Republicans in Florida favoring gun rights are targeting companies that are pulling support for the NRA in much the same manner as lawmakers did in Georgia, who this week targeted Delta Airlines for severing its ties with the organization that describes itself as "diligent protectors of the 2nd Amendment," Politico reported Friday.
In last minute political maneuvering, lawmakers in the Florida House on Friday cut a proposal to lower aviation fuel and added language to rebid a state rental car contract with Enterprise Rent-A-Car that wasn't set to expire until 2020.
"We would do this to any company that wants to engage against political speech, whether it's against the NRA or Planned Parenthood," said state Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, who added the Enterprise Rent-A-Car language to the bill Thursday night.
"Anyone can engage in political speech," Ingoglia added. "But we have a duty to watch and make sure government money doesn't underwrite it."
NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said she wasn't involved in the matter but supported the state legislators' efforts, saying, "Taxpayer dollars shouldn't be used to benefit businesses who discriminate against a segment of the taxpayers."
The Florida Senate has yet to address the debate over companies that have publicly chosen to part ways with the NRA, and the companies involved declined to comment.
Florida's move mirrors efforts in Georgia, where on Thursday lawmakers killed a proposed tax break on jet fuel that would have saved Atlanta-based Delta Airlines millions of dollars. The company announced late last month it would no longer offer discount fares to NRA members.
Florida's gun control debate has brought to the surface underlying passions on various aspects of the issue, following the mass shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland in Broward County.
Democrats in Florida questioned the changes, and State Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw tweeted his contempt for his Republican colleagues over the issue.
"There is no shame in the Florida Legislature. Even in the midst of tragedy, they found time today to punish Delta for standing up to the @NRA. Their hypocrisy & contempt for the citizens & employers of our state knows no bounds. #NeverAgain" Shaw tweeted.
The budget is now before the state House and Senate budget writers, the article explained.
The final few weeks of Florida's legislative session have been engulfed by the issue of gun safety in schools. A $400 million spending package proposes boosting the age to 21 to purchase semiautomatic weapons and establishes a three-day waiting period to purchase them.
The legislation would also create a program to train and arm school teachers and staff. However, talks continue amid fears Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott would veto the legislation.
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