The Florida Legislative Session doesn’t start back up until January 9, 2018, but already legislators have filed 11 bills that either attempt to tighten gun control or loosen gun regulations.
Among the measures introduced for consideration include:
SB 196 – BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS
State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) has filed a measure that would prohibit the sale, transfer, or possession of “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines. Stewart filed SB 196 on August 22, 2017, and it was referred to various committees, including Judiciary and Criminal Justice, for consideration.
The 23-page bill would include in the ban all AK and AR series of rifles among the dozens of identified rifles, as well as dozens of handguns and shotguns.The list of prohibited firearms and accessories comprises three and one-half pages in the bill.
If passed, the bill would take effect October 1, 2018.
SB 120 – GUN FREE BUSINESS’S LIABILITY TO PATRONS
Sen. Greg Steube, (R-Sarasota), a strong supporter of gun rights, filed four bills for consideration in the upcoming session.
The first of his four bills was filed on August 9, 2017. SB 120 would make businesses that banned firearms responsible for the safety of its patrons the possessed a concealed weapons permit. The bill would allow concealed weapons permit holders to sue businesses that banned guns for injuries sustained if they were unlawfully attacked on the property.
In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Steube said, “If a private business wants to prohibit guns in their location that’s fine. But if you’re prohibiting me from carrying, and I’m licensed to carry, then you’re assuming the responsibility to have adequate security in place to protect me.”
SB 134 – GUNS AT COURTHOUSES
The second of the bills filed by Sen. Steube would allow individuals with concealed weapons permits to bring a concealed knife or handgun into a courthouse and temporarily surrender their weapon to courthouse management or security for storage in a safe location in the building. They would then be allowed to retrieve their weapon upon exiting the courthouse. SB 134 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Steube is Chair.
SB 148/HB 39 – ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE
Under the Senate and House versions of the bill, a person who is licensed to carry concealed weapon or firearm does not violate the law if the firearm is temporarily and openly displayed. Sen. Steube filed SB 148 on August 15, 2017, and the House version, HB 39, was co-sponsored by Republican Representatives Neil Combee and Frank White and filed on August 22, 2017. Both versions have been referred to committees in their respective chamber.
SB 152/HB 55 – PAYMENTS FOR PERMITS
Under the Senate and House versions of the bill, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would be required to accept electronic payment for criminal history background checks for a firearms purchase. Sen Steube filed SB 152 on August 16, 2017, and Rep. White filed HB 55 on August 18, 2017. Both bills have been referred to committees.
HB 93 – NO WAITING PERIOD FOR MILITARY
Republican Representative Bryan Avila introduced HB 93 on August 24, 2017. The measure would have exempted active service men and women from the three-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun. After the bill had been referred to committee, it was withdrawn.
SB 274/HB 113 – CONCEALED CARRY ON RELIGIOUS SCHOOL PROPERTY
Republican Senator Kelli Stargel introduced SB 274 on September 13 to allow a concealed weapons permit holder to carry a concealed firearm on school property if a religious institution is located on the property. Representatives Combee and White cosponsored the House version, HB 113 on August 30, 2017.
SB 218 – SAFE STORAGE
Democrat Senator Gary Farmer introduced SB 218 on August 24, 2017. Under his proposed measure, a loaded firearm would be required to be kept secured with a trigger lock. In addition, the law requires written copies of the safe storage law be provided to foster homes, child care agencies and child placing agencies.
We at U.S. and Texas LawShield will continue to monitor these and other proposed laws that affect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. To stay up-to-date on the law, attend a seminar or workshop near you. To find an event and register, click here.