Florida's Top NRA Lobbyist Unloads Again on Assault Weapon Proposal

Florida’s top gun lobbyist says a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to prevent the possession and sale of assault weapons could be devastating for hunters and the gun industry. 

Marion Hammer, of the National Rifle Association, appeared before the Financial Impact Estimating Conference Thursday, as economists are reviewing the potential economic impacts of the proposed amendment.

The measure by the political committee Ban Assault Weapons Now would prohibit possession of assault weapons, defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once.

Hammer, a former NRA president, claims passage of the proposal would result in all rifles and shotguns being outlawed in the state, while having a negative impact on more than 150 major gun manufacturers.

“It will change the way of life for at least half the citizens of this state, with no promise at all, or potential, of stopping public mass shootings; none.”

Countering Hammer and other critics of the proposed amendment Thursday was Tom Enoch, a retired family practice physician.

“Human lives are certainly more important that the economic benefits from selling guns. They can sell plenty of guns that are not weapons of mass destruction.”

The measure, which would not prohibit handguns, includes an exemption for military and law-enforcement personnel in their official duties.

So far, state economists have struggled to reach consensus on what the language of the proposed amendment means, and exactly which guns would be outlawed under the plan.