A new gun control proposal by Democratic lawmakers in Florida looks to require a background check each time an individual purchases or transfers ammunition.
The legislation, SB 334 and HB 181, is an attempt to tackle a “loophole” in Florida Statutes that only requires a background check before the purchase of a firearm and does not require any further review.
Florida State Senator Tina Polsky (D-District 29), who co-sponsored the bills with State Representative Dan Daley (D-97 District), said in a statement, “If you shouldn’t get a gun, you shouldn’t get ammunition.”
In response to the two bills being proposed, Florida Agricultural Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate for 2022, Nikki Fried, and the father of a Parkland school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg – who the bill is named after – voiced their support of the legislation at a press event on Tuesday, noting that it could prevent gun violence.
On Valentine’s Day 2018, 17 people were killed and 17 more injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as a shooter broke onto the campus and open fired on students and faculty members.
“We need change here in the state of Florida,” Fried said. “We are not asking for the world. We’re just asking for common-sense changes that are going to prevent future tragedies,” she added.
Jaime Guttenberg’s father, Fred Guttenberg, who now serves as an advocate for gun reform, said, “No parent should have to go through life visiting their child in a cemetery. … Since that day, I’ve spent my life trying to do something to make sure parents don’t have to feel the way I do.”
As for exceptions to the new proposal, there are “special considerations” for outdoorsmen and marksmen – which Polsky says includes hunters, fisherman, and individuals at shooting ranges – that are included in the bill that allows them to share ammunition.
“It does not stop that kind of action,” she emphasized. “It stops people from purchasing ammunition without a proper background check.”
This proposal is the newest effort by Democratic lawmakers in Florida to eliminate gun violence, and comes months after Congress approved the background check requirement to purchase a gun as mentioned above, titled, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021” or HR 8.
If the two bills are approved in the upcoming legislation session of 2022 that begins on January 11th, they will go into effect on October 1st, 2022.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tina Polsky” by Tina Polsky. Photo “Dan Daley” by Dan Daley. Background Photo “Florida Capitol” by DXR. CC BY-SA 4.0.