November 04, 2022
Florida has a swamp, and I’m not talking about Everglades National Park; I’m talking about the political one. It is infested with anti-gun establishment-loving RINOs.
Here is a great example of the uphill struggle that Florida’s gun owners and Governor Ron DeSantis are fighting.
Listen below to the YouTube video recording of his remarks. It can also be found at https://youtu.be/mb3m12B4rDg.
FL's Republican 2A Committee Chairman says Constitutional Carry & GOA are bad and he's against us.
So, who is this problem child? His name is George Gasparini, and he is a Republican Party of Florida State Committeeman, member of the Citrus County Republican Executive Committee Board, and according to his own statements, he is the chairman of the RPOF's Second Amendment Committee.
Before you go any further in this article, please call the Republican Party of Florida at (850) 222-7920 and tell them that you’re disgusted with George Gasparini chairing the Second Amendment Committee while having an anti-gun stance.
George Gasparini is an excellent representation of the anti-gun establishment swamp that is infesting and circulating in conservative social circles in Florida. It is people like him who support the very machine that allows anti-gun Republican lawmakers to block pro-gun bills like Constitutional carry, open carry, campus carry, and Second Amendment sanctuary legislation.
George Gasparini uses his influence within the Republican Party of Florida (the state-level party) and their quarterly meetings, hosted in various locations across the state. These meetings are where party members can get together and shape official party policy. The committees, such as the Second Amendment Committee, are where folks officially craft policy and discuss issues.
This isn’t the first time that George Gasparini has shown his anti-gun colors at Republican functions.
Back in March, at the quarterly meeting held in Orlando, the previous Second Amendment Committee Chair was absent, so George Gasparini stood up, claimed he was the ranking RPOF official, and took over the meeting.
During that meeting, I presented to those gathered that day that Governor Ron DeSantis openly backs the passage of Constitutional Carry and that the silence from the RPOF is leaving a very negative taste in the mouths of Florida’s gun owners. I informed them that numerous county-level parties passed Constitutional Carry resolutions, including Miami-Dade's Republican Party.
George Gasparini, instead of supporting Constitutional Carry (and the Governor’s stance), stated that he is against Constitutional Carry and that Gun Owners of America is wrong in supporting Constitutional Carry.
Mind you, this was after the Governor made statements supporting the passage of Constitutional Carry and defending the Second Amendment.
To put a one-hour meeting into a quick summary, George Gasparini stated the following:
- Florida doesn't need Constitutional carry and there needs to be a continued permitting system in place to control who can and can't exercise their rights.
- Government grants you your rights, you're not born with them.
- He's a retired New Jersey police officer and is covered under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (Federal Law that allows retired cops to carry nationwide, even in restrictive locations like New Jersey and New York) and since he is a special deputy with one of the Sheriff's Offices in FL, that makes him more qualified to own and carry firearms than the common citizen.
- What stops bad guys, isn't a good guy with a gun, it is judges and penal institutions after the fact a crime happened.
A large portion of the room left with disgust. I approached Sen. Joe Gruters, the RPOF chairman, the big kahuna within the party and asked him to have the party openly support Constitutional carry and informed him on what just happened with George Gasparini.
That was when the fuse was lit for the next meeting.
As the Florida state director for Gun Owners of America, I had a plan up my sleeve. Two days before the June meeting was to happen, I had an action alert go out statewide to Florida’s gun owners asking them to contact the RPOF and demand that a Constitutional carry resolution be passed.
In a 48-hour period, over 220k emails were sent to the RPOF.
The room for the June meeting was packed and the RPOF flat-out stated that they support Constitutional carry. You can listen to the pertinent portion of that meeting below or go to https://youtu.be/o8bJgtBGtDY.
You can hear them discuss the emails that they received.
RPOF June 2022 Meeting
What we didn’t get on video was the fight to get a resolution for Constitutional carry to be heard. Along with the grumbles of George Gasparini and his attempts to sabotage the resolution.
At the end of the meeting, we were informed that the resolution passed.
Yet, there was no official release by the RPOF on passing such a resolution. Worse though, we found George Gasparini was appointed by Sen. Joe Gruters to chair the Second Amendment Committee.
What message does that send to Florida’s gun owners? In the video, the RPOF states they support Constitutional carry, yet they release no information about the resolution supporting it, and the guy who fought against it is appointed to chair the Second Amendment Committee.
That soured a lot of people.
After numerous attempts to get an answer from the RPOF, back channels informed me that the resolution was tabled and would not be discussed until December 2022.
Months passed as we were waiting for December 2022, when suddenly, I got a message on Thursday (Nov. 2, 2022) about what is going on in Citrus County and who’s causing the trouble.
My source, who I’m keeping confidential for their own personal security, is someone that I fully trust. So, this was serious when I was contacted out of the blue about this.
When I listened to it, I was shocked that George Gasparini, five days before a crucial election in Florida, was speaking as an official representative of RPOF as the chairman of RPOF's Second Amendment Committee. He was telling fellow Republicans that he’s proud to have fought Gun Owners of America and that Constitutional Carry is bad.
LET THAT SINK IN.
You have someone who is basically the Second Amendment Ambassador for the Republican Party of Florida, telling the core base of the party, that Constitutional carry is bad, and Gun Owners of America is bad. Worse though, he’s insinuating that Governor Ron DeSantis is wrong too because the Governor supports the passage of Constitutional carry.
Let George Gasparini’s own words say it:
“I've had quite a few battles with them at the state level at our meetings, quarterly meetings. Uh he ended up resigning [meaning the former 2A chair], these people no longer come there, and I am the chairman of that committee right now and the reason why is because the legislators in the past have put together a very, very good bill in the state of Florida.
“They're trying to pass a bill for open carry [he confuses open carry for Constitutional carry]. Open Carry for Gun Owners of America was saying that it is a Second Amendment right.
“Anyone can carry a gun, any time, any place with no training in the state of Florida.
“As an NRA instructor, as a retired law enforcement officer for 40 years, and as a current special law enforcement officer, which I am. And as a certified pistol instructor, I don't believe in that.”
You can’t get more establishment swamp than that. He literally says that Gun Owners of America is bad because we understand that carrying a firearm is part of someone’s Second Amendment rights.
George Gasparini is going against the Republican National Committee’s platform on Constitutional carry.
This is the swamp that Florida’s gun owners are fighting. This is what Governor Ron DeSantis is fighting.
This is why anti-gun Republican lawmakers, like current House Speaker Chris Sprowls, were able to block Constitutional carry without any repercussion. This is why current Senate President Wilton Simpson was able to push red flag laws after Parkland and not suffer any loss for it. This is why Rep. Chuck Brannan was able to trash Floridians’ Constitutional carry petitions and get away with it.
People like George Gasparini are agents of the establishment swamp, and he does their dirty work with a smile.
Well, no more.
Florida is the Sunshine State, and the best disinfectant is sunlight. I’ll make sure to shine the light where it is needed.
If you want to do your part, go to Gun Owners of America and sign up as a member. Again, call the Republican Party of Florida at (850) 222-7920 and tell them that you’re disgusted with George Gasparini chairing the Second Amendment Committee while having an anti-gun stance.
Together, we’ll drain the swamp.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.
About the Author
Luis Valdes is the Florida State Director and the Director of Outreach for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands for Gun Owners of America. A lifelong advocate of freedom and a firearms shooter, hunter, competitor, collector. Luis is the first of his family born in the United States of Cuban Immigrants who fled Communism and whose family saw firsthand what gun control truly results in. He is also a retired police officer.