Citing Adolf Hitler and Fidel Castro’s atrocities, conservative Florida lawmakers want o prohibit police from compiling gun-owner and gun-sale lists. The critics say the practice infringes on citizens’ rights to privacy and to own firearms, says the Miami Herald.
The proposal, supported by the National Rifle Association, says the records are not legitimate law-enforcement tools and are instead part of “a phony excuse to harass and abuse American citizens.” The bill will be heard today in a House judiciary committee along with a proposal to “immunize” gun ranges from environmental lawsuits concerning lead and arsenic poisoning from ammunition.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, is troubled by the idea that police across the state track people who are exercising a right protected in state and U.S. constitutions. “We’re at a point in our history where the government is trying to slowly take away our rights, piece by piece, and I’m trying to stop that,” Baxley said. “By accumulating all this data, it could fall into the wrong hands. And that could be a treacherous thing.” The gun-tracking bill sys that Hitler and Castro favored gun control and registration to maintain control over the population.
“It’s clear what’s going on here. These are polarizing social issues designed to excite conservatives in an election year,” said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. “But what’s really offensive is the way they’re going about it. The most outrageous thing is invoking the atrocities of the Holocaust to pass what’s really an anti law-enforcement bill. It’s in bad taste.”
Gelber, a former federal prosecutor, said that prohibiting police and prosecutors from tracking gun ownership will hamper law enforcement agencies, which often collect gun-sale information from pawnshops, gun stores and even federal authorities.