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Florida Pro-Gun Groups Add on to Derail McBurney's Judgeship Ambitions

June 3, 2016 - 7:30pm
Charles McBurney
Charles McBurney

Gun rights groups are unleashing their wrath at a Jacksonville Republican who didn’t support a measure to shift the Burden of Proof in Stand Your Ground in the Florida Legislature this year, and it could cost him a circuit judgeship.

Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, made headlines last month when he became the subject of a National Rifle Association email blast. In the email sent to supporters, NRA past president Marion Hammer instructed members to write emails to Gov. Rick Scott, who will appoint the 4th Circuit Court judge, and tell him they don’t want McBurney to become judge.

Last year, McBurney refused to hear a bill which would have shifted the Burden of Proof in Stand Your Ground cases, which ultimately led to the bill’s death in the 2016 Legislative Session. 

“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 Hammer on McBurney’s decision.

The governor’s office received thousands of complaint emails, and it looks like Scott’s office hasn’t seen the end of it.

Nearly two weeks later, other statewide gun groups are piling on with the criticism, saying McBurney has disregarded the Second Amendment and urging their members to tell that he is “unfit” to be a judge.

Florida Carry, Inc., a grassroots pro-gun group in the Sunshine State, is also urging its own members to write Scott emails explaining why McBurney isn’t right for the position.

The groups have pitted themselves against McBurney, who has routinely been given the highest rating of an “A+” by the NRA. 

They say his positions are at odds with what it means to be a judge, a job which requires people to be held to the highest standards of the law. 

On top of that, they accuse McBurney of pandering to prosecutors, who have to support him if he becomes judge.

“Prosecutors don't like having to prove that the people they want to put in jail are actually guilty and fought against the ‘Burden of Proof’ bill,” wrote the group. “So, despite the Speaker's wishes, and prior promises to us, McBurney refused to give the bill a hearing and singlehandedly killed it. You have been betrayed.”

McBurney’s move to shelf the bill, the groups say, says a lot about the way he views the legal system, and not in a good way.

“Anyone who does not believe that people are innocent until proven guilty has no business being a Judge,” wrote Florida Carry. 

McBurney launched a counterstrike against the critics, asking his own supporters to email the governor’s office and tell him why they feel he would be the right fit to be a judge.

“I'm writing today to ask you to email, call or snail mail the Governor's office and informing him of how we are acquainted (JC, legal, civic, religious, personal),” wrote McBurney. “I would also encourage you to share why you feel I am the most qualified candidate."

Sunshine State News contacted the governor’s office to determine just how many anti-McBurney and pro-McBurney emails it had received so far, but had not heard back at the time of this publishing.



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




McBurney should never again hold any kind of public office.Make an example of him to the rest of the politicians,if you defy the will of the people you will get canned!

To all NRA supporters: Please remember that democracy MEANS that our elected officials must represent all of the people to the best of their abilities and make decisions accordingly. You and the organization that is brainwashing you do NOT (let me repeat DO NOT) represent the entire electorate in this state or in this country. It is time for all of you to take the Civics course mandated for all Florida middle school students. You have clearly forgotten that the strength of our country lies in our FREEDOM TO RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE. I still respect your right to believe that guns and killing are the answers to every problem in the universe. I am asking on behalf of everyone else that you remember your RESPONSIBILITY as a citizen of this great country (used to be anyway) to allow for and encourage dissent. Your fervor and fear-mongering are supporting a fascist takeover of this country whether you want to admit it or not. The NRA is leading the charge under the guise of 2nd Amendment rights. You are fools to believe otherwise. The Nazi party has re-emerged and is alive and well in the United States of America. As an educator, I get to watch the effects of this vitriol on your children. It is frightening. Thank you, Mr. McBurney, for representing democratic principles even through I am sure you and I would not agree on many issues. To keep a qualified person out of government because he does not spew your party line 100% of the time is what they are currently doing in Russia, Korea, China, need I go on????????????

