Hammer: Leon County ordinance could lead to gun ban, confiscation


Lee’s note: USF Executive Director Marion Hammer sent a blunt letter to the Leon County commissioners this week, who are drafting their own gun bill and pressuring licensed dealers for help.

Two things stand out.

Hammer says if the county’s gun dealer’s balk at the bill, it becomes a de facto ban on private sales. More troublesome, some of the small print could actually require gun dealers to confiscate firearms from individuals.

Here’s Hammer’s letter:bad-idea-sign


I keep hearing that you need more information, more discussion so let me try to help you with that.

FIRST:  Have any of you actually asked Sheriff Campbell for his opinion on whether he thinks this ordinance is a good idea or whether or not it is needed?

We all know that if you pass an ordinance, he will have no choice other that to try to enforce it — BUT he’s the top law enforcement officer the county so don’t you think somebody should ask him for his advice?

SECOND: Leon County can’t implement this ordinance if FFLs refuse to participate.

If dealers refuse to participate, the ordinances would then be a defacto ban on private sales  by collectors and private citizens at gun shows and at any place to which the public has the right of access.

Dealers SHOULD refuse to participate because you would be putting them in a bad legal position and cause problems for dealers. You will be pitting them against their customers and their friends and neighbors.

If you read the  letter from county attorney  send to dealers then you know you are putting dealers in a horrible position.

Under the ordinance, the dealer would have to take the firearm from the seller.  It has to be transferred into the dealer’s inventory before doing a background check.

The dealer would conduct a background check through FDLE — the access point to NICS.

If FDLE/NICS denies the sale because the check on the purchaser comes back ineligible, the dealer has to then do a background check on seller before they can return his personal private property to him.

If FDLE/NCIS denies the transfer back to the seller claiming the seller is ineligible for transfer, then the dealer is required to confiscate the seller’s personally owned firearm.

I can see really bad things arising from this situation, and no dealer in their right mind wants to be put into the position of confiscating a private firearm.

Commissioners should not want to be a party to an ordinance that can lead to CONFISCATION OF PRIVATE FIREARMS.

NICS database and background checks are notoriously inaccurate, so suddenly a private businessman is confiscating firearms, because you imposed an ordinance forcing a private a seller to sign his private firearm over to the dealer for purposes of the transaction.

Further, nobody seems to know what a dealer is supposed to do with the firearm once he has confiscated it.  It doesn’t belong to him.  He can’t sell it.  He can’t give it away.  Does he just hold it forever?

Does he turn it over to the Sheriff so that the Sheriff is responsible for confiscated firearms?

Does he turn it over the Board of County Commissioners?  It’s your ordinance.  Do you want the confiscated firearms?

If a private citizen is put in this position and his private firearm confiscated because of a mistake who will he bring legal action against?

This is a bad idea and the sooner you kill it the better.

Marion  Hammer
Past President NRA
Executive Director Unified Sportsmen of Florida


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: Leon County ordinance could lead to gun ban, confiscation | The Gun Feed

  2. Florida firearms regulations are the exclusive province of the State of Florida. Local jurisdictions have no authority, and are in violation of state statute if they try to legislate in that area.

  3. Pingback: Florida: Letter to the Leon County Commissioners Stating Ordinance Could Lead to Gun Ban and/or Confiscation | Pro 2nd Amendment Boycott – P2AB

  4. Florida pre-empts this kind of law. Also, requiring a gun store to “Confiscate,” anything, at all, period, without a warrant or being bonded as LEO’s, will open them up to massive lawsuits and possible arrest for theft of private property.

    I’m no fan of Miss Hammer, after she helped pass the last Florida Gun Ban, and wonder about this as well. She seems to be flipping on us.

  5. Pingback: Florida: Letter to the Leon County Commissioners Stating Ordinance Could Lead to Gun Ban and/or Confiscation | All Things Guns

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