Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122482
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File Number: 122482 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-59-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: BAN POSSESSION OR SALE OF HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINE Introduced: 12/17/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/23/2013
Agenda Date: 1/23/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A20
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION THAT BANS THE POSSESSION OR SALE OF ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE THAT HAS THE CAPACITY OF MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION; WITH EXCEPTIONS FOR THE POSSESSION OF ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE THAT WAS LAWFULLY POSSESSED ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF ENACTMENT AND POSSESSION OF HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, BOTH ACTIVE AND RETIRED; FURTHER URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES IDENTIFICATION MARKINGS ON ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES MANUFACTURED AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT
Indexes: FIREARMS CONTROL
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/23/2013 11A20 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Jordan noted she has sponsored several items in the past, urging Congress to reinstate the ban on assault weapons, but her last attempt failed before the County Commissioners in September, and the rules required her to wait until March to bring this legislation forward again. However, in response to the tragedy that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Connecticut last December, she sponsored several items urging the Legislature to enact stricter gun laws. She thanked her colleagues for supporting many of them. She said this tragic event has stirred an outpour of public support for stricter gun laws, aimed at reducing violence. And as a result, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law, the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act, banning high capacity magazines and requiring universal background checks on gun and ammunition purchases. Commissioner Jordan noted 72 criminal incidents, involving high-powered assault weapons, have occurred nationwide since 1982. She suggested County leaders pay close attention to these numbers and the number of related incidents occurring locally. She asked staff from the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) to provide an overview of the type of weapons and ammunition used by the Police Department compared to those used on the street. MDPD Police Major Raul Ubieta, appeared on behalf of MDPD Director JD Patterson, and displayed a .223 Remington Assault Rifle (AR), and ammunition currently used by the MDPD. Commissioner Jordan noted in response to an incident that occurred in Commission District 1 involving two police officers who were shot by a high-powered assault weapon while working undercover, she sponsored legislation to arm the MDPD with the .223 AR, because she was told the police needed better weaponry to combat the weapons being used on the street. Major Ubieta continued his presentation, and demonstrated a 5.56 millimeter caliber round used in the .223 AR, and a round used in an AK-47. He noted the two were similar, but the caliber of the 5.56 millimeter round was lighter and had more velocity. He noted although the AK47 round was heavier and slower, the damaged caused by it was just as devastating as by the 5.56 bullet. Mr. Ubieta also displayed an M4 AR, which is another weapon used by the MDPD. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s question regarding the capacity of the M4, Mr. Ubieta noted the M4 is a variation of the AR15 and the M16, used by the military; and its capacity was similar to an AK47, but it held 10-rounds and the AK47 could hold a magazine of 10 to 44 rounds; some even more, including heavier drums that held up to 75 and 100 rounds. He noted a 30-round magazine was the highest capacity used by the MDPD. Regarding Commissioner Jordan’s remarks that the round used in the AK47 was larger than the round for the .223 AR used by law enforcement officers, Major Ubieta clarified that the .223 caliber bullet was equal to a .25 caliber round and the AK47 round was equal to a .30 caliber round, which was slightly bigger. Commissioner Jordan expressed concern that high capacity weapons in the wrong hands could cause devastation in a community. She noted her intent was to urge the Legislature to enact laws that limited the capacity of a gun magazine to 10 rounds, and to provide Law Enforcement with the necessary weaponry to protect the community. It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, followed by a discussion. Commissioner Diaz commended Commissioner Jordan for her passion advocating for public safety. He said he too sponsored legislation to provide law enforcement the necessary fire power to protect the Miami International Airport, and would support equipping MDPD to protect the community better; however, expressed concern that the proposed legislation would diminish the rights of citizens to bear arms provided by the 2nd Amendment, and open a Pandora Box. He noted he believed the real issue was the mindset of a criminal, and not the gun capacity. He pointed out that video games have taught children how to load firearms rapidly and spoken words have cause much damage, but the two are protect by the 1st Amendment. He also noted that many in the armed forces have laid down their lives to defend America and its Constitution. Commissioner Diaz said he would support imposing stiffer penalties for use of an assault weapon while in the commission of a crime, but not to limit the capacity because he felt it would not make a difference. Vice Chair Bell noted she was amazed by new laws proposed following a tragic event that end up punishing the law abiding citizens rather than the perpetrators. She noted she felt this legislation would have no impact on the criminal, and the capacity limit would not prevent crime. She said she was opposed to an outright ban on assault firearms, but agreed the police and military should be armed appropriately. Vice Chair Bell pointed out that the 2nd Amendment not only provided for self-protection, but also protected against tyranny. She provided examples of crime victims who were able to protect themselves better because they armed themselves with a high-capacity weapon. Vice Chair Bell noted even though this resolution was only an urging, she believed it would result in unintended consequences. Commissioner Monestime asked that he be added as a co-sponsor of this item. He noted all weapons were not equal and he preferred to see a .38 or a .45 caliber in the hands of a civilian, rather than an assault weapon. He noted he has observed that most 2nd amendment supporters usually did not arm themselves with high-powered weapons. Commissioner Bovo pointed out that the 2nd amendment granted the right to bear arms, but it did not grant the right to massacre children. He said that as a parent he could not reconcile losing a child in this manner. He noted kids today were being jaded by what they see on television and the internet. He said he had hoped for legislation to resolve the problems, but believed this resolution would not, and said those individuals determined to carry out a crime or a suicide mission would do so regardless of the laws put in place. He noted he would support this resolution cautiously, only because he was a father, and hoped it would send a message to the Legislature that the government needed to do more concerning this matter. Commissioner Heyman said she was proud to sponsor this item, but appalled by the State’s threats to fine lawmakers that supported gun restriction laws. She said she did not see a purpose for a high capacity magazine and never met a law enforcement officer, a military person or a hunter who felt they needed it to protect themselves better, but noted most hunters arm themselves with only a handful of bullets to hunt. She also said she believed this resolution provided for greater responsibility and accountability. Commissioner Moss noted he was opposed to any legislation that impeded the right to bear arms; however, the 2nd amendment did not guarantee a right to bear assault weapons. He also noted that his take on the incident in New Town, Connecticut and the debate to limit capacity was that limiting the number of rounds could reduce the amount of carnage caused by a high powered weapon. Commissioner Moss pointed out that major crimes occur every day in the inner city, and he believed the County should explore incremental steps for making the community safer. He noted the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary has pricked people’s consciences, and he felt the Board could take some action through this legislative urging, without treading on the 2nd amendment rights. Vice Chair Bell pointed out that the cities of Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. have enacted some of the strictest gun laws, but also had some of the highest crime rates in the nation. Chairwoman Sosa noted she respected the rights provided by the 2nd amendment, but could not detach herself from her duties and responsibility as a school teacher to care for children. She said it was time for the Commission to say enough to the carnage and crime caused by high-powered weapons and to begin working on ways to reduce it by limiting capacity. She said she would support this item. Commissioner Jordan noted the intent of this item was not to impede on the Citizens rights to bear arms afforded by the 2nd amendment, but to limit the magazine capacity of a high-powered weapon to ten (10) rounds. She said this was important because limiting the number of bullets to 10, instead of 70 could prevent the amount of carnage. She pointed out that one victim, a child, in the Sandy Hook tragedy, was shot eleven times, and the Commission needed to pay close attention to this incident, and put laws in place to prevent further carnage. Hearing no further discussion, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 12/18/2012 11A26 Deferred 1/23/2013 P
REPORT: Please see report under Agenda Item 11A21, Legislative File No. 122477.

