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8,000 NRA Supporters Tell Rick Scott McBurney 'Unfit' to Be Judge

June 10, 2016 - 7:00pm
Charles McBurney
Charles McBurney

Nearly 8,000 people have emailed Gov. Rick Scott to oppose Rep. Charles McBurney’s judgeship appointment after the National Rifle Association’s called on its members to tell the governor McBurney is “unfit” to be a circuit court judge. 

McBurney, who has represented part of Jacksonville in the Florida Legislature for the last nine years, is currently in the running to become judge of Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit. McBurney was one of 33 people to apply for two circuit judgeships in the Jacksonville-based 4th Judicial Circuit last year. The previous circuit judges could no longer serve due to mandatory retirement requirements. 

Those ambitions could be seriously hindered as a result of an NRA email which urged members to write to the governor and tell him why McBurney shouldn't be selected to be a judge. 

According to numbers obtained by Sunshine State News, the governor’s office had received 7,931 emails opposing McBurney’s judgeship while only 114 had written in his support. 

The NRA took issue with McBurney’s decision to shelve the Burden of Proof bill during this year’s legislative session. The bill, if passed, would have shifted the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases to the prosecutor, who would have had to prove, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” whether a defendant could be granted immunity at a pretrial hearing in order to disprove a claim of self-defense immunity.

The legislation made it through the Senate, but didn't fare as well in the House, where McBurney refused to hear the bill in his committee. 

“As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Charles McBurney arrogantly put his blind ambition to become judge ahead of your constitutional right of self-defense and your basic fundamental right to the presumption of innocence,” wrote past president and current NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. 
“McBurney’s refusal to hear the bill, which had already passed in the Senate, was essentially a death sentence to the bill, since it needs to be heard in several committees before it can come to the House floor for a vote,” Hammer wrote. 

The legislative session came and went with no Burden of Proof measure signed, but the NRA hasn't forgotten. 
The group says McBurney, a former prosecutor, was essentially driven by the need to impress anti-gun prosecutors, who the NRA says could help him become judge. It's just another example of “political pandering,” the group argued. 

Other pro-gun groups like Florida Carry piled on and told their members to send more emails to the governor. 

The influx of emails prompted McBurney to request emails supporting his candidacy, but the numbers showed not as many came to his aid. 

Now the fate of McBurney's judgeship ambitions rest in Gov. Scott's hands, and it's uncertain who will make the final cut for the 4th Judicial Circuit.

McBurney had not responded to Sunshine State News' request for a comment at  the time of this article's release.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


The government has failed to keep terrorists out. The government has failed to track the terrorists. The government has approved clearance and licensing for this terrorist. It's time the government gets off the backs of law abiding citizens and rids us of useless, unconstitutional, and barbaric gun laws. Millions of Americans support NRA because millions of Americans love and appreciate their freedom.

Oh my goodness. Good guys with a gun will protect us??? How about the police officers armed and trained to stop the bad guys, and were outside Orlando's night club last night when the killer approached, yet were UNABLE to stop the killer from entering when he entered the nightclub and slaughtered scores of innocent people. This killer (and many others) should NEVER have had access to assault weapons, as he had previously abused his ex-wife and was on an ISIS watch list. If we did in fact have reasonable screening and background checks, hundreds of individuals' lives would be saved every year in this country. Yet the NRA would never allow this, as they are funded primarily through the weapons and ammunition manufacturers. Follow the money. The reality is more guns have been sold in the last 8 years (while Obama has been President) than at ANY time in our history, and NONE have been confiscated from citizens. The Stand Your Ground legislation was drafted by ALEC and handed to the GOP legislators to pass in this State, and other States, with strong backing by the NRA. Follow the money. By having reasonable background checks, this would in no way remove our rights under the second amendment.

You do realize that he had his armed guards license , right? That means he had a much more complete background check than people who buy a gun from a dealer or even who obtain their Concealed Weapons License. There are people in the State of New York and California who might disagree with you about guns never getting confiscated. Not to mention the American Indian or the Japanese Americans who were interned in WWII and had their firearms taken.

