New Emails Show NRA’s Sway Over Florida Government Officials

Reader Supported News by Rebekah Entralgo

September 23, 2018

Marion Hammer had a lot of influence over the agency in charge of regulating concealed weapons permits.

 

he Tampa Bay Times released hundreds of emails between NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer and the Florida Department of Agriculture on Friday, revealing a close relationship between one of the most influential champions for gun rights and the agency tasked with regulating the nearly 2 million Floridians who carry concealed weapons.

Hammer, now 79 years old, has for pushed some of the most dangerous gun laws through the Florida legislature, including big, controversial laws like Stand Your Ground and smaller statues, like the one that prevented Florida mayors from implementing their own municipal gun regulations after this year’s horrific school shooting in Parkland.

Concealed weapons licenses, in most states, are regulated by law enforcement agencies. Florida, however, is different; the agriculture department is in charge of licensing and Hammer says she is the reason why.

“It was just me,” Hammer told the Times. “Just NRA.”

According to the newly released emails, Hammer’s influence goes far beyond gun legislation, underscoring the iron grip she has on the agriculture department.

In emails to agency officials, Hammer was able to control a variety of topics at the department and was rarely ever told no.

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