Bill filed to create universal background checks for gun buyers

Published: Dec. 26, 2018 at 5:44 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Newly-proposed legislation filed by Democratic state lawmakers wants to close loopholes that exempt private gun sales from background checks.

The NRA says the Legislation would put law-abiding gun owners at risk of being charged with a third-degree felony.

In Florida, online and private gun sales are exempt from background checks.

New Legislation aims to change that by requiring sellers to go through licensed dealers, which would conduct background checks on the purchaser.

“Eighty percent of guns used in violent crimes, were purchased without a background check,” said Representative Margaret Good.

The bill includes some exemptions for a list of situations including the sale of antique firearms and guns left to family members in wills, but the NRA says there are still issues.

“Because it requires a background check on the transfer,” said former NRA President Marion Hammer.

Transfer means the sale of, giving, lending, renting, or simply handing another person a firearm.

Making a mistake could result in a third-degree felony.

Another concern the NRA raised is that nothing in the bill actually requires dealers to facilitate a private transfer or sale, allowing them to opt out entirely.

There’s also no cap on how much a dealer could charge.

“It could be $100, it could be $200,” said Hammer. "The sky is the limit.”

However, Representative Good says Floridians want to see change.

“Right after the Parkland shooting a poll was done that showed 96 percent of Floridians support a policy that would require background checks for every gun purchased,” said Representative Good.

Public support or not, passing the bill through a Republican-controlled Legislature will likely be an uphill battle.