I wear the title of Bitter Clinger with pride. #Kimber

Kym, for a supposedly "educated" person, you are astonishingly ignorant. Before spewing untruths and liberal talking points around and embarrassing yourself, perhaps you should consider becoming actually educated on this subject? If you are really are an "educator" as you claim, I feel sorry for whatever poor students are unfortunate enough to have you "teaching" them. It certainly appears you would be better described as an indoctrinator instead of an educator. If you hate freedom that much then you should relocate to some socialist paradise, perhaps Venezuela is more your style, or North Korea.

"Doctor" Kym,... It's time for you to see a doctor... a real one (you're in "denial mode"..).

C Breeze will need to see a psychiatrist. You are a very angry person.

Hmm. Methinks you should drop the rhetoric and view the subject and NRA position for what it is - one is innocent until proven guilty. The bill would have restored that American legal precept with regards to self-defense. McBurney, through his complicity with prosecutors, has demonstrated his willingness to presume people guilty and prove their own innocence. I would suggest you review the historical accounts of trial procedures under the Third Reich. Then be intellectually honest with yourself. McBurney's view, not that of the NRA, would be right at home in Nazi Germany.

McBurney "is well done" in Florida, "stick a fork in 'em",.. ( and try a "different recipe" that won't make everybody sick..)

Charles, has always had the highest rating from the NRA and has supported the cause. The lady that started this is simply trying to influence all legislatures with her threats. The bill was poorly worded and was opposed by more members than McBurney. This kind of heavy handed slander makes me sick and I carry a gun. Frankly this is the reason McBurney should be elected Judge. Standing up against slanderous people like Hammer takes strength and a reasonable and fair approach to matters.

"Charles" is a R.I.N.O. who considers himself to be superior to the electorate, who obviously cannot be trusted to make any decisions by themselves. The "little people" need someone of superior intellect to CONTROL them. That is typical of liberals everywhere. His job as the Chair of the Committee is to keep order, process the bills that come to his Committee and keep the process moving. It is NOT his job to pick and choose the "winners" and "losers" that his lordship deems to be in line with his "feelings" on the matter. Between your buddy Charlie and that punk from Miami, Florida's citizens are less safe from violent criminals and are left at greater risk of persecution by overzealous liberals who don't want anyone else but themselves to be armed and able to defend themselves and their families. It is way past time that we vote out each and every liberal, be they demoncrat or R.I.N.O.!

Well said. The NRA has now become poison to civility and responsible folks.

Charles has been A + rated by the NRA during his career so now one bill and they want to destroy him. The entire election this year is about are we going to have fair competent representatives or special interest groups determining our future. I am a conservative but have no interest in the NRA or any other group dictating my future. A judge has to look at both sides of every issue and not make decisions based on which party has an NRA card which is what Hammer and her group are pushing here. Furthermore, what this is really about is the NRA showing all members of Government you had better vote our way or we will out you on the highway. Government cannot work like this and hopefully the Governor will see through all this.

So you support a judge who wants you to prove your own innocence in his court? Really?

" The bill was poorly worded".... The Bill was not poorly worded. Simply put, it returned the Burden Of Proof back to the State as was originally in Florida Statute 776.032 of Justifiable Use of Deadly Force. Judges and Prosecutors turned that on its head, reversing the role of the Prosecutor and the "Defendant", the person that used Deadly Force..... " was opposed by more members than McBurney.".... Yeah, Democrats. The companion Bill had already passed in the Senate. McBurney was being Term-Limited out of a job and wanted the Gubmint Gravy Train Checks to keep rolling in.... Had he not caved and instead brought the Bill up in Committee, he would be getting measured for his Judges robes.

McBurney... you and RINO Sen. Miguel Díaz de la Portilla dual handedly slapped every law abiding Floridian Gun Owner in the face last year by refusing to bring Bills up in your Committees that you knew would pass, because you take your marching orders from outside Anti-Gunners.... You only get one vote each. The system is corrupt when one person can prevent everyone else in the Florida Legislature to have their votes counted.

Mike: You are "Spot On" as our British cousins would say. It is past time for the R.I.N.O.s to go. Thank you for your post!

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