TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Democrats have introduced multiple pieces of legislation that would require background checks for transactions involving ammunition for guns and other firearms.
The four bills, which were filed in both the Florida House and Florida Senate, would require background checks to be ran on people who buy or transfer ammunition. They would also block criminals suspected of using firearms from buying the ammunition.
Other pieces of legislation filed make purchasers‘ identities confidential, similar to records for firearms purchases. All four bills were filed in January, just days apart.
The bills offer different strategies for regulating ammo sales. However, both versions would require background checks for ammo purchases in accordance with The Ammunition Background Check Act of 2021, known as Jaime’s Law.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced the legislation to honor Jaime Guttenberg, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which had 17 victims. Guttenberg died at the age of 14.
The shooting has remained a discussion topic amid multiple recent events and political initiatives, both in Florida and nationally.
Both proposals in the 2023 Florida Legislature include provisions to prevent the purchase of ammunition by, or transfer to, those who:
- Have been convicted of a felony
- Have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence
- Have been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution by a court order
The provisions of the bill do not apply to those who:
- Will not use or intend to use the ammunition in a crime
- Are not prohibited from possessing ammunition by state or federal law
- Will use the ammunition in a shooting gallery, at a shooting range, or for shooting at targets
- Will use the ammunition for hunting, trapping, or fishing
- Have no reason to believe the transferee will use the ammunition where it is illegal to do so
- Has reason to believe the recipient of ammo will comply with all licensing or permitting requirements for hunting, trapping, or fishing
Based on the bill text for both filed versions of Jaime’s Law, the ammunition background checks would be added to already existing requirements for purchase of firearms.
With the state legislature expected to pass permitless carry on largely partisan lines, and Gov. Ron DeSantis having already said he’d sign such bills into law, the new legislation could face an uphill battle.
That legