guns

The Florida Senate passed a series of gun bills Thursday.

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There are few issues that find more support among the Republican Party than guns, and Florida’s GOP dominated statehouse is no exception.  When lawmakers return to Tallahassee for the 2016 regular session, they’ll be coming back loaded for bear.

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Two bills banning makeshift firing ranges in residential neighborhoods are now heading to the House and Senate floors. But, they’re now a bit different.

Legislative leaders made their pitch at the Capitol Wednesday.
Nick Evans

Elected officials gathered at the Capitol's observation deck Wednesday to lay out their plans for the coming year.  The Associated Press hosts the annual event.

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A bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers say a gun bill filed for the 2016 legislative session is a good start, but it needs more work.

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Discharging a firearm for recreational purposes in residential neighborhoods could soon be illegal. Another Senate panel approved a measure Tuesday outlawing the act.

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A bill making it illegal to discharge a firearm for recreational purposes in residential neighborhoods cleared its first committees in the House and Senate Wednesday. But, it comes with some concerns.

Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is working on allowing open carry in Florida.
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Guns on campus is grabbing Florida’s attention, but it’s not the only bill aimed at expanding gun rights.  One lawmaker wants to allow open carry in the state as well.

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Several gun-related bills have already been filed for the 2016 legislative session. But, it includes a non-controversial bill agreed to by both the Florida Police Chiefs and the National Rifle Association.

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Another gun-related measure has been filed in the Florida Legislature.

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The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled on a case relating to Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. The matter—which pit State prosecutors against public defenders and defense lawyers—was also a matter of contention during last year’s legislative session.

Walton County Tax Collector's office

There’s now another option for local residents to apply for a concealed weapons permit. A branch of the Walton County Tax Collector’s office is the latest to participate in a new partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to speed up the process.

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It’s now legal for people to carry a gun without a concealed permit during a declared state of emergency. That’s among more than 40 bills Governor Scott signed into law Thursday.

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A bill allowing people to carry a gun without a concealed carry permit during a declared emergency evacuation is now heading to Governor Rick Scott.

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A bill allowing people to carry a firearm without a concealed carry permit during the evacuation of a declared state of emergency is now teed up for a vote in the Senate, despite opposition from several Democrats.

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A bill allowing people to carry a gun without a license during a mandatory evacuation as part of a declared state of emergency cleared hurdles in both the House and Senate Wednesday.

A bill allowing people to carry guns on college campuses, gun safety, and mental illness are just some of the topics that sparked heated discussion during a Tallahassee forum.

Capital Report: 02-20-2015

Feb 23, 2015

Despite broad opposition on Florida’s campuses, state lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to allow guns on university campuses.  Three months ago today, there was a shooting at Florida State University.  And, as Nick Evans reports, this week the controversial measure began its path through the state senate.

Despite strong campus opposition concealed carry is one step closer to Florida universities.
MGN Online

A controversial gun bill is turning out to be not so controversial anymore, after it got the approval of its main opponent—the Florida Sheriffs Association—Monday.

Last year, the NRA-backed measure allowing people to carry guns without a license during a state mandatory evacuation failed, after the Florida Sheriffs criticized the bill for being too loose. This year, bill sponsor  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is working to address that with a new change.

Capital Report: 01-30-2015

Feb 2, 2015

Well, forget all those campaign promises to shrink government and grow the job market.  Governor Rick Scott this week had to put his money where his mouth is in the course of rolling out his 77-billion dollar spening proposal this week.  As Jim Ash reports, Scott’s idea of jolting the economy includes 673-million dollars in tax cuts and his notion of a smaller government is eliminating 1,017 state positions.

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Trouble could be brewing again between a group of Sheriffs and a huge gun rights organization over a controversial gun bill that failed last year.

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The two criminal justice panels of the Florida Legislature are slated to meet Tuesday to take up a number of issues from the state’s troubled prison agency to a gun bill allowing guns on campus.

Newly appointed Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julies Jones is expected to brief the Senate Criminal Justice Committee members about areas where the department is lacking and trying to improve.

Capital Report: 12-12-2014

Dec 15, 2014

Recent shootings around the country have left many reexamining police departments and policies. But Regan McCarthy reports its also led to a renewed focus on personal protection with increased gun sales and a legislative proposal to allow guns on college campuses.

Florida Channel

Florida State University President John Thrasher says his position has not changed since the recent filing of a bill allowing people to open carry on public college and university campuses. It’s the same bill Thrasher helped defeat in 2011 when he was a state senator.

In 2011, the testimony of Dr. Robert Cowie, a friend of Thrasher, also helped derail the bill. Just weeks before, Cowie’s daughter, FSU Student Ashley, had been accidentally shot by a rifle and killed at a frat house.

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Should the Florida Supreme Court or the state Legislature have the power to shift the burden of proof to a defendant or the state prosecutor in a Stand Your Ground case? That question was recently before the high court as well as the Legislature earlier this year. So, could that come back into play again next legislative session?

The Case Before The Court

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