Fla. Lawmakers Mulling Several Gun Bills

By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida
By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida


Gun rights advocates are seeing more legislation filed to protect gun owners rights than they have in a number of years, with another bill filed Tuesday that would lift restrictions on cross-border gun purchases.

Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami, filed a measure (HB 4069) to lift restrictions on Floridians who purchase rifles and shotguns in Alabama and Georgia. The law now requires a Florida purchaser to conform to federal laws, Florida law and those laws on the books in either of the two contiguous states.

Diaz told the News Service Tuesday he filed the measure as part of a House effort to repeal unnecessary laws. Federal laws restricting the cross state purchase of shotguns and rifles have been repealed. Florida is one of six states that has such restrictions, which were originally written to make it easier for Floridians to purchase guns in Alabama and Georgia. They are no longer needed, backers say.

Other measures already in the hopper include SB 402 by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart. Filed last week, Negron’s bill would remove statutory references to the state’s three-day waiting period, which is also included in the Florida Constitution.

The bill goes further by prohibiting public funds from being used to defend local governments that enact ordinances stricter than the state. To deter such activity, the bill filed last week would set a potential fine for public officials who enact such laws to $5 million.

An identical bill (HB 45) was filed in December by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and has been referred to the House Criminal Justice subcommittee.

Negron said there is a growing appetite in both chambers to clarify a law passed in1987 that prohibits local governments from enacting laws that would put gun-carrying residents in jeopardy if they travel around the state. Such laws, however, lacked any teeth, leading some local officials to enact stricter rules.

“I think there is great support for unified gun laws across the state,” Negron told the News Service Tuesday.

Negron said he expects the measure to come up early, possibly in February.

Another bill (SB 234) filed in December by Sen. Greg Evers, R- Crestview, would expand the rights of licensed concealed weapons owners to openly carry their handguns in areas in which they are now allowed to carry outside of public view.

Last week, Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, filed HB 155. The proposal would prohibit physicians and their staff from asking patients if they own guns or store them in their homes. A Senate companion, though expected, has yet to be filed.

House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders, D-Key West, said the gun bills may prove sticky for Republican leaders, who will find themselves in the middle of powerful lobbies regardless of which way they vote.. Some gun legislation fights in the past have pitted gun owners against business interests, who both tend to vote Republican.

“The dilemma the Republicans face is either way they vote they’re voting against someone who voted for them,” said Saunders, who said Democrats will likely sit back initially to see how the inner party issue pans out. “That’s the price of power.”

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  • by Guy Johnson Location: Former Sanford Resident on Jan 21, 2011 at 06:55 PM
    Gun Banner 2011 is just yanking your chain trying to get a reaction, he will not engage you or anyone else in a debate on a statement he has made because he does not believe himself it was posted to elicit a response on the internet they are referred t as "Trolls" or Agent Provocateurs a tactic i have used myself on the net on both pro and anti gun forums depending on the desired response. I am very pro gun rights and thge Legislative Chair of a very large gun club in South East PA.Acting as Agent Provocateur I have been quoted on anti gun forums with misinformation or illogical anti gun statements and every time the use these statement it discredits their position even more than than they do themselves I have used it on pro gun forums to hone the debating points to a fine edge, So a good rule to follow is not to take anything at face value Gun Banner 2011 is more than likely experimenting and has only achieved the level of Jr. Troll.
  • by hipshot Location: Englewood, FL on Jan 20, 2011 at 08:42 AM
    My typo mistake...It's the GCA 1968(Gun Control Act Of 1968) Basically the Nazi Weapons Act of 1935
  • by hipshot Location: Englewood, FL on Jan 20, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    Federal Law in GCA 168 makes it legal to purchase long guns in contiguous States from ones home State. Also if one is in a competition involving handguns in another State and needs to replace a firearm that is broken or defective, one may by law do that.As a former holder of 2 Federal Firearms Licenses, I understand the law.
  • by Yo on Jan 20, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    Join me in 2011 and stop Gun Banner 2011! By stopping this nut job we will have safety, security, and a guarantee that armed robbery and other crimes will decrease! Carry Conceal = Safer Society
  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    gun banner,let`s go quail hunting sometime soon!
  • by Stevie Weevie Location: Delray Beach, Florida on Jan 19, 2011 at 05:59 PM
    Re; Arizona shooting - The issue is not MAGAZINE CAPACITY. The issue is MENTAL CAPACITY.
  • by God Bless America Location: Quincy on Jan 19, 2011 at 05:36 PM
    There are enough of gun laws on the books. All we need is judges to enforce them. police arrest them, judges let them go. Sorry Gun Banner..you are terribly wrong.
  • by Gun Banner 2011 Location: Tallahassee on Jan 19, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    Join me in 2011 and stop carry conceal! We want safety, security, and a guarantee that armed robbery and other crimes will decrease! Carry Conceal = increase of terrorism and criminal activity Gun nuts, enjoy your right to bare arms for now...
  • by hunter Location: crawfordville on Jan 19, 2011 at 01:48 PM
    gunbanner needs to leave this country,his comments are the dumbest i have ever seen,sounds like north korea would be a good place for him.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2011 at 01:23 PM
    anon, it is crime to purchase a stolen gun in all three states, so i don't understand that point. As to yout question about passing a law that requires participation of another state, those types of laws already exist. When you buy a car in GA, the dealer there has to abide by the Florida laws and forms for title change , verification of insurance, and transfer of tags etc. Same goes if you live in GA and want to buy a car in FL. What's the difference?
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