A Senate panel approved a measure that would block some people who have voluntarily gotten mental health treatment from purchasing a firearm, the News Service of Florida reports. The bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote next.
While overall crime dropped across the state, murders with a gun increased 38 percent in 2011, according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Experts can’t say for sure why more people are being killed by guns, but they point out that gun ownership has increased sharply over the past decade.
Even though seven counties in Florida have laws on the books that regulate background checks at gun shows, they are mostly ineffective, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Law enforcement officials admit they don’t enforce the rule. One gun show organizer says the rule has no impact, since sellers mostly ignore it, too.
As Florida lawmakers consider how they’re going to deal with gun violence, Miami-Dade police are trying to figure out why a gun that killed a 4-year-old was in easy reach of her and two other young children, the Miami Herald reports. By law, loaded firearms are supposed to be locked up so children can’t get to them. If they do and that weapon kills them, the responsible person faces a third-degree felony.
An editorial by the Palm Beach Post says the Florida Legislature should act now to revise a law that doesn’t do enough to keep guns out of the hands of persons who have been hospitalized for treatment of mental illness. he mentally ill.
In the wake of the massacre that was averted at the University of Central Florida, Orlando Sentinel columnist Beth Kassab questions the push by some gun-rights advocates to allow weapons on college campuses. The advocates say students, faculty and staff should be able to defend themselves.
The only gun-control bill that appears to have any chance of making it through the Florida Legislature this session is one that the National Rifle Association supports, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
A 30-year-old man living in a dormitory at the University of Central Florida apparently planned to kill other students by sounding the fire alarm, then shooting them when they went outside. But when police responded quickly to a 911 call from one of his roommates, the Orlando Sentinel reports, James Oliver Seevakumaran turned the gun on himself.
A Senate education panel approved a measure that would allow counties to enact a tax to pay for additional resource officers and student mental health services, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports. In the wake of the Newtown elementary school massacre, some lawmakers are even proposing measures to let teachers carry concealed weapons.
In the 2013 legislative session, which starts Tuesday, lawmakers will take a hard look at improving school security following the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in December. Under the bill proposed by Republican Rep. Greg Steube of Sarasota, school principals could choose one or more staff members to be trained to carry a gun into school, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and calls for better access to mental-health treatment, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is cosponsoring a bill that would enable more community mental-health centers to provide crisis stabilization care, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
WASHINGTON - In response to the Newtown massacre and other recent acts of gun violence, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and several colleagues proposed a bill on Thursday to expand mental health services. The bipartisan bill would expand access to Community Mental Health Centers by modernizing existing centers and building new ones.
After he fired six shots in his home -- aiming at rats, he said --76-year-old Thomas Judd of Tampa was “Baker Acted,” taken to a crisis center for an involuntary mental health examination. As usual, he was found to be suffering from schizophrenia. His guns were taken away.
But now Judd has his guns back, after a proceeding in Hillsborough Circuit Court, according to the Tampa Bay Times.