In the wake of testimony from a Florida National Guard attorney critical of her bill, powerful National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer blasted staff in Gov. Rick Scott’s office, blaming them for not doing enough to help her cause, emails show.
The bill would allow people without concealed weapon permits to carry guns during forced evacuations prompted by emergencies, such as hurricanes.
Terrence Gorman, general counsel for the Department of Military Affairs, testified March 19 that it was a bad idea to allow untrained people to have weapons during such stressful times.
The testimony, in part, led to the bill, SB 296, stalling in a Senate committee. It has been “temporarily postponed” during two consecutive committee hearings.
The Scripps/Tribune Capital Bureau reported Wednesday that the negative testimony prompted Hammer to meet with Scott’s chief-of-staff Adam Hollingsworth, and the governor’s top attorney, Pete Antonacci.
After that meeting, the governor’s office got Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, the Florida National Guard’s top official, to write a letter in support of the bill, Scripps/Tribune reported.
New emails obtained as part of a public records request shed new light on that process, and Hammer’s unhappiness with both the National Guard and Scott’s office.