Florida Supreme Court Tosses ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Ballot Question
By Chris Eger
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called the gun ban initiative misleading last year, and this month the state’s high court agreed. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com
In a 4-1 ruling handed down last week, the Florida Supreme Court said that a proposed ballot initiative summary was deceptive and shouldn’t be put before voters.
At stake was an initiative that aimed to define and prohibit “assault weapons” in the state of Florida, a question intended to ask of voters in the Sunshine State in 2022. Brought by the group “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” the move would outlaw various popular semi-auto rifles and shotguns, under threat of criminal prosecution, with exemptions for police and the military.
The court took exception that the proposed summary of the initiative was hazy on grandfathering guns already in circulation.
“While the ballot summary purports to exempt registered assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to the Initiative’s effective date, the Initiative does not categorically exempt the assault weapon, only the current owner’s possession of that assault weapon,” wrote the majority of the state’s high court in their opinion. “The ballot summary is therefore affirmatively misleading.”
The court had taken the proposed language of the initiative under review last summer at the request of Florida Attorney