The Gun Owners’ Trust Fund legislation, co-introduced by Representative Greg Evers (R-Baker), was today signed into law. This new law will prevent Legislators from raiding the Division of Licensing Trust Fund and reauthorizing unappropriated funds to the General Revenue or Budget Stabilization Funds, protecting the dollars that Florida gun owners’ pay into the fund for its original use and intent.
“This bill really speaks to the values of the Northwest Florida area, and I am happy to have sponsored this legislation and was proud to see it signed into law today,” said Representative Evers. “It is going to go a long way to guarantee that our Second Amendment Rights are remain intact and that gun owners’ continue to be protected from attacks on our rights. Gun owners’, who are paying into this trust fund, will now know that their money is going to what it’s supposed to be going toward – not filling budget gaps.”
“With the signing of this legislation today, we can rest assured that the rights of gun owners’ will continue to be preserved and that the monies that are dedicated to the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program are used for the administration of that program,” said Marion Hammer, past president of the National Rifle Association and executive director of the United Sportsmen of Florida. “Representative Evers has always been, and continues to be, a steadfast supporter of gun owners’ rights, and without him, this important bill may not have been signed into law today.”
CS/CS/SB 1158, identical to house Bill 651, is designed to exempt the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing Trust Fund from legislative authorization for unappropriated cash balances in fund to be transferred to General Revenue Fund or Budget Stabilization Fund. This legislation ensures that the monies in the trust fund are used solely for administering the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program, which include buying or upgrading computers and other essential equipment and technology to run the program appropriately.
Representative Evers currently represents Florida House District 1, which includes parts of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties. He is a farmer and small businessman who was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2001 and was subsequently re-elected. Representative Evers has put his experience in agriculture and business to good use in the Florida Legislature and is proud of his legislative accomplishments on behalf of Florida’s critical agriculture industry, economic development, job creation and Second Amendment issues. Most recently, he sponsored and passed legislation enabling Florida farmers to transport their farm equipment from field to field without the burden of additional government permits or fees; legislation creating tax incentives that enabled the Jay Oil Field to reopen, restoring numerous Northwest Florida jobs; and legislation protecting the right of law-abiding citizens in Florida to have legal firearms secured in their automobiles in public parking lots.