Florida NRA lobbyist spoke to state economists and drew heavy criticism for her comments on a proposed assault rifle ban
On Friday, Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association spoke to state economists and warned that an assault rifle ban would hurt gun manufacturers in Florida. An NRA lobbyist is clearly not a fan of an assault rifle ban, but some of her comments led to rapid fire criticism.
“How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?” she said.
The argument fell a bit flat. Given that most are more concerned with the safety of their children than using guns to entertain them.
Moms Demand Action founder, Shannon Watts, shared the quote on Twitter.
At a Tallahassee hearing on prohibiting assault weapons, @NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “How do you tell a 10-year-old girl that the rifle she got for Christmas is an assault weapon and she has to give it up or risk arrest on felony charges?” #flapol https://t.co/aPVGTNYbx1
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 16, 2019
Of course, Twitter had a lot to say.
Hammer is right about one thing. Guns are big business in Florida. Huge.
Florida is the number five state in terms of gun production. And Hammer pressed that gun manufacturers are a $1 billion dollar industry with more than 700 firearms manufacturing license holders. In 2016, those smaller shops and large manufacturers produced more than 750,000 weapons.
The amendment she denounced would ban the future sale of assault rifles and make it so current owners had to either register them with the state or give them up. It seems like a common sense law, but Hammer was concerned mostly concerned the manufacturers would get out of Florida, and quick.
“If I were the owner of one of these firearm manufacturing companies, I wouldn’t wait to see what voters do,” she said. “If this were allowed to go on the ballot, I’d say, ‘I’m outta here.’”
While it may be true that gun manufacturers would be hurt, others argued that money could be saved (not to mention lives) from fewer mass shootings. Dr. Charles Tate, a Broward County radiologist, said Florida would save millions that way, citing that the 2016 Pulse shooting in Orlando costs about $390 million from medical costs, police, and expense to employers.
Tate is the owner of multiple guns himself. But he said he would happily give them up if they were outlawed because his concerns were elsewhere. “I am far more interested in the safety of my wife, my children and my grandchildren,” he said.
Truthfully, it seems like these days, most are on his side of the argument.