Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marion Hammer's Birthday Present

Some people get a cake for their birthday. Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer gets two pro-gun bills passed.

During debate, several lawmakers paid homage to longtime Affiliated Sportsmen of Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, seated in the House gallery and celebrating a birthday Tuesday. She described the timing as “coincidence.”

Moments later, the House voted 85-33 to OK another measure (CS/HB 45) prohibiting cities and counties from attempting to enact local gun laws tougher than state standards. State law already pre-empts such local measures, but several governments have attempted to impose restrictions, which typically lead to lawsuits.

Of course the passage of the bills was coincidence. It is not like Republican legislators are afraid of Hammer or pander to her. Except when they are afraid of her and pander to her.

There was a perfectly logical reason to pass HB 155.

“Owning guns is a fundamental right,” said Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka. “It’s not to be infringed upon by your doctor.”

Doctors are a threat to gun ownership? This is the latest nutty thing Van Zant has said. HB 155 was an unnecessary piece of legislation. Doctors only ask gun-owners about firearms if they are near children or mentally unstaple people in a household. The NRA had a paranoid fear that doctors were keeping secret records of gun-owners. Despite not having any proof to back this claim.

The other legislation makes sense in terms of having local gun laws match state laws. What I find interesting about it is it goes against Republicans "less government" philosophy. Conservative ideology usually takes a backseat to lobbyists. And the biggest lobbyist in Tallahassee is The Hammer.

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