A couple of corrections, here: 1). He was never convicted of the crime of Domestic Violence due to the fact that his spouse never pressed charges. If he were, he would have become a "prohibited person" under the law, and would not have been able to purchase firearms. 2). The is no such thing as an "ISIS Watch List". There is a "Terrorist Watch List" in which the people on it are not subject to any due process of law, there is no appeals process or procedure for recourse. Moreover, the list in it's entirety is not only classified, but absolutely rife with errors. Under no circumstances should an American citizen be stripped of their constitutional rights through bureaucratic inclusion on a secret list. 3). The NRA is not "primarily funded" by manufacturers. This is a lie that has been retold so many times it's taken a life of it's own. However, it's still factually incorrect. 4). The shooter passed a standard background check when he purchased these firearms.

The job of a Judge is to FOLLOW and APPLY the law to each and every case that s/he hears. Personal opinions and prior experiences are all too frequently applied to their DECISIONS. THE LAW, especially in this case, is Clear, Concise and leaves no room for 'interpretation'. McBurney, based on this, is unfit to be a Judge in Florida (or any State under American law).

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Lets just say that I have never met a prosecutor that wasn't a real prick. They do whatever they want. And for almost all judges, they ain't nothing but scumbag lawyers that weren't smart enough to steal in the real world. I always vote not to retain any of them. Take a look at the Taj Mahal in Tallahassee, home of the 1rst District Court of Appeals. Close to $50 million, all marble, onyx, mahogany and granite with plasma TVs and private rest rooms - I guess if they happen to be one of them there transgender types. $50 million dollars of taxpayer money to house a handful of scumbag lawyers to decide the fate of taxpayers. You can be sure they really care. McBurney needs to be sent to the showers.

It's interesting that somebody would troll this post... oh wait they're a liberal. Nevermind they are trolls.

You DO sound like a "real," modern American - "respectful" of other people's rights to express differing opinions than yours - Oh yes, I remember now ... the OTHER Amendment you all in the NRA don't want anyone to talk about... like Freedom of Speech... Are you willing to die for that one too? Right, no, just the "inalienable one" about "defending yourself" by debasing and killing people who disagree with your party line. This is the NEW America you support, the one where democratic ideals are so easily replaced with fascist ideology, and where very few of us know the difference anymore.

If there is any killing to be discussed in this matter of a judge that should not sit on the bench its about the Clinton legacy. Check out how many people that were involved with these two despicable individuals who were mysteriously found dead. Not a coincidence but fact. ISIS kills people who disagree with them not NRA card holders. Get your facts straight. It's clearly evident from your comments why the young adults coming out of college are so stupid. The liberal left academia have done a great job of dumbing down all levels of schooling. It is about to come to an end. Thank God

Whoa!,... the "classroom doctor" speaks...! ALL of our Constitutional 'rights' are inalienable "little 'd' "doctor"...LOOK IT UP ! (and YES, we're willing to die for them;...test us,.. if you dare !) .... Stay in your classroom "doctor", where you are able to safely "lord it" over unformed minds, and 'feel' safe in your "gun free zone". Tell me "doctor" What were you going to be before you and your ilk changed your 'college majors' to "education" in order to avoid the draft?...a Nuclear Physicist?, a Brain Surgeon? (something "out of your reach" anyway I'm sure). Is that why you abhor and demean our Republic's Constitution "doctor"?..."sour grapes?" because YOU think that you "coulda been a contender" [You don't like America much, do you "doctor"?... You're a joke "little d"! Oh..and for your "learned lapse" "doctor", the NRA is comprised of individual citizens (mostly smarter than your "learned self") "classroom doctor" !

I can't imagine a more significant qualification to be a great judge than the wrath of this extremist paramilitary organization.

The NRA, and I'm guessing that is who you are refering to, Is not even remotely a Paramilitary organization. You are clueless. A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, and which is not included as part of a state's formal armed forces.

Do you even know what "paramilitary" means.... Or did it just sound good?

Folks like you just don't get it. Can't seem to understand that the second amendment actually protects all the other amendments. Hillary and all her armed bodyguards forgot to mention that to you.

Paramilitary? What planet are you on?


C Breeze, you forgot just one thing.....GO TRUMP!!

McBurney is ignorant of the most basic parts of our Republic's Constitution, and we can't trust that he has even actually read it... I have always supported your judgement Governor... don't let down we believers in our U.S. Constitution; without that, tyranny is the next step towards revolution...and the Clintons and Obama have led us in lockstep towards that inevitable solution...God save us all...

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