Tallahassee, Florida: The Florida House Criminal Justice Committee approved two bills that would allow firearms in places of worship as well as government buildings. Three out of five Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in supporting the bill. This was contrary to various democratic sponsored bills that sought to introduce various gun control laws. The bill also received support from religious leaders.

“Synagogues and all houses of faith are in a state of crisis. Law enforcement cannot be expected on our sites 24/7. Rabbis and all leaders of faith cannot be left unprotected," Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Satellite Beach said. “Law enforcement agencies have response times in minutes, but the violent criminals can take our lives in seconds.”

The second bill allows government employees to carry a concealed weapon to their places of work. The bill sponsor, Rep. Mel Ponder, cited various threats and stalking that such employees face regularly. In addition, Rep. Ponder cited the shooting that took place during a school board meeting at Bay County in 2010.

The bill received opposition from a member of the Republican party who indicated that it does not go far enough. Rep. Spencer Roach said that the bill should allow everyone with a concealed carry license to bear arms within government buildings. He indicated that the Second Amendment rights should not be granted on the basis of a person’s employment status.

“We are giving a superior right to government officials here that our constituents don’t have,” Rep Roach said.

The bill also received bipartisan support passing with an 11-3 vote with three out of five democrats supporting the bill. Democratic Rep. Michael Grieco said that it was very surprising that as a government official with a CCW permit, he could not use his weapon to defend himself in case of an attack.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.

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