State of Florida Archives: on Gun Control


Brian Mast: Right to defend ourselves is God-given

I have carried a rifle and a pistol for most of my adult life, and fired both in defense of every American and myself.

The right to defend ourselves is God-given. It is not a right provided to us by our federal government, but rather the right to keep and bear arms is a right the federal government is sworn to protect.

I will uphold the oath I took to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, and I will fight to protect our Second Amendment from all attempts to erode it.

Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website MastForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Darren Soto: Stand up to the gun lobby

Following the shocking massacre at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, I called for a special session of the Florida Legislature to reform our gun laws. My proposal: Ban gun sales in Florida to anyone on the "no fly" and terrorist watch lists. It's a commonsense idea that enjoys broad support in Florida and across the country. It also could have potentially stopped the Pulse shooter from buying the weapon that allowed him to kill so many people.

Our call for reform immediately put us in the crosshairs of the Florida NRA. I'm not afraid of standing up to the gun lobby. In Congress, I'll fight for commonsense gun safety reforms that respect Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of dangerous hands. We owe it to the victims and survivors of the gun violence epidemic in our country.

Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website DarrenSoto.com Nov 8, 2016

Francis Rooney: Protect and defend the Second Amendment

Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website FrancisRooney.com Nov 8, 2016

Matt Gaetz: One of the most pro-gun members of the Florida Legislature

When it comes to protecting our right to bear arms, there has been no greater champion than Matt. One past President of the NRA has called Matt "one of the most pro-gun members of the Florida Legislature." Matt successfully sponsored legislation banning local governments from infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights, and led the fight to bring Open Carry to Florida. When many across the nation called for the repeal of Florida's Stand Your Ground Law, Matt led the fight to keep the law in place and preserve our right to defend our homes and families. Matt killed all taxes on gun club memberships and passed legislation stopping insurance companies from discriminating against gun owners. As our Congressman, Matt will take on the anti-gun special interests to allow reciprocity of concealed weapon permits between states and will fight any attempt to chip away at our 2nd Amendment rights.
Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website MattGaetz.com Nov 8, 2016

Neal Dunn: Protect the 2nd Amendment

Protect the 2nd Amendment: The 'Right to Bear Arms' is one of the most fundamental and important rights in the Constitution and needs to be protected. As a life member of the NRA and a Veteran, I cherish this right and will fight to protect and uphold the 2nd Amendment.
Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website NealDunn.com Nov 8, 2016

Patrick Murphy: Expand background checks; bar people on watch lists

Q: On Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Murphy: Yes. Expand background checks and bar people on watch lists.

Rubio: No. "Gun laws are not effective."

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Florida Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Patrick Murphy: No civilian access to military-style assault weapons

Q: An estimated 300,000 people died from gun violence between 2004 and 2014. On June 12 another 49 people died in a mass shooting in Orlando. Do you support or oppose a federal ban on assault weapons, and do you support or oppose limits on firearms purchases by someone who is or has been under suspicion of terrorist activities?

Patrick E. Murphy: Along with most Floridians, I support background checks for online, gun show, and private gun purchases. I am strongly in favor of closing the terrorist gun loophole and preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. I also do not believe that civilians need access to military-style assault weapons. After the tragic shooting in Orlando, Floridians are crying out for members of Congress to come together on these types of reasonable solutions to prevent this violence. This goes to the fundamental responsibility of elected officials to keep their constituents safe and this will be a top priority for me in the U.S. Senate.

Source: Vote411.org League of Women Voters: 2016 Florida Senate Race Sep 19, 2016

Patrick Murphy: More background checks: close the terrorist gun loophole

Murphy wants tougher gun laws that he says might prevent episodes like the one that saw 49 people killed during the Pulse nightclub tragedy in June. Murphy is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio for his seat--and challenged him to support tougher gun control legislation.

"We need somebody who is actually going to show up to work, who acts in the best interest of their community, of their constituents, not some lobby," Murphy said. "Every vote Senator Rubio has taken has proven he is not that senator. I'm calling on Senator Rubio to embrace reason in order to keep us safe from gun violence."

Murphy says he supports legislation that would close the terrorist gun loophole, demand more thorough background checks on those wanting to purchase guns. He also supports banning the sale of assault weapons such as the one Omar Mateen used to gun down more 100 people at Pulse nightclub.

