Monday, December 11, 2017
Politics

Bill for concealed carry in evacuations headed to Gov. Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE — Floridians soon could be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in the first two days of an emergency evacuation, even if they don't have a concealed license to do so.

The House approved SB 290 by an 86-26 vote Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Rick Scott.

Supporters, backed by the Florida Sheriff's Association, say the legislation is necessary so lawful gun owners can take their weapons with them to avoid looting after a natural disaster.

"Imagine the thousands and thousands of weapons that are going to be left alone in people's homes when police are not available and first responders are slow in responding," said Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice.

Opponents worry that allowing concealed carry could lead to more people carrying guns during emergencies and the possibility of more injuries or deaths as frantic evacuees act less rationally than they otherwise would. And, they said the state can't vouch for unlicensed gun owners because they haven't been vetted.

"When I think about emergency evacuations, chaos, stress and anxiety are words that come to mind, and now we want to introduce guns to that equation?" said Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Miami.

The measure stems from Hurricane Katrina, when some people fleeing New Orleans with their guns faced criminal charges and others faced danger, said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who has sponsored the bill for the past two years.

"This is about this incredibly rare instance, this incredibly tailored instance, when people are fleeing for their lives," Brandes said, debating the bill in the Senate last month. "And yet Florida statute today says if they take that weapon with them and they carry it in a certain manner, they can be charged with a third-degree felony."

Contact Michael Auslen at [email protected] Follow @MichaelAuslen.

Comments
Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama Democrats see Tuesday’s special Senate election as a chance to renounce a history littered with politicians whose race-baiting, bombast and other baggage have long soiled the state’s reputation beyond its borders. Many Repu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises President Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class — an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trump’s distinctive br...
Published: 12/10/17

Same income, but not taxes, in GOP plan

In most places, a dollar is a dollar. But in the tax code envisioned by Republicans, the amount you make may be less important than how you make it.Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the sam...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17
Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Renegade Republican Roy Moore may be plagued by scandal, but it will take more than that to convince the voters of 44th Place North to show up for Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. In a state where Democrats are used to losing, the m...
Published: 12/09/17
 ‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

WASHINGTON — Around 5:30 each morning, President Donald Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to "Fox & Friends" for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s "...
Published: 12/09/17
Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

  It seems like a distant memory now, but Al Franken’s arrival in the U.S. Senate eight years ago marked the very moment when Democrats’ control of Washington reached its highest point in a generation. After an eight-month recount, the ...
Published: 12/07/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said Thursday he would resign his seat in a statement where he acknowledged discussing surrogacy with two former female subordinates.Franks...
Published: 12/07/17
Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced Thursday he will resign from Congress in the coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and the collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once...
Published: 12/07/17
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17
Romano: Like him or not, Latvala deserves a fair hearing

Romano: Like him or not, Latvala deserves a fair hearing

At some point, the truth has to matter, right? Evidence, due process, all of that? No matter how you feel about Sen. Jack Latvala personally (and I’ve never been a huge fan) or how you feel about the overzealousness of his defense (which I cr...
Published: 12/07/17