1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

NRA blasts Bill Galvano over donation from gun-control group: ‘Our Second Amendment rights were sold’

Everytown for Gun Safety gave the Republican's PAC $200,000.
Published Sep. 17, 2018

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, is getting hit from the right over a donation to his political committee from the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

The pro-gun control organization gave $200,000 to Galvano's Innovate Florida committee, according to state filings dated Sept. 4.

Galvano, a moderate, voted for SB 7026, the 2018 law that raised the minimum age a person is allowed to buy a gun, created a three-day waiting period to buy any firearm, banned bump-stock sales and allowed armed staff in public schools. The "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act" passed the Senate 20-18, and was signed into law after a session derailed by the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland.

The National Rifle Association blasted Galvano on Monday, writing that he "calls himself a Republican."

"B-7026 contained three major gun control provisions and was rammed down the throats of Senate and House Republican legislators," the email from Marion Hammer read. "The report below below adds credence to that rumor. Looks like our Second Amendment Rights were sold for a large contribution from anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg."

Galvano told the Times he stands by the donation.

"I will make no apologies for the responsible steps we took in a bipartisan manner in the wake of the worst school shooting in our state's history," he said through a spokeswoman. "I have made it clear that as Senate president I will continue to advocate for increased safety and security in our schools. I am grateful for the support."

Everytown for Gun Safety is a national nonprofit, founded by Michael Bloomberg, advocating expanded background checks and stronger gun-control laws. The group announced Monday it is spending millions on the 2018 election and endorsed Democratic candidates in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico.

The contribution to Galvano's PAC also drew a question from the League of Women Voters.

"Why is a national gun control organization donating $200,000 to Bill Galvano's PAC when Galvano voted against virtually every gun control bill in the 2018 legislative session?" said Mark Pafford, co-chair of the group's Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. "It's a logical question that needs an answer."

In the days after the shooting, Galvano announced support for raising the minimum age for assault rifle possession, adding three-day waiting periods for assault rifle purchases and tightening background checks. But asked why not ban semi-automatic weapons or guns with high-capacity magazines, he said many people use them for sport.

Galvano voted against early Democrat-pushed amendments to the bill, including efforts to ban assault weapons and prevent programs to put guns in schools, but voted for the final version, which passed 20-18.

Galvano's Innovate Florida committee had about $231,000 in cash on hand as of last Friday, the report shows.

He isn't the only Florida Republican to pull in money from the group. A committee associated with Sen. Anitere Flores received $35,000 from Everytown in two payments in June and August. Flores sided with Democrats on SB 7026 with early amendment votes to eliminate a plan to arm teachers and to ban assault weapons.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.


  1. Paula Dockery of Lakeland served in the Florida Legislature for 16 years.
  2. New Jersey Devils' Blake Coleman (20) brings the puck up the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday.
  3. Erik Jones walks down pit road after rain caused a delay in the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
  4. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred takes questions about the Houston Astros during a news conference at the Atlanta Braves' spring training facility Sunday in North Port.
  5. Justin Callahan, 34, from St. Pete, looks out to the water as the sunrises on a crips morning at North Shore Park on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
  6. Connecticut's Megan Walker, left, drives past USF's Shae Leverett during the second half of the Huskies' 67-47 triumph Sunday at the Yuengling Center. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
  7. The United States' life expectancy has gone down four out of the last five years largely because of deaths in the 25-64 age range.
  8. Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
  9. Brandon Lowe, left, and Austin Meadows signeautographs after working out at Rays camp in Port Charlotte on Sunday.
  10. Fans watch from the grandstands as Air Force One, carrying President Donald Trump, prepares to land at Daytona International Airport before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday in Daytona Beach.
  11. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate on Feb. 7 hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.