Hopes dim for gun control measures in Florida Legislature

Hopes dim for gun control measures in Florida Legislature

Florida Senator Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa. [SCOTT KEELER | Times] [SCOTT KEELER | TAMPA BAY TIMES] A bill that would close Florida’s so-called “gun show loophole” is in trouble. Halfway through this year’s legislative session, the bill has stalled, and key lawmakers aren’t sounding optimistic it will be heard again. “It is very clear that it is an uphill battle,” said Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, who supports the bill. Blame election-year politics in Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature. GOP lawmakers have focused on churning out bills meant to fire up their base, including controversial measures limiting abortion and cracking down on companies hiring undocumented people . Taking up a controversial gun-control measure is not one of their priorities, said Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, who is sponsoring the bill. “Is that a piece of legislation that Republican legislators would just soon go away?" Lee said. “Oh, duh, of course it is.” In the wake of back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last year Galvano asked Lee to come up with a bill to make the state safer, including potential limits on guns. Lee and his committee came back with Senate Bill 7028 , which would close the “gun show loophole” by requiring all sales at gun shows go through a background check. Currently, private-party sales at gun shows are not required to go through background checks. For all other private-party sales, both the buyer and seller would have to fill out a form that’s notarized attesting the […]

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