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.