Rubio voted against a measure that would have prevented those on the terror watch list from buying weapons.

Source: Washington Times on 2016 Florida Senate race Aug 4, 2016

George LeMieux: Staunch believer in Second Amendment right to bear arms

I am a staunch and firm believer in the right to bear arms ensconced in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. If given the privilege to return to the Senate, I will continue to fight for our Second Amendment rights and actively resist any attempt to abridge those rights. I am a proud member of the NRA.

George is rated 'A' by the NRA and will be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment in the Senate. Gun owners can count on George to fight to protect freedom & the Second Amendment.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, georgeforflorida.com, "Issues" Jul 16, 2011

Rick Scott: A-rating from the NRA

Rick is the only candidate for governor to receive an A-rating from the NRA.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, rickscottforflorida.com Aug 19, 2010

Jeb Bush: Stand-your-ground bill: Deadly force OK when threatened

In 2005, the governor signed into law another piece of NRA legislation on the topic of gun control. The bill was written by the NRA and expanded the rights of Floridians to use deadly force when threatened in public places. This proposal, known as the "stand your ground bill," expanded the rights of people to use guns or other deadly force to defend themselves without 1st trying to escape even in places outside their homes. The law stipulated that a person "has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."

The bill was opposed by police chiefs in high crime areas like Miami and Broward County who claimed it would lead "drivers with road rage or drunken sports fans who get into fights leaving ball games to assume that they had total immunity." The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence argued that it could be used to defend people who shoot in the emotional rage associated with domestic violence and other high-stress events.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 80 Dec 11, 2009

Mitt Romney: Support the 2nd Amendment AND the assault weapon ban

I do support the Second Amendment. I would have signed the assault weapon ban that came to his desk. I said I would have supported that and signed a similar bill in our state. It was a bill worked out, by the way, between pro-gun lobby and anti-gun lobby individuals. Both sides of the issue came together and found a way to provide relaxation in licensing requirements and allow more people to--to have guns for their own legal purposes. So we signed that in Massachusetts, and I’d support that at the federal level. It did not pass at the federal level. I do not believe we need new legislation. I do not support any new legislation of an assault weapon ban nature, including that against semiautomatic weapons. We have laws in place that, if they’re implemented & enforced, will provide the protection and the safety of the American people. I do support the right of individuals to bear arms, whether for hunting purposes or for protection purposes or any other reasons. That’s the right that people have
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Duncan Hunter: Bearing arms is a tradition of the American soldier

Q: What is your opinion of gun control?

A: The right to keep and bear arms is an important element of community security, home security, and national security. I think it is a tradition of the American soldier. I will strongly enforce the Second Amendment as president of the United States.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

John McCain: I know how to use guns; but I don’t own one

Q: Tell us about your gun collection, roughly how many you own, what your favorite make, model and caliber is, if any of them require a tax stamp?

A: For a long time I used a lot of guns, including carrying a .45 as a pilot flying in combat over Vietnam. I know how to use guns. I don’t own one now.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Government can impose reasonable regulations on guns

Q: Why do you believe that citizens should be required to pass an exam in order to exercise their right to protect themselves and their families?

A: We have to be very aggressive about enforcing the gun laws that exist. The Second Amendment gives people an individual right to keep and to bear arms; however, [the] Government can impose reasonable regulations.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Jeb Bush: Violent gun crime rate is down by more than 25%

Public safety has been protected, and convicted criminals will continue to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. Over the last two years, the violent gun crime rate is down by more than 25 percent, translating into 18 fewer gun assaults each day in this state in 2000 compared to 1998.
Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature Jan 22, 2002

Jeb Bush: Use a Gun and You’re Done

Source: Governor’s web site, www.MyFlorida.com, “Initiatives” Nov 7, 2001

Hillary Clinton: Don’t water down sensible gun control legislation

We have to do everything possible to keep guns out of the hands of children, and we need to stand firm on behalf of the sensible gun control legislation that passed the Senate and then was watered down in the House. It does not make sense for us at this point in our history to turn our backs on the reality that there are too many guns and too many children have access to those guns-and we have to act to prevent that.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Jeb Bush: Concealed carry OK; supports instant background check

Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Gun Control:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby&