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Gun Control

Floridians looking to get their concealed weapons license can apply starting Monday. Online applications had been suspended since March 20.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is holding a press conference Thursday to announce that the Tallahassee regional licensing office is reopening. The office has been closed since March. Despite the closure, Fried says the department has still processed more than 84,000 concealed weapons licenses.

Background Checks Reflecting Gun Sales Break New Records In Florida, Nationally

Apr 3, 2020
iStock

Background checks for new gun purchases in Florida during March – when the coronavirus pandemic worsened dramatically – surged to set records, according to the latest figures the FBI released Wednesday.

Gun sales across the country are surging and in Florida, there have been several record-setting days in the past few weeks. Tallahassee-based Red Hills Arms is struggling to keep up with demand and its owners say as is the case with other gun stores, it's seeing a boom in first-time buyers.

It’s been two years since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting that left 17 dead. Since then, the legislature has passed several laws in an attempt to prevent more gun violence. Some of the changes include arming teachers, raising the legal age to purchase guns, and removing weapons from people who police are worried might harm themselves or others--the so-called red flag law. This session, Senate President Bill Galvano (Bradenton-R) asked lawmakers to study the causes behind gun violence, but so far not a lot is happening.

Florida Gun Reform; Iowa Caucus

Feb 7, 2020

On Friday's Roundup we looked at the gun reform issue in Florida. We also discussed how people here in Florida took part in the Iowa caucus remotely.

Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.” 

Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. A Sebring bank. A yoga studio in Tallahassee. A naval air base in Pensacola.

The legal battle over a 2011 Florida gun law continues to ratchet up.

State and national groups -- including two prominent gun-control organizations -- filed briefs Thursday urging the 1st District Court of Appeal to reject the law, which threatens tough penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations.

State and federal courts are expected in 2020 to grapple with high-profile Florida issues, ranging from felons’ voting rights to medical marijuana.

Here are snapshots of five key legal issues to watch in the new year:

Florida wildlife officials moved quickly Wednesday to try to close a “loophole” that allowed a citizen of Saudi Arabia to legally buy a handgun and ammunition used to kill three people Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Gun safety advocates say more needs to be done to prevent mass shootings. But some say those proposals could be hard to enforce.  

The Supreme Court may be eager to portray itself as an apolitical institution. But this term, political questions writ large are knocking at the high court door.

The upcoming term will almost surely be a march to the right on almost every issue that is a flashpoint in American society. Among them: abortion, guns, gay rights, the separation of church and state, immigration and presidential power.

A House committee will take up legislation on Tuesday aimed at preventing mass shootings, as lawmakers and the White House move to respond to a recent spate of attacks across the country.

The bills being considered by the House Judiciary Committee include measures that would limit access to high-capacity gun magazines and block any person convicted of a hate crime from obtaining a firearm.

a walmart store front
Wikimedia Commons

Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.

Marion Hammer
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

After correcting four years of compensation reports for one of the entities she represents, Florida's top gun lobbyist Marion Hammer has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Florida Senate.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

President Trump visited survivors of the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday before heading to El Paso, Texas, the site of the weekend's other deadly violence. Trump remained out of public view during the Dayton stop.

On the ground in El Paso, Trump said, "We had an amazing day."

"The love, the respect, for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it," he told reporters.

Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer plans to introduce an ordinance this month banning guns from public facilities in his Broward County city. Thanks to a recent court ruling, Stermer can put his proposal on the city commisson's agenda without being subject to a fine or getting thrown out of office.

A gun with bullets on the side.
Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to Florida’s gun laws, there is a struggle happening between state and local governments.

The "preemption statute" that was originally passed in 1987 forbid local governments from passing gun control legislation. However, there were not harsh penalties for breaking the law.

But in 2011, the statute was changed to include punishments for local leaders who introduce gun legislation in their communities.

Those leaders face a $5,000 fine and potential removal from office.

‘Bump Stock’ Ban Lawsuit Tossed Out

May 16, 2019
 Slide Fire Solutions SSAK-47-XRS-RH Bump Fire Stock mounted on a GP WASR-10/36 AK-47.
WASR / Wikimedia Commons

More than a year after the Florida Legislature passed gun restrictions, a Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged a ban on “bump stocks” was an unconstitutional taking of property. 

DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Armed Teachers

May 9, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed legislation that expands the controversial school “guardian” program to allow armed classroom teachers. 

Could Florida have something to teach the country about gun control? 

Federal lawmakers are considering a law that would encourage states to implement systems through which courts can remove weapons from people who may be harmful to themselves or others. The state-level measures are called extreme risk protection orders, or red flag laws. 

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Days after three separate suicides in Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., left those communities reeling, the Senate did something rare for a GOP-led chamber: It held a hearing on gun control.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the legislature to provide 77 full time employees to help process background checks for gun licensing.

House Panel Gives Go-Ahead To Gun Bills

Mar 13, 2019

A House panel Tuesday advanced two gun bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that are reopening a debate about whether people with concealed-weapons licenses should be able to carry guns on school campuses used by churches and store firearms in vehicles on school property. 

House Panel Backs Bill Expanding Gun-Sale Background Checks

Feb 14, 2019
Jacq_kelly

A key House committee approved a bill Wednesday to require background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms, a first step by majority Democrats to tighten gun laws after eight years of Republican rule. 

Gun-Seizure Laws Grow In Popularity Since Parkland Shooting

Feb 10, 2019
Florida established its risk protection law last year, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where 17 people were killed and another 17 wounded.
WLRN

In the year since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, more and more states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country.

Massachusetts Takes Shot At Florida Gun Laws

Oct 29, 2018

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders are among the public officials who plan to unveil a billboard next week in Boston that will contrast Massachusetts gun laws with those in Florida. 

It's been a little over eight months since the shooting that took 17 people’s lives in Parkland. 

At a roundtable in Coral Springs City Hall on Wednesday, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and South Florida Congressman Ted Deutch met with grieving alumni, parents and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice. That much is certain after senators narrowly approved his controversial nomination Saturday, putting an end to his bitter confirmation battle with a slim vote in his favor.

But even as one phase of Kavanaugh's story ends, another is beginning: His lifetime tenure on the highest court in the U.S. And this story promises to last much longer.

Lawmakers Buy Industry Fix To Protect Schools From Guns

Oct 3, 2018

Security companies spent years pushing schools to buy more products — from "ballistic attack-resistant" doors to smoke cannons that spew haze from ceilings to confuse a shooter. But sales were slow, and industry's campaign to free up taxpayer money for upgrades had stalled.

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