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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

NRA, Republican leaders shape gun law debate in Tallahassee

15

January

Marion Hammer’s phone rang as news bulletins reported that five tourists were shot to death at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The longtime Florida gun lobbyist said a friend told her that the Jan. 6 shootings probably ended any chance of the Legislature’s passing a law to allow licensed gun owners to carry weapons in airport common areas.

But Hammer said the shooting helped her cause, proving that more guns in places like airports were needed.

That rationale will find a lot of support from Republican legislators in the 2017 session.

Hammer has a powerful ally in House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, who said gun-free zones that leave people defenseless are dangerous.

“If law-abiding citizens could carry a gun to a baggage claim,” Corcoran said, “I think you’re going to see gun violence rapidly decline. So why don’t we do that for a change? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Full story here.

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RELATED COVERAGE:

-- What gun rights supporters want: Read here.

-- What gun safety advocates want: Read here.

-- What gun law changes are on the table this year: Read here.

Marion Hammer, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, speaks in favor of the guns at work bill during a House committee meeting in 2007. That bill failed.

Phil Coale / AP

Marion Hammer, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, speaks in favor of the guns at work bill during a House committee meeting in 2007. That bill failed.

[Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2017 11:57am]

    

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