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Background check legislation facing staunch opposition

The 53-page filing by Florida Carry argued not getting a solid yes or no within 24 hours has deprived people of their constitutional right to own a gun. (MGN)
The 53-page filing by Florida Carry argued not getting a solid yes or no within 24 hours has deprived people of their constitutional right to own a gun. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 4:34 PM EST
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service

January 15, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The Florida Senate is pushing expanded background checks for private sellers of guns.

Only ten counties in Florida require private sellers to perform background checks at gun shows.

A Senate bill on the move would make the checks mandatory in all 67 counties.

“We’re gonna ban the sale of weapons in any public place unless there is a background check conducted at the time of the sale,” said Senator Tom Lee.

But the bill does more.

It also requires private sellers to create their own version of the federal firearms sales form and have it signed and notarized by the buyer.

“It’s a complicated for with a series of questions,” said former NRA President Marion Hammer.

Hammer calls the legislation 'gun control on steroids'.

“It’s a trap for law abiding gun owners,” said Hammer.

The idea is also running into a brick wall in the House.

“We are always very careful when we in any way start to infringe on those things that people consider their constitutional rights,” said House Speaker Jose Oliva.

If it were to make it through the Legislature, it would likely find a cold shoulder in the Governor’s Office.

"There’s no exemption for gun shows. I mean if you look at a gun show, anyone selling firearms there at any of those tables, they do background checks,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

But Tom Lee said he will keep trying.

“All I am asking for is a chance to bring something to the floor of the Senate,” said Lee.

The legislation also adds medical personnel to the list of people required to report people making credible threats under the state’s Red Flag law, which allows guns to be temporarily taken away from those who are considered dangerous.

Lawmakers will spend the next five or six weeks in search of a compromise.

Something that has eluded the Legislature for the last two decades.

If the legislation were to gain traction, it will likely be March before any deal could be worked out.

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