A coalition of Tea Party and conservative groups targeted Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla for blocking a pair of gun bills approved by the House this week, and now they’ve got Senate President Andy Gardiner in their sights.
The Florida Citizens’ Alliance sent letters to the Miami Republican’s donors accusing DLP of “breaking the public trust” and “violating his oath of office to protect and preserve our U.S. Constitution.”
Diaz de la Portilla said he’s seen the letter.
“All the calls I have received from recipients of the letter indicate that the ‘letter to donors’ will BACKFIRE on the sender,” he said in a text message Friday.
Keith Flaugh, one of the organization’s founders whose name appears on the letter, told The News Service that “hundreds” of letters were sent to DLP’s donors.
Flaugh said he and his supporters, who blame Gardiner for blocking the votes on the gun bills, will soon send a similar missive to the Senate president’s contributors.
Gardiner told reporters Tuesday that both the open-carry and campus-carry bills “are in trouble.”
Flaugh said that Florida Citizens’ Alliance has a database of 25,000 focused on Second Amendment issues. On its website, the organization describes itself as “a coalition of citizens and grassroots groups working together through education, outreach and community involvement to advance the ideals and principles of liberty.”
Diaz de la Portilla is drawing fire from the gun rights advocates for refusing to hear a proposal (HB 4001) that would allow the more than 1.4 million Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses to pack heat while on state college and university campuses. The measure would also allow lawmakers with concealed-carry licenses hang on to their guns during legislative meetings and on the House and Senate floor. State law prohibits people from carrying guns during legislative committee meetings.
Diaz de la Portilla may allow his committee to take up an open-carry measure next week. He recently said, however, that he’s open to considering amendments that could draw opposition from Second Amendment groups.
The News Service of Florida