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A proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution banning possession of assault weapons by anyone else than a well-regulated militia is being filed with the Secretary State. The amendment designates the Florida National Guard and organized police forces as the state’s militia, and allows that militia to possess assault rifles, automatic weapons, large magazine weapons, sniper rifles and all other weapons necessary to defend the state. The language goes on to ban the possession of such weapons by anyone other than the militia.

The amendment was developed and is being filed by a Boynton Beach resident. Donald Cleveland is the acting chairman of the Stop The Killing Committee. Cleveland said, “It’s time for the people to speak directly, because representative government through the state and federal legislative branches has broken down. Instead of representing the vast majority of the Americans who favor weapon control, the elected legislative officials do the bidding of the monied gun interests.”

“Those who oppose regulation based on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment need to go back to school and study the English language.” He said. He went on to point out, that they also need to remember that the Assault Weapons ban passed in 1994 was not struck down by the courts, but remained in effect until it expired ten years later. Further, Private ownership of machine guns made after 1986 is banned by federal law. All pre-1986 automatic weapons must be registered with the ATF and require extensive background checks before private citizens may own them. The National Firearms Act, first enacted in 1934, regulates fully automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and destructive devices such as bombs or grenades. The NFA was subsequently modified in 1968 by the Gun Control Act and in 1986 by the Firearm Owners Protection Act.

Sportsmen don’t need assault rifles or large clip guns to hunt or compete in marksmanship events. Cleveland won numerous marksmanship awards including the Distinguished Marksmanship medal from the National Rifle Association. He served in U.S. Army reserve and active duty for a total of ten years, served on a legislative research staff, and is the author of a book on the U.S. Constitution. He lobbied at the federal, state and local level for a period of ten years where he successfully wrote and passed hundreds of laws and a state constitutional amendment.

“Mass shootings have been increasing over the past 20 years, and they wouldn’t be possible if the murders didn’t have military grade weapons in their hands, “ Cleveland added. “We must have the courage to STOP THE KILLING !”

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