Florida Lawmakers Want to Get Rid of The Three-Day Waiting Time for Rifles and Shotguns!


Cybersecdn- In Florida, a significant legislative change is being proposed by State Sen. Jonathan Martin from Fort Myers. The bill, SB 1124, aims to eliminate the statewide three-day waiting period for purchasing rifles and shotguns. This move is seen as an attempt to undo one of the safety measures enacted in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting.

However, the bill proposes to maintain the waiting period for handgun purchases. The bill has sparked concerns among gun control advocates. They argue that removing the waiting period for rifles and shotguns could lead to more impulse purchases of firearms, potentially increasing the risk of gun-related violence.

Carlos Guillermo Smith, a former Orlando Democratic state representative, emphasized the importance of the current law in preventing impulsive acts of violence, particularly with weapons like the AR-15 rifle, which has been used in several mass shootings in the United States.

On the other hand, Sen. Martin argues that the bill intends to address the delays law-abiding Floridians face while waiting for background checks to clear. He highlighted instances where individuals had to wait for months, though the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that such extended delays are rare, with 98% of transactions being resolved within minutes.

The current law stipulates a mandatory waiting period of either three days, excluding weekends and holidays, or the duration required to complete the necessary background checks, whichever is longer. Another proposed bill, HB 17 by state Rep. Joel Rudman, R-Navarre, seeks to reverse this to “whichever occurs earlier,” potentially allowing buyers to obtain firearms as soon as their background check is completed.

Currently, holders of concealed weapons permits are exempt from this mandatory waiting period. Supporters of the cooling-off period argue that it plays a critical role in reducing impulsive acts of violence, including suicides and homicides. Research, such as a 2017 study by Harvard University researchers, suggests that waiting periods can lead to a significant reduction in gun homicides.

Opponents of the waiting period, including the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups, contest these findings. They argue that waiting periods do not effectively deter criminals and only inconvenience lawful gun owners. Advocates like Luis Valdes, Florida State Director for Gun Owners of America, assert that these laws infringe upon constitutional rights and do not prevent criminals from committing violent acts with other means.

The issue of gun control and waiting periods has been a contentious topic in Florida, particularly following high-profile incidents of gun violence. In 1990 and 1998, Florida voters approved constitutional amendments requiring a three-day waiting period for handguns and allowing counties to decide on waiting periods for all firearms, respectively.

Florida Lawmakers Want to Get Rid of The Three-Day Waiting Time for Rifles and Shotguns!

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Parkland school shooting in 2018, which resulted in the death of 17 students and staff, led to the introduction of the current statewide three-day waiting period for long guns and a raise in the age limit for purchasing a rifle to 21. As the Florida Legislature prepares for its next session, the debate over gun control laws, including the proposed elimination of the waiting period for rifles and shotguns, is set to be a significant point of discussion.

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