Of the 1.7 million people who signed up for a... Read More