guns

Senator Plans To Break Up Major Gun Bill

Jan 25, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

The author of a controversial proposal that would broadly expand how and where people can carry guns said Tuesday he is breaking up the measure.

Gun Proposal Might Have Easier Path In Senate

Dec 22, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

A measure that would expand how and where Florida's more than 1.67 million concealed-weapons license holders can carry handguns may have an easier path through the Senate in 2017 than in the past.

Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.

Supreme Court Ready To Hear Medical Malpractice, Other Major Cases

May 26, 2016

For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June.

Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday.

Physician groups are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling upholding a Florida law restricting what doctors can ask patients about guns.

Alachua County Jail

Two Gainesville residents face multiple charges following an argument that escalated into gunshots being fired outside a University of Florida dormitory.

University police Maj. Brad Barber told The Gainesville Sun an argument broke out as people were leaving a bar.

The Florida House passed a bill Thursday allowing gun owners to take their weapons during mandatory emergency evacuations, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott for approval. However, bills allowing guns on university campuses and in public schools face an uncertain future.

Florida Legislative committees next week will discuss bills to allow firearms on college campuses, and hear an update on how new child welfare reforms are being implemented, the News Service of Florida reports. The gun bill is similar to one that failed to pass in 2011.

 USF's School of Public Affairs and Nielsen's latest results on their annual Sunshine State Survey was released today, asking how Floridians feel about crime and environmental issues.

USF Political Scientist Dr. Susan MacManus said 46 percent of Floridians are in favor of making current gun laws more restrictive, while a slight majority see no reason to do so.

"This question really reflects racial, ethnic, gender and age divide in the state," she said.

A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn’t violate the doctors’ First Amendment free speech rights.

The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a previous decision that had blocked the state from enforcing the law.

Not Guns OR Mental Health; It's Both

Jun 1, 2014

The American tragedy continues with six collegians killed in the sleepy college town of Isla Vista, California.  The deranged murderer then took his own life after a shooting and stabbing rampage.  A victim’s distraught father lashed out at the NRA, politicians and all those who would impede gun restrictions.  In Florida, bullets sent people scurrying for cover in Clearwater Beach.  Myrtle Beach suffered three shot dead in shooting rampage recently.  The carnage continues.

A Senate panel approved a bill this week that would allow teachers and other designated school staff to carry concealed weapons on school campuses, according to the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau.

Sujatha Guduru of Oviedo had a 20-year history of mental illness. She had required hospitalization in a psychiatric ward three times, was seeing a mental-health counselor and taking psychotropic drugs. Yet Guduru was still able to walk into a local gun shop and buy a revolver.

A state law that allows gun ranges on private property is being challenged by South Florida lawmakers who say regulation is needed to make their communities safer, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan is asking the state to allow cities to enact their own restrictions on gun use, even on private property.

TALLAHASSEE — A gun rights group is suing the University of Florida for banning guns in campus housing. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar suit against the University of North Florida's ban on guns in cars.

In early December, the 1st District Court of Appeal sided with a UNF student and gun rights group Florida Carry that challenged a rule banning students from storing guns in their cars.

Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano writes that there are serious loopholes in the "stand your ground" law that enable bad guys like drug dealers and motorists consumed with road rage to use it in ways that its creators never intended -- they provoke a confrontation and then use deadly force.

Attorneys for doctors’ groups told appellate judges in Miami on Thursday that a Florida law barring them from asking about patients’ gun ownership abridges their First Amendment right to free speech, according to NBC 6 South Florida. But the state solicitor general argued the law defends patients’ right to bear arms, as outlined in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The three-judge panel asked questions but will delay a decision.

Concerns about privacy are behind an amendment that drastically weakened a ban on texting while driving -- which passed Wednesday in the House -- and swirled around a bill on medical malpractice, still pending in the House. 

Fort Lauderdale Police haven’t been enforcing a county ordinance on criminal background checks at gun shows held in the city because they say a state law won’t let them. But according to legal experts, the police are misinterpreting the law, the Broward Bulldog reports.  

 

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate passed a handful of health related bills Tuesday morning, including: 

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.  

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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. 

A bill that would make it harder for people with mental illness to obtain firearms passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee with no opposition, the Associated Press reports. The measure was sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker who cited an example of a mentally ill Dade County resident who had 200 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The bill even received support from the National Rifle Association. In other legislative news:

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.

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 Polk County lawmaker who thwarted an attempted burglary by firing a warning shot wants that tactic to be included in the “stand your ground” law, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He also wants people to be able to brandish a weapon to scare off would-be attackers. 

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.

Almost 800,000 people applied for background checks so they could buy guns in Florida last year, the highest number since the Florida Department of Law Enforcement started keeping track.

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