Questioning weapon registration proposal

Your Sept. 5, 2019 News Service Article “Assault weapons registry would come at a cost” addressing the ballot proposal for outlawing assault style weapons in Florida has left me with more questions than it answered.

I would like to know who will be tagged to pay for the proposed state registration of targeted firearms? I am assuming the payee will be the self-identified gun owner. Since the cost of managing the registration program will become a part of each future year’s state budget, then I assume there will be an annual renewal fee. Will there be a separate “permit” and fee for each weapon? Can the registration fees be raised to the point that it is no longer feasible to keep a previously lawful weapon?

I am also left with questions about other long-term affects of the proposed registration plan. What will eventually happen to the rifle that belonged to my grandfather and now belongs to me? Under the plan I can keep it however, upon my death, will my survivors be required to surrender it to the State for disposal?

While living, will I be required to carry the rifle’s registration with me while I squirrel-hunt on my own property? Will I be placed on a “be-on-the-lookout” list as I am a known weapons owner?

Other questions come to mind that revolve around the impact to our Law Enforcement community. What will be their role and the projected costs associated with enforcing the weapons ban? Will the enforcement program be implemented by a state level policing force or will it be forced down to our already overworked local constabulary?Are “no-knock” search warrants for home and business along with vehicle stops for illegal weapon searches in ourfuture?

While some might say “why worry, this is nothing more than a simple registration program,” I want to remind everyone that rules have consequences. Our legislators must address as many “what ifs” as possible to assure that this well-meaning ballot proposal is not part of a deeper plan to quietly pull the rug from under our Second Amendment rights.

— Steve Brannon, Niceville