After a favorable 8 to 5 vote in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, a favorable 10 to 3 vote in the Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee, and a Favorable 13 to 5 vote in the Judiciary Committee, House Bill 4001 (2016 session) has stalled. But not because of the Florida House of Representatives.
The Senate version of the bill will not be brought to a vote in the Committee on Judiciary chaired by Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. The Senate Criminal Justice Subcommittee favored the bill 8 to 4. The Justice Appropriations Subcommittee favored the bill 7 to 6. But now it will languish in the Committee on Judiciary because the chair of the committee will not bring it to a vote. So runs the course of representative government when one man in a positions stands with the 10 subcommittee members who opposed the bill instead of allowing the approval of 15 to let the bill proceed to be voted up or down.
The House and Senate version of the bill are identical and elegant in the simplicity of the enactment. The bill removes a restriction. It strikes number 13 of paragraph (a) of subsection (12) of section 790.06, Florida Statutes and renumbers the two that follow to fill the gap.
Mr. de la Portilla uttered words meant to provide reason for his inaction but there is no logic in them. Concealed Carry permit holders in Florida have reached full Citizenship. These are not 18 year olds who have just been granted the right to vote. They are at a minimum, 21 year olds who have invested their time and treasure to become authorized to carry a firearm or weapon.
They are not bound by any Federal, State, County, Municipal, or University decree to bring their firearm or weapon to bear in their defense or the defense of another person. They have the choice, based on their evaluation of any life threatening situation, to run, hide, freeze or fight back with deadly force. They will bear the responsibility of their actions just as every other adult does. They may face criminal or civil court the same as they would in any other location they choose the be in had they acted in a similar manner.
Opponents of the bills seem to think of college as an enlightened oasis when the reality is an open border designated gun free zone. Instead of providing a deterrent to violent criminal behavior on college campuses, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary is choosing to promote the status quo.