While parents of slain Parkland, Florida high school students were lobbying Florida lawmakers in order to pass the state’s new school safety bill recently, many Republicans expressed concern that if they voted to support the bill, the National Rifle Association would come after them.
After Gov. Rick Scott signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act into law on March 9, the NRA filed a federal lawsuit against the state, asking a federal judge to block the age restriction in the new Florida gun law from taking effect.
Politico reported Monday afternoon that the NRA has claimed its “first casualty,” targeting outgoing Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is expected to run for governor of Florida.
“Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran (R) is adding insult to injury by calling the betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners ‘one of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had,’” NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said in a legislative update sent to members and posted on the website of the NRA’s lobbying arm.
“One of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had,” she wrote again for emphasis, “NOT !!!!!!”
Hammer made clear that, though the law in question helps end “gun free zones” at many public schools, she and the NRA do not believe that the new three-day waiting period and 21-year age limit for long gun purchases is justified.
Politico reported that the NRA may just be warming up against Republicans in Florida who supported the bill.
Now the political consequences for Corcoran — anticipated by the speaker, who had an A rating with the NRA — are coming to bear. And political insiders say Hammer might just be warming up with Corcoran as she considers whether and when to target the 57 Florida House Republicans and 18 Florida Senate Republicans who voted for the bill.
“Richard’s the first casualty. He probably won’t be the last,” said one Republican in the Legislature who was so fearful of Hammer that the member didn’t want any identifying information printed about his or her gender or which chamber he or she served in. “For Richard, this is deadly in a Republican primary.”