It was an anti-gun rant some lawmakers have derisively labeled, “The State of the Senate.”
To say that the words coming out of the Miami Republican’s mouth were unexpected would be the understatement of the entire legislative session.
Flores, after all, had an “A” rating by the National Rifle Association.
She had a 100 percent voting record with NRA, Marion Hammer told me Wednesday.
Hammer is a past president of NRA, a current board member and executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the state’s NRA affiliate.
Among the pro-gun bills Flores supported before she flipped are: Firearms in National Forests, Firearms in vehicles in parking lots, Prohibiting firearm discrimination in adoptions, the “Pop Tart legislation, Allowing tax collectors to process CW applications and 2005’s Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground bill.
In 2010, she signed the State Legislator Amicus Brief in the landmark McDonald V. Chicago case, which was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last year, rather than filling out NRA standard candidate questionnaire, Flores sent Hammer a personal letter.
It too bore no indication that the lawmaker was going to flip.
“I have always been and will continue to be a fierce defender of our constitutional rights,” Flores wrote. “The Second Amendment, in particular, guarantees a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms that government has no right to infringe upon. During my years in public service, my record shows that I have acted in accordance with these beliefs and values.”
It certainly does.
Other than two absences, Flores voted in favor of every pro-gun bill she ever saw.
Hammer told me she’s at a loss as to why the Senator has joined the ranks of the anti-gunners. Flores even posed for a photo-op yesterday with Michelle Gajda, the Florida leader of Bloomberg’s “Moms Demand Action.”
“I cannot tell you why she suddenly turned on law-abiding gun owners because I do not know,” Hammer said. “I cannot tell you if she was acting on her own behalf or on behalf of the Senate President or Senate Leadership because I do not know. I cannot tell you whether or not she has the power to kill all pro-gun bills and not allow the Senate to vote on them because — as the old saying goes — ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over.’ This is only Day 2 of the 2017 Legislative session. And finally, am I giving up for this session? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I represent law-abiding gun owners statewide and they depend on me to fight for them and I will.”
A few South Florida insiders may have the answer as to why the decidedly pro-gun lawmaker decided to become an anti.
I’m hearing that Flores may be considering a run for Miami mayor — a difficult hill to climb for a conservative, pro-gun Republican.
It would certainly explain a lot.
Senator Flores did not immediately respond to calls placed to her office.