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Thread: Florida Legislature is raiding concealed weapons licensing trust fund

  1. #1
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    Florida Legislature is raiding concealed weapons licensing trust fund

    ***ALERT- Legislators Raid CCW Trust Fund - try to intimidate Governor

    DATE: May 11, 2009
    TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
    FROM: Marion P. Hammer
    USF Executive Director
    NRA Past President

    In a last minute sneak attack on gun owners, the Florida Legislature raided the concealed weapons and firearms licensing trust fund.

    They took $6 million from the Division of Licensing Concealed Weapons and Firearm Trust Fund that is intended, by law, to be used solely for administering the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program. (Read background Information below)

    Please Call, Fax, or Email Governor Charlie Crist IMMEDIATELY, and ask him to veto the $6 Million trust fund sweep from the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Licensing authorized under Section 59 of the Conference Report of SB-2600.

    Phone number: (850) 488-4441 or (850) 488-7146
    Fax number: (850) 487-0801

    Send your email to the Governor at this address:

    Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com

    Please send your email today !!!!! And/or please contact the Governor's office by phone or fax ASAP

    BACKGROUND:

    Right now, the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program is backlogged and overloaded, due in part to the refusal of budget officials and the Legislature to allow the Division of Licensing to use its own trust fund money to hire more employees and expand/upgrade equipment.

    Crates of unopened mail containing license and license renewal applications sit in storage. The backlog of mail sitting unopened, at times, has extended beyond 90 days while existing licenses are expiring because renewal applications haven't been opened and processed.

    Currently (although the Division of Licensing has been working weekend shifts to clear the backlog), it is taking 13-14 weeks to process a "perfect" application once it has been opened. That is an unequivocal violation of the law that requires issuance or denial of a licence by a time certain a violation of law that legislative leaders are condoning by their actions.

    THE LAW REQUIRES THE DIVISION OF LICENSING TO ISSUE A LICENSE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE APPLICATION -- or deny the license "for cause", based upon the criteria set forth in the law. Theft of operating funds by the Legislature is not "just cause" for failure to issue licenses or renewals within 90 days.

    While applications sit gathering dust, legislative leaders took $6 Million of approximately $8 Million held in the trust fund. That $6 Million is supposed to be used to pay employees, buy upgraded equipment, upgrade or replace computers or software, and to otherwise administer the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program.

    BUT, feigning a desperate need for funds for education and health care, legislative leaders recklessly and ruthlessly confiscated trust fund money. Why? Because they were building a so-called "working capital" fund for the 2010-12 legislative term, reported now to be in the neighborhood of $1.8 BILLION DOLLARS. This so-called "working capital fund" is for the use of future legislative leaders.

    They didn't take that money for education. They didn't take that money for health care. They didn't take that money to save jobs. They didn't take that money to avoid pay cuts, or budget cuts -- they took the money to help build their own fund.

    While Senate leadership reportedly fought to stop the ruthless raids on trust funds, in the end, they simply caved and let the House of Representatives prevail.

    The bad behavior doesn't end there.

    Obviously fearing the Governor would use his line-item veto to stop trust fund raids, proviso language was inserted in the bill in an clear attempt to intimidate the Governor.

    The proviso language says that if any portion of the moneys swept from this and other trust funds does not become law (meaning it is vetoed), that portion of the money shall be deducted from the EDUCATION BUDGET. This is clearly designed to keep the Governor from vetoing trust fund sweeps, and prevent trust fund money from being taken back out the House leadership's so-called "working capital" fund.

    Money in the concealed weapons trust fund came from gun owners. No money to administer and run the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program has ever come from general revenue, or any other state fund or revenue source. The taking of these gun owner user fees is an unauthorized tax on the exercise of the Second Amendment.

    AGAIN, Please Call, Fax, or Email Governor Crist IMMEDIATELY, and ask him to veto the $6 Million raid on the Concealed Weapons & Firearms Trust Fund!

    Send your email to the Governor at this address:

    Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com

    Please send your email today !!!!!

    You may also call the Executive Office of the Governor at: (850) 488-7146

  2. #2
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    The letter I just sent:
    Dear Governor Crist,
    I was just informed by the Unified Sportsmen of Florida that the legislature is attempting to "sweep" $6 Million from the fund specifically set up to administer Florida's concealed weapons and firearms licensing program. This deeply concerns me, as even the fully-finded program has not been able to satisfactorily process all of the applications and renewal requests for Florida concealed weapon permits. I can only imagine how slowly and unreliably the program will run if the legislature succeeds in diverting money paid specifically for this purpose, towards other purposes. I am especially concerned since as someone who has had a Florida concealed weapons permit for some time, and have renewed it, that I have paid into this fund which has proven to be too tempting for the Florida legislature to keep from trying to take it for their own purposes.
    PLEASE veto this $6M trust fund sweep from the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Licensing authorized under Section 59 of the Conference Report of SB-2600.

    Sincerely,

  3. #3
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    Done!

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    Got a source link by any chance?
    .
    Once you've been awakened to the problems, you have a responsibility to change them.

  5. #5
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    No link yet, sorry. I got an email from Marion Hammer @ the USF yesterday about it is all.

  6. #6
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    Got a source link by any chance?

    Here is the NRA link:

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=4854

  7. #7
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    Called the governor's office and expressed my (extreme) displeasure.
    "[The 2nd Amendment's] free exercise is the antithesis of serfdom and the only meaningful form of holocaust insurance known to man." -- Gus Cotey, Jr.
    NRA, SAF, and JPFO Life Member. USCCA annual member.
    Public Relations Coordinator, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc.

  8. #8
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    Called Governor Crist's office this morning and actually got through. I tried yesterday and couldn't get anyone, maybe others were calling about the trust fund also.

    Although no governor wants to be accused of taking money away from education, expecially if he wants to be elected to any office, this blackmail needs to be exposed.

    Keep the calls and emails going.

  9. #9
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    They are doing this here in SC too

    I wrote a piece on this type of thing as well.
    Folks know Education is radioactive...
    The folks here have a program called TERI a teacher retention program that allows teachers to access retirement benefits and remain employed at their current rates. Rather than cut them because they are "teachers" they cut other jobs of folks who wouldn't have insurance or any benefits if they lost their jobs. the TERI folks would still have money and benefits if they lost their jobs, but, because "teacher" is a politically protective umberellla, they are not touched.
    We have all kinds of ads here defaming Sanford for not taking stimulus and that he hates teachers etc. yet there was an alternate budget proposal by some supporting Sanford, that actually funded schools by 2.6 billion more than they ever got before, and it was voted down. Politics politics. Here's the budget description/discussion from Nathan Ballentine and some guest writers that I gleaned info from for a piece I wrote.
    http://nathansnews.com/when-elephant...s-trampled.htm

    this politics is exactly what Teaparties were all about.

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