Florida Democrat Pushes Background Checks for Ammunition Sales, Stricter Gun Laws

Florida Democrat Pushes Background Checks for Ammunition Sales, Stricter Gun Laws

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
October 11, 2023

Florida Senator Tina Polsky (D) has introduced a flurry of bills that would harden Florida’s gun laws by, among other measures, requiring background checks for ammunition sales. 

Senator Polsky filed Senate Bills 176, 180, and 182 proposing Florida update its criminal liability laws for gun-safety negligence, require background checks for ammunition sales, and ensure confidentiality of ammunition sales, respectively.  

Polsky’s SB 176 would create separate consequences for adults and minors who injure a third party due to their negligence in the storage of a firearm. Currently, anyone found guilty of causing harm due to negligently storing a firearm commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by tens of years of jail time. 

Polsky is proposing Florida maintain current firearm storage negligence punishments for adults but create a separate body of law for minors found guilty of the same crime. Polsky wants minors who cause harm due to negligently storing a firearm to only be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree. 

Meanwhile, shooting ranges or hunting and fishing outfitters would be exempt from Polsky’s SB 180’s proposal for background checks in ammunition sales.

Additionally, Polsky’s SB 182 would prevent the Florida government from tracking ammunition sales. The bill explains such information “could be used to harass an innocent person based solely on that person’s exercised right to own a firearm.” 

Gun safety and related firearm issues have been targeted by Florida Democrats in preparation for the upcoming legislative session. Earlier this month, Florida Senator Shevrin D. "Shev" Jones (D) of Miami-Dade filed a bill to abrogate Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun laws.

Stand your ground laws were originally signed into law by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005. 

Former Florida Governor Rick Scott reformed the law, shifting the burden of proof in potential litigation from the defendant to the prosecutor, meaning that prosecutors must prove that force was used unlawfully if seeking to charge those who used deadly force in accordance with the law. 

Florida Democrats have criticized ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws since their conception. 

This past June, Democrats refloated criticisms towards the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws after the shooting of Ajike Owens and the lack of prosecution on murder charges for her killer, Susan Losincz. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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