A state legislator reintroduced “Jaime’s Law” that would require background checks for ammunition purchases in Florida. The law was named after Jaime Guttenberg, 14, one of the 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shooting victims on Feb 14, 2018. His father Fred Gutenberg became a staunch supporter of gun control laws, which are blamed for disarming victims and leaving them vulnerable to armed attackers.
State Rep. Dan Daley (D-Coral Springs), the primary sponsor of the bill, is also a Douglas high school alumnus. He says that the bill would not affect the lawful gun owners. Ironically, they would still be required to undergo ammunition background checks to procure ammunition. Daley claims that the law would close what he calls the “ammunition loophole.”
“It’s not the ‘we’re coming to take your guns’ everyone seems to think it is,” Daley said. “We’re trying to be as reasonable as possible while getting to the root of the issue — a bad guy with a gun can walk into a store and buy as much ammunition as you like.”
On the contrary, Florida criminalizes the purchase of ammunition by prohibited persons. Career criminals, felons, convicted domestic abusers or those with restraining orders, or people suspected of being a safety risk under the state’s red flag laws are not allowed to buy guns or ammunition. Consequently, Florida law addresses the issue and the only thing needed is to enforce the existing laws instead of re-introducing the failed ones.
A similar bill was filed during the 2020 legislative session but didn’t make it through the committee stage. It’s unlikely that the current bill would see the light of the day.
Five other states have ammunition background checks. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey require passing a background check to qualify for ammunition purchases within a certain period. California requires background checks for every purchase.
California's ammo background checks block hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners from buying ammunition, while only a few criminals are blocked from acquiring ammo in the Golden State.
Florida would become less safe by passing ammo background checks that would prevent lawful gun owners from acquiring the necessary tools to stop armed criminals. Contrarily, criminals would still acquire bullets through the black market, making the law useless in reducing crimes.
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