Farmer at­tacked for be­ing anti-gun con­trol

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Dan Sweeney Staff writer

Team­work, tech­nol­ogy and diver­sity were among the top­ics ad­dressed by FBI Direc­tor Christo­pher Wray at Satur­day’s lun­cheon for the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Black Law En­force­ment Ex­ec­u­tives con­fer­ence at the Diplo­mat Beach Re­sort in Hol­ly­wood.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, filed bills in the 2018 leg­isla­tive ses­sion to re­quire firearms to be stored with trig­ger locks, to man­date that even pri­vate sales of firearms have back­ground checks, and to re­peal a ban on a state firearms reg­istry.

He filed the same trig­ger­lock and pri­vate-sales bills in 2017, his first ses­sion in the Florida Leg­is­la­ture.

None of those bills passed in the Repub­li­can­dom­i­nated leg­is­la­ture, or even got a com­mit­tee hear­ing.

He also voted against the Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas School Safety Act, de­spite pro­vi­sions that re­quired three-day wait­ing pe­ri­ods on gun pur­chases and a 21-and-older age limit, be­cause of a pro­vi­sion that could arm teach­ers in schools. He also, strate­gi­cally, be­lieved that if the bill failed, the leg­is­la­ture would be forced to go back and add more gun con­trol mea­sures.

And yet, Farmer is now be­ing at­tacked as a pro-gun can­di­date.

Be­cause of the gun-con­trol mea­sures in the school safety bill that Farmer voted against, Florid­i­ans Against Guns is call­ing out Farmer for vot­ing against gun con­trol.

On its web­site, the group also at­tacked Farmer for work­ing for Mar­ion Ham­mer, the NRA’s Florida lob­by­ist (his law firm rep­re­sented her daugh­ter in a case that was not gun-re­lated), lob­by­ing Repub­li­can se­na­tors on state time (texts first re­ported on by Florida Pol­i­tics show Farmer thank­ing a Repub­li­can se­na­tor af­ter her vote against a bill that trial lawyers were also against, and Farmer pre­vi­ously headed the Florida Jus­tice As­so­ci­a­tion, a group that rep­re­sents trial lawyers) and telling state Sen. Lau­ren Book, D-Plan­ta­tion, that she was not the best per­son to be the Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader be­cause she had young chil­dren. Farmer later apol­o­gized.

Those are the same at­tacks be­ing is­sued by Jim Wald­man, Farmer’s op­po­nent in an Aug. 28 Demo­cratic pri­mary. Wald­man pre­vi­ously lost to Farmer in a 2016 Demo­cratic pri­mary that was notable for both the vast amount of money spent and the nas­ti­ness of mail­ers.

Nei­ther Wald­man nor Farmer re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment.

Florid­i­ans Against Guns is not reg­is­tered with the state as a po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tee. But busi­ness records show it in­cor­po­rated in Florida on July 2. The ad­dress listed on its web­site is that of the law firm that filed the pa­per­work. But the direc­tor of the com­pany is listed as Ja­son Heard, who has a Palm Springs, Calif., ad­dress.

Ac­cord­ing to records from Cal­i­for­nia and Ne­vada, Heard ap­pears to be a reg­is­tered Repub­li­can.

Reached by phone and asked why a Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can who never lived in Florida was so in­ter­ested in a South Florida Demo­cratic pri­mary, Heard re­sponded, “That’s a re­ally good ques­tion,” and promised to call back af­ter con­clud­ing a call on an­other line. Heard did not call back. Heard’s group is a 501(c)4 non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, mean­ing it does not have to dis­close donors, so it’s un­clear who is pay­ing for the web­site.

JEN­NIFER LETT/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.