- Associated Press - Thursday, April 22, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House voted Thursday to send a message to Congress that it doesn’t want the president to take away gun rights.

Supporters said President Joe Biden has made it clear that he wants to restrict gun rights and Congress needs to know Florida will fight any such effort.

“The president during his campaign and subsequently has made comments that several of us feel are alarming and indicate that he may be predisposed to taking an unconstitutional action regarding the Second Amendment,” said Republican Rep. Spencer Roach.

The message, called a memorial, reads in part, “The Florida Legislature, on behalf of the State of Florida and residents of this state, intends to use all of its lawful authority and power to resist or overturn any federal gun-control measure that violates the right of Florida residents to keep and bear arms.”

Debate on the issue was divided along party lines, with Democrats arguing there haven’t been any unconstitutional proposals made by the Biden administration and it was unnecessary.

“It makes me feel like this memorial is more about scaring Floridians than it is engaging in an honest constitutional debate,” said Democratic Rep. Ben Diamond. “There have been no actions that the bill sponsor can point to that restrict our important rights under the Second Amendment, but there have been multiple mass shootings.”

Earlier this month, Biden unveiled a series of executive actions to combat gun violence, including a move to crack down on “ghost guns,” homemade firearms that lack serial numbers used to trace them and are often purchased without a background check. He’s also moving to tighten regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in Boulder, Colorado, in a shooting last month that left 10 dead.

The Democratic president has also urged Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act, eliminate lawsuit exemptions for gun manufacturers and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also has called on the Senate to take up House-passed measures to close background check loopholes.

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