cord byrd, guns, legislature, joe gruters, 2nd Amendment, eye on jacksonville
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Rep. Cord Byrd

Supporters of the Second Amendment are hailing the defeat of 25 “very bad” gun control bills in the 2021 Florida Legislature.

Also, they are cheering for “Second Amendment Heroes” – seven Republican legislators including Jacksonville’s Rep. Cord Byrd.

The others were Senate President Wilton Simpson (R), House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R), Sen. Joe Gruters (R), Rep. Jayer Williamson (R), Sen. Ray Rodrigues (R), and Rep. Jason Shoaf (R).

The NRA said HB-259,  known as the Church Carry bill, passed both the House and Senate and “would not have passed without the hard work of Byrd, Rep. Jayer Williamson, and Sen. Joe Gruters.”  It has been signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis and took effect immediately. 

This bill authorizes people with concealed weapons or firearms licenses to carry firearms on property of churches, synagogues, or any other religious institutions, unless specifically prohibited to do so by the church, synagogue, religious institution or other property owner. 

More than 1 million people in the Sunshine State have concealed carry permits, which poses a real threat to the criminal element.

That bill was one of the three pro-gun laws passed and the NRA credited Byrd with being instrumental in all three.

The others were the “Preemption Enforcement” bill, which stops anti-gun governments and subdivisions of government from scamming plaintiffs out of attorney fees in lawsuits brought due to the entity’s violation of state law, and a resolution affirming Florida’s support for Second Amendment rights.

All of the defeated gun-grabbing legislation came from Democrats.

Marion Hammer, head of the Florida NRA, said all of the legislation intended to diminish the rights of gun owners died in committee, including a recurring effort to ban so-called “assault weapons.”

The sheer number and preposterous basis for much of the legislation should keep Florida residents on alert.

Florida owes a debt to the NRA for monitoring filed bills and helping to defeat bad ones by providing facts and information to lawmakers.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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