Constitution Revision Commission considers assault weapons ban ballot proposal

By Josh Rojas, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 11:06 PM EDT

Advocates for stricter gun control showed up at the USF Student Center in St. Petersburg on Tuesday for the final Constitution Revision Commission meeting to urge members to allow proposal 3 -- a proposed ban on assault-style weapons -- as an amendment on the 2018 general election ballot.

  • Any amendments proposed by CRC will be added to 2018 general election ballot
  • Currently 36 active proposals before the commission
  • CRC will begin debating proposals next week

“I’m asking the commission to please do the right thing. The common sense thing. The thing that most Americans want. The thing that my peers demand,” said Freedom High student Brianna Aujer. “Put an assault weapons ban on the proposal list and let the people decide.”

The 37 member CRC only meets once every 20 years to review Florida’s Constitution and propose changes for voter consideration. Any amendments proposed by the CRC will be placed on the 2018 general election ballot. There’s currently 36 active proposals before the commission.

An amendment to proposal 3 was filed Tuesday morning by Commissioners Hank Coxe, Sherry Plymale, Arthenia Joyner and Frank Kruppenbacker. It calls for a ban on assault-style weapons, high capacity magazines and lengthens the waiting period to purchase a gun from 3-to-10 days.

“The idea that we can’t get our legislators to consider an assault weapons ban is both suspect and disgraceful,” Aujer said. “Why should we have to go to a commission that meets only every 20 years, when our legislators meet each year?”

Freedom High School student Brianna Aujer speaks at a rally outside the USF Student Center in St. Petersburg, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (Josh Rojas, staff)

The CRC will begin debating the proposals on the floor next week in Tallahassee.

“There is a raging gun disease in our country and to the politicians who can’t see that, you make me sick and you are sick with this disease. This is not a Second Amendment issue,” said St. Pete High student Nicole Leary. “To the politicians who will just sigh and continue receiving NRA money as they turn their heads away from the screams of dying children, we will vote you out.”

Parkland Dad John Willis traveled to St. Petersburg to urge members to pass Proposal 3.

“When we were in Tallahassee, we met with a lot of legislators who told us why assault weapons should not be banned,” said Willis. “There’s not a one of us here who still understand any one of the responses.”

The CRC will make its final decision on which proposals will make it on the ballot by May 10.