Gun Control headline

Gun Laws In Florida: Is There Any Change Following The Parkland Shooting

Gun Control headline

As many as 70 individuals were slaughtered on that day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School located in Portland, Florida.

Standing in front of television cameras in the parking lot of the educational institution, Rick Scott who is the governor of Florida made a vow that there will be modifications to the Florida Gun Laws.

After 3 weeks following the tragic incident, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act was signed into law by the governor and it includes a provision which prohibits bump stocks, raises the required age to buy a gun, and also bars any individual who seems dangerous because of mental instability from owning any gun for up to one year.

In fact, this bill was passed in response to the school shooting incident just less than 21 months following the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando where 49 people were killed.

Apart from addressing the ownership of any gun for individuals with mental issues, the law also handed out over $ 300 million for enhancing the safety of the schools.

Previously, many gun control advocates have targeted Florida since, according to them, the state does not have any stringent Florida Gun Law.

A particular gun-controlled group known as the Giffords was founded by the ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords, along with her hubby, astronaut Mark Kelly. This particular group gave an F rating to Florida asserting that the low rank of the state was partly due to an alteration to its “stand your ground” regulation that enables the residents to employ lethal force without any need of trying to retreat in case they believe that they are confronting with great bodily harm or impending demise.

However, the law was modified in 2017 when the burden to prove that an individual was protected against any prosecution under the regulation mentioned above was transferred to the prosecutors from the defense. Some significant modifications to the gun culture of Florida were implemented by the law which was signed by the Gov. in March.

Here, you will find some of the highlights of this particular bill.

  • Minimum age to own a gun.

The minimum age to buy a long gun was raised by the bill to 21. Previously, the minimum age had been only 18. The federal minimum age to own a rifle or shotgun is 18.

  • Waiting period.

An individual has to wait for 3 days or until a background verification is completed (whichever takes longer time) to buy a gun. However, there are some exceptions to this waiting period which includes certified hunters as well as certified concealed carriers, military members, and police officers.

  • Prohibit bump stocks

Bump stocks are actually those devices which are affixed to the rifles so as to make it easy to fire the gun faster; these devices are prohibited in Florida. A national ban has been imposed on bump stocks by the National Rifle Association.

  • Order of Extreme Risk Protection

It will be possible for the law enforcement agencies to appeal to a court for a short-term order that will prohibit any individual from buying or possessing any firearm. These orders will only be implemented when an individual behaves in such a way that poses a substantial threat to themselves as well as others.

  • Baker Act measures.

In case an individual is taken by any law enforcement authority into custody under the Baker Act for an involuntary verification, the officer in charge might seize any firearm or ammunition possessed by the person and also seek voluntary surrender of any other ammunition or firearm kept in that individual’s residence. Those ammunition and firearms which were seized ought to be available for return within 24 hours after the person who has been arrested can prove that he or she is not subject anymore to inventory verification and has been discharged or released from any involuntary outpatient or inpatient treatment ordered or provided.

  • Mental competency

The law will prohibit any person who is verified to be mentally unsound or who was admitted to any mental asylum from purchasing or possessing any firearm until the court orders otherwise.

  • School “guardian” agenda

The law enables certain employees of an educational institution including librarians, coaches, and guidance counselors, except those who are not full-time teachers, to undergo training and also carry guns within the school campus.

  • Safe-school officer

The law likewise entails every school district plus district school board superintendent to corporate with the law enforcement organizations to appoint 1 or more safe-school officers at every school facility.

Where Can You Carry a Gun in Florida?

First of all, carrying a gun openly is illegal in the state. Open carry implies carrying any firearm openly in public.

Below, we mentioned some places where it will be possible to possess a gun in Florida:

  • In automobiles: It is legitimate for any person who is 18 years old or maybe more to have a hidden weapon or firearm for any legitimate purpose including self-defense inside any private vehicle, without any license, in case the weapon or firearm is safely encased or is not readily available for instant usage.

The term “securely encased” implies within a glove compartment, either locked or unlocked, snapped within a holster; within a gun case, whether locked or unlocked; within a zippered gun case; or within a closed container or box where a cover or lid has to be opened for gaining access.

  • In State recreational areas: It is legitimate to possess a weapon in any state park, national or state forest, rest areas on the roadside, or any state game management unit.
  • In eateries, under certain situations: One can possess a weapon while he or she is in a restaurant. However, one is not allowed to take any weapon inside any restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages to its customers. Moreover, one cannot carry any weapon into a fully certified pub.

It is not essential to obtain a permit in order to purchase a gun in Florida. However, one has to get a permit to carry a handgun. There is no need to register any gun in Florida.

There is no restriction on the size of the magazines that you might own. No background check on the sale of any private gun is required.