Most Florida bills meant to tighten gun laws not likely to progress despite Lewiston mass shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The tragic mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine is reinvigorating the debate over gun laws.

Here in Florida multiple bills related to firearms have been filed for the upcoming legislative session.

Democratic lawmakers in the Florida Legislature have refiled a slough of proposals aimed at tightening the state’s gun laws.

They include background checks for ammo purchases, strengthening safe storage laws, limiting where guns can be carried in public and repealing the state’s stand your ground law.


Democratic State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) has also filed a bill banning assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“And of course, it should be noted that in Jacksonville, we had a racist white gunman with an assault weapon kill three African Americans in another example of an individual legally purchasing his firearms to cause serious harm,” said Eskamani.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican State Representative Dr. Joel Rudman filed a bill expediting the mandatory waiting period to purchase a gun.

UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder explained with a Republican supermajority in both the House and Senate, many of the proposals are likely dead on arrival.

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“The only bill that has a chance of potentially passing is shortening the waiting period. You know, getting the background check done in three days,” said Binder.

Binder noted on the other hand, with it being an election year, there’s also little chance any major loosening of gun laws like an open carry bill will clear the finish line this year.

“Oftentimes the policies that are potentially controversial or could maybe gin up some opposition during and election are dealt with in off years, so you don’t have to worry about defending it in November,” said Binder.

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Last year, the Florida Legislature authorized permitless concealed carry.

The new law allows legal gun owners to carry their weapons concealed without obtaining a permit from the state or taking a firearm safety course.

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