The National Riffle Association is gearing up for a fight against gun control in the unlikeliest of places against the unlikeliest of opponents — Florida Republicans.
Fresh off a week that saw Gov. Rick Scott, he of the A+ rating from the powerful gun lobby, and the GOP-led Florida legislature putting forth separate bills that would crack down on the purchases of semi-automatic weapons, all sides say the gun-friendly state is in uncharted territory, Politico reports.
"I have no answer for why Republicans who profess to be strong Second Amendment advocates would abandon law-abiding gun owners to pass gun control to pretend they are doing something," Marion Hammer, the NRA's Florida lobbyist, told Politico.
The answer spawns from the Valentine's Day massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and faculty were killed by a teenager with mental issues toting an AR-15.
"It's the first time I've ever seen our leadership in a position that is contrary to the NRA," state Republican Sen. Tom Lee told Politico.
"Truth be told, we are all in uncharted territory," state Democratic Rep. Evan Jenne told Politico. "The NRA has written every piece of gun legislation for damn near 25 years."
But now Florida Republicans mull bills that differ from each other, except for raising the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, up from 18, matching handguns.
A Florida Senate committee is expected to vote Monday on three different measures limiting the sales of guns, and the House Rules committee is expected to act on similar measures, all of which are fiercely opposed by the NRA.
"The NRA is absolutely opposed to the gun control language reported to be in the House & already in the Senate bill," Hammer said in an email to Florida membership over the weekend.
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