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NRA Slams Sarasota City Commission's Proposal to Ban Assault Weapons

June 20, 2016 - 11:45am

The Sarasota City Commission will be voting on a resolution to ban high capacity assault weapons on Monday and the vote is already making waves among gun rights activists who say it's merely a way for elected officials to push an anti-gun agenda.

The resolution would limit the availability and use of military grade-high capacity assault weapons to only be used by "bone fide law enforcement agencies," in the wake of a series of violent gun crimes which have swept the country in recent months. 

According to Sarasota news station ABC 7, City Manager Tom Barwin says the Sarasota Police Department is on board with the proposal. 

If passed, the initiative will be sent to Congress for approval.

The resolution says such a ban is "warranted" considering the use of high capacity magazine assault weapons in mass shootings. 

The National Rifle Association disagrees. 

In an email sent to supporters, the NRA urged its members to fight back via email and tell city commissioners to vote "no" on the resolution. 

"Clearly, the Commission doesn't even recognize what they don't know. I guarantee you they don't have a clue what their contrived term 'military grade-high capacity assault weapons' even means because I don't know what it means and neither will anyone else," wrote past president and current NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer, an advocate for gun rights in the Sunshine State. 

"It's an open door to ban any guns they choose," she continued. 

Hammer then told members they needed to email commissioners immediately and tell them to strike down the proposal. 

Hammer's emails have hit home recently, and her call to get members to email has had resounding effects in other gun-related areas as well. 

The NRA rallied over 8,000 emails when it told its members to message Gov. Rick Scott saying Rep. Charles McBurney, who is running for circuit judge, was unfit to be judge due to a refusal to hear the Burden of Proof bill during the last legislative session. 

The city commission's proposal is more of a statement than anything, however, as the Sarasota City Commission doesn't have any real authority to ban the weapons outright.

The proposal was penned by Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin, who has found himself in hot water over gun issues in the past. 

While Barwin was the village manager in Oak Park, Illinois, the village was sued by the NRA. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down restrictions on handguns and Oak Park and Chicago fought the NRA in court, ultimately losing. 

"The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment prevailed against those who sought to deny the right to keep and bear arms in Chicago and Oak Park," Chris W. Cox, executive director for the NRA's legislative branch, said in a press release at the time. "The attempt to avoid paying the NRA's attorneys' fees was rightly found to be unjust by the court."

This time, the NRA says anti-gun activists are just using the assault weapons ban as a way to lobby. 

"The resolution is a lobbying tool -- they are voting on whether or not to lobby the Congress and the Florida Legislature to take antigun, anti-Second Amendment action -- to ban guns -- on your behalf," wrote Hammer. 

"They were elected to represent you -- but they aren't interested in your views," she continued. "They just want to force their anti-gun agenda on you."

The vote will take place at 6 p.m. in Sarasota. Check back for updates. 



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



One word: Preemption. Sarasota is blowing gas. The state legislature, by statute, occupies the whole field of firearms regulation. Sarasota can go fly a kite.

hey these are NOT military grade weapons you liars.

Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history. The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control - Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government. Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control. No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media hookers tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America.. These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control. Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved. Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us? American Thinker

Just what Florida needs... another Bolshevik Carpetbagger in the form of Komrade Barwin. These progressives destroy their home states, and then move south and bring their love of totalitarianism with them. As Voltaire observed, "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."

And we must pass a law that all single women wear a chastity belt to prevent rapes,too. We already have the war on drugs. The best part of that is that more jobs with the government were created. This gun control idea is absolute ignorant nonsense, encouraging big brother government to further turn us into slaves of the system.

"Terrorism" is the NRA.

No Robert. Terrorism is when anti-Trump rioters attacked innocent people for their beliefs in San Jose California. Or when a 19 year old tried to grab a police officers gun in an effort to assassinate Trump in Nevada. Those incidents are the true definition of terrorism, and they were committed by the very same people that support democrat policies. Name me one instance where NRA members have physically attacked their political can't.

Your comments are moronic. If it weren't for the second amendment there would be more carnage. How would you defend yourself Mr. Warner, with a sign that says Gun Free Zone??? Oh maybe you think ISIS want to be friends with you because you like them. Pathetic comment on your part

Fear sells. Lots of fear sells more.

The NRA has yet to sell a single gun. That, and the fact the firearms industry has its own lobbying/trade organization called the National Shooting Sports Foundation, renders your assertion completely unfounded. But if I were to choose an entity who has done more for gun sales in the US, it would be the current administration.

If it weren't for people's rights to own guns there were would more murders by guns.... I have no idea how you reached that conclusion. The logical statement is really " BECAUSE of the second amendment, there is more carnage..." To the comment about the type of weapon making no difference, I guess that means if the shooter had blown up the place with an atomic bomb, the type of weapon would not matter either.

People need to move on, screw the NRA, and our government as they are all wrong! People kill people, the NRA tries scare tactics most of the time, and our politicians are liars, connivers, cheats, scoundrels, and most likely thieves! Other than those 'qualities', politicians just suck!

Interesting you failed to mention the scare tactics employed by the gun control lobby.

It is amazing to me that someone would actually think that the type of gun is somehow to blame for this act of terrorism...

