gun control

Q&A: An Interview With Florida Gun Lobbyist Marion Hammer

Oct 9, 2013

Marion Hammer is one of Florida's most-influential lobbyists. She served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1995 to 1998, is a member of the NRA board and has been the executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the state's NRA affiliate, since 1976.

Why Florida Picks Fights With The U.S.

Sep 6, 2013

Florida’s top prosecutor wants to overturn a federal gun law and allow 18 year-olds to own handguns.  It’s just the latest example of the Sunshine State battling the federal government.  It’s done it over health care, voting rights and now gun control.  

Florida Department of Education

On The Florida Roundup: Our state's leadership goes through more upheaval, this time with the resignation of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. He will be the fifth education head (including interims) to depart in the 31 months since Governor Rick Scott took office.

Why has there been so much turnover? What impact does the latest change have on students and teachers? 

Plus: the Hialeah shooting drew national attention again to gun deaths in our state.  We look at what factors - or at least correlations - can be gleaned about violence and gun ownership. 


The only gun control measure passed by the Florida Legislature this year is finally on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

It puts people who are committed for mental health treatment on a list that prevents them from being able to buy a gun.

The National Rifle Association usually fights any proposal that could erode a person's right to bear arms – also known as the U.S. 2nd Amendment -- but the association strongly supports this bill.


The Florida Legislature passed a gun control measure this year that would prevent more people with mental illness from buying guns. 

It essentially closes a loophole that enables people who seek mental health treatment to buy guns.

The bipartisan bill even got strong support from the National Rifle Association.

But some critics think it may do more harm than good.

Wikipedia Commons


I will never forget that awful December day. My daughter left to school and I turned on the TV. I stumbled upon something that read “School Shooting.” All I could think was that my little princess was at her school and that this could happen anywhere. As it was getting time to pick her up, I rushed a little more and could not wait to hear her voice and see her smile. As soon as I saw her, I felt an immense sense of relief and peace. Tears kept on coming down my face.

Photo provided

When a mentally ill person entered a Connecticut school and slaughtered children and teachers, it was the last straw for some people. In this ultra liberal, politically correct climate in which we find ourselves today, the immediate outcry was to ban this and ban that. The very thought that teachers should not have the right to defend themselves and their pupils is laughable.

Deborah Acosta / WLRN / The Miami Herald

It's been a busy week in Washington, D.C.

As lawmakers react to the Boston Marathon bombings, parts of the Capitol had to be evacuated after suspicious letters addressed to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama were intercepted at mail screening facilities.

While dealing with that scare, members of Congress are getting their first look at a proposal for immigration reform put forth by the so-called "Gang of Eight" Senators including Florida's freshman Republican Marco Rubio.

In the mid ‘70s, I had recently left the Army and started working as an emergency physician at a hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a Wednesday, church night, and I was working the evening shift.

A woman in her thirties was brought in with a bullet wound in her leg. She told us that her boy friend had shot her during an argument. The wound didn't look serious; bleeding was minimal. It appeared to have been caused by a 32- or 38-caliber hand gun. I placed her in a room, ordered an X-ray, and sat at the physician desk to write up the chart.

1969.  Seventh grade.  School trip to an amusement park.  While sitting with a friend in a shaded and secluded spot, I was surrounded by 5 or 6 kids who demanded our ride tickets.  When I stood to my 6-foot-2-inch frame and invited them to try and take my tickets, they decided to pick on someone else.

1975.  A high-school football linebacker decided to test the band major in the boys’ locker room.  Football linebacker had a sore nose.  Band major was unscathed.

The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention commissioned a survey last month to measure South Floridians' attitudes about guns as opposed to the rest of the state.

Results show residents overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun purchases.

The institute in South Miami was founded by Lynn Aptman. Her daughter Melissa was shot to death during a carjacking in St. Louis two weeks before her college graduation in 1995.

Jordan Michael/WLRN

Results from a Quinnipiac University poll last month show Florida voters like the idea of universal background checks for gun buyers.

They also like the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, isn't surprised by either of those results.

A Victim Of Gun Violence On Gun Control

Mar 19, 2013
Wikipedia Commons

On June 22, 2004 I was shot point blank with a .45-caliber gun as I entered a subway station in Astoria Queens. The bullet entered my back and rattled around, destroying my hip. It had just enough inertia to come to a stop after puncturing the femoral artery. Nobody was ever prosecuted for my shooting. Meanwhile, I suffered for six years before being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Surachai /

for News Service of Florida  

The panel charged by Gov. Rick Scott with reviewing the state's 'stand your ground' self-defense law did not recommend any major changes to the statute, although it did make suggestions for tweaks by the Legislature in the upcoming session. The basic premise of the law isn't challenged in the final report released Friday. Scott's Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection included lawmakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, representatives of minority communities and law enforcement.