County Attorney 12/17/2012 Assigned Annery Pulgar Alfonso 12/17/2012

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION THAT BANS THE POSSESSION OR SALE OF ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE THAT HAS THE CAPACITY OF MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION; WITH EXCEPTIONS FOR THE POSSESSION OF ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE THAT WAS LAWFULLY POSSESSED ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF ENACTMENT AND POSSESSION OF HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, BOTH ACTIVE AND RETIRED; FURTHER URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES IDENTIFICATION MARKINGS ON ANY HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES MANUFACTURED AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT

BODY
WHEREAS, from 1994 to 2004, high capacity ammunition magazines were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban; and
WHEREAS, Democrats and Republicans alike—including former President George W. Bush—called for the reinstatement of this sensible law in 2004, yet it was never renewed; and
WHEREAS, since that time, high capacity magazines (carrying more than 10 rounds at a time) have been legal to manufacture and sell; and
WHEREAS, standard pistol magazines hold 6 to 10 rounds, but extended magazines can attach to pistols and make it possible for a shooter to pump off 30, 50 or even 100 rounds before reloading; and
WHEREAS, high-capacity magazines have been used in most mass shootings in the last two decades;
WHEREAS, most of these mass shootings occurred after the ban on high-capacity magazines was lifted; and
WHEREAS, in the 1993 Long Island Railroad massacre, the shooter used a high-capacity magazine to kill 6 people and wound 19 others; and
WHEREAS, on April 20, 1999, two teenage gunmen, armed with several high-capacity magazines, killed 13 people and wounded another 23 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado; and and
WHEREAS, high-capacity magazines were also used in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre where 32 people were killed and another 17 people were injured; and
WHEREAS, on November 5, 2009, the shooter in the Fort Hood tragedy, killed 13 people and wounded 34 others carrying a semi-automatic pistol with high-capacity magazines; and
WHEREAS, on August 3, 2010 in Manchester, Connecticut, a shooter killed 8 people and wounded 2 others with a semi-automatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine; and
WHEREAS, on January 8, 2011, a high-capacity 30-round magazine enabled the Tucson shooter to fire 31 shots in less than 30 seconds, injuring 13 people, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing 6 others; and
WHEREAS, on July 20, 2012, a gunman walked in through the front-exit door of Theater 9 at Aurora, Colorado’s Century Cinema carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, among other weapons, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others; and
WHEREAS, on December 11, 2012, at an Oregon mall, a man armed with an AR-15, a high capacity magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle, opened fire, killing 2 adults and seriously wounding a 15-year-old girl; and
WHEREAS, the most recent tragedy occurred on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, where a shooter killed 20 young children, ages 6-7, and 6 adults using a AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds; and
WHEREAS, the weapons used by the gunmen in most of the above listed shootings would have been illegal under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban; and
WHEREAS, this Board would like to express its support for the enactment of legislation at the federal and state levels that bans ammunition magazines that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the United States Congress and the Florida Legislature to enact legislation that bans the possession or sale of any high-capacity magazine that has the capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition; with exceptions for the possession of any high-capacity magazine that was lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment and by law enforcement officers, both active and retired.
Section 2. Further urges the United States Congress and the Florida Legislature to enact legislation that requires identification markings on any high-capacity magazines manufactured after the date of enactment.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.

Section 4. Directs the County's federal and state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2013 Federal Legislative Package and to amend the 2013 State Legislative Package to include this item.



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