I can guarantee that if the shooter in Orlando used a muzzle loading flintlock instead of a Sig Sauer MCX there would be a lot more people alive today. It's not the act itself that is affected by the type of gun, it's the severity of the carnage.

I can just as easily guarantee that if people like Mateen were limited to quill pens and Gutenberg presses to disseminate radical Islamic indoctrination instead of the internet, cell phones, and other forms of modern communications, there would be a lot more people alive today. Are you willing to trade your modern First Amendment capabilities in exchange for so limiting the Second Amendment? Besides, the point is legally moot, just like the tired militia argument.

An open letter to the Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin. Liberal Cockroaches like yourself of the north and midwest that migrate to Florida so you can enjoy the sunshine, beaches and the freedom Florida has to offer should stay out of politics. Since you polluted your previous addresses like a cockroach, you decide to relocate to better surroundings only in an attempt to destroy that environment also. Look at the real problem and that is the Obama's current administration's lack of properly protecting our country. How despicable of you to take a travesty of a situation, 49 dead and countless more injured either physically or mentally from the collateral damage that occurred in Orlando. Perhaps we can arrange for Loretta Lynch to stop by while in Orlando to pat you on the head with an "at a boy." Personally, I consider you a media whore and should be voted out due to your lack of sensitivity to the Orlando situation and your total stupidity on terrorism. Look out Sarasota if this guy gets re-elected! Oh by the way, how's that gun ban working for Chicago....... That's what we do not want in Florida!!!!!!

Well said Swampfox, well said.

Blaming Obama because lethal weapons are allowed to be purchased in this country????? What is he supposed to do to protect us? This was not a foreign terrorist but an American citizen allowed to purchase weapons of mass destruction by you and your friends, the conservative reactionaries of the NRA. Do you even hear yourself???

Wow Imagine that a professor with a void between his ears, why doesn't that surprise me? It's Not the Guns Stupid!!! I hear myself loud and clear. You must be living in a parallel world not to realize that the Obama administration's lax approach to terrorism to the point of redacting certain words in their statement about Orlando is what is considered "aiding and abetting the enemy!" Yes this was a homegrown terrorist with connections to the middle east. He was on the FBI's list then removed on Obama's watch, WHY??? Connect the dots professor. They are using our constitutional rights against us while the Obama administration is allowing this to happen by turning a blind eye. No wonder there is so much unrest, Political correctness?? Please, give me a break we need to start profiling the obvious, if they are doing nothing then great but if they are working in the dark then we need to stop them dead in their tracks. Guns are a tool no different than a shovel or hammer, they can be used for good or evil. It's the person's hand the gun is in that makes the difference .Who we need to stop are the illegals and individuals that are home grown who are considered TREASONISTS that are punishable by a military court not the DOJ!!!

love it!! you running for office? I will vote for you...

**** the NRA! The ****** congress should pass legislation banning the sale and possession of ALL guns capable of holding and firing multiple rounds while allowing the sale and possession of single-shot guns ONLY, long and short. ALL multi-shot guns become immediately illegal with a severe prison sentence if caught in possession thereof ... and with a reward offered to all 'snitches'!

It's because of totalitarian attitudes like yours the right to keep and bear arms exists. Thanks for vividly demonstrating its value and continued applicability.

Ted you are real **** idiot. More people are killed by alcohol & cell phone related vehicle accidents than firearms. They should ban alcohol and cell phones. Why do they make cars and motorcycles that go nearly 200 mph? Ban them, too. The highest speed limit in Florida is 70mph.

Wow Ted!!! What an Einstein moment on your part. So I turn in my AR-15, 40 cal. 9 mm. multiple shots for a Musket while the real scumbags are getting the same weapons I am forced to turn in because you believe the NRA is the problem. How about this; Sever prison for Muslims and Radical Islamic Terrorist if and when caught alive. No Miranda rights simply turn them over to the military (See Ted they are prisoners of war not criminals and if American born terrorists bingo no Miranda rights) to be handled by. Encourage everyone to own a weapon for protection and make it mandatory for training of said weapon. Oh one other thing, information sharing between agencies and if you are or were being investigated by the FBI no weapons ever and last but not least we need to profile. Single shot shot guns is for pheasant hunting not protecting yourself Ted!!

Swampfox, you say "if you are or were being investigated by the FBI no weapons ever"? Nope, the NRA is against that one too. That goes for the suspected terrorist no-fly list too. Those guys need to be able to get guns too according to the NRA.

Hey Swampthing, the problem with the list is that the govt. can just put someone on the list without any trial or conviction. If the govt. feels that someone is labeled a terrorist threat than arrest them with evidence.

Good luck with THAT..."Lemming-Ted"... (Better re-visit and re-search your U.S. Constitution Ted; unless you're one of those "Illegal-Invader Aliens" of course...)

HERE WE GO !.... One more "rush to judgement" by 'elected, politically-correct lemmings' of the "sheep flock class"! Florida is fast becoming "California-ized"...

...and obviously the "Sarasota Police Dept" is nothing more than a "half-baked" private-security-parking-enforcement-group of untrained "police wannabees" who have no concept nor understanding of our country's U.S. Constitution (to which, hopefully, they have sworn an oath to uphold...); Additionally, they seem to have no working knowledge of firearms classifications... I feel sorry for the citizens they are "sworn" to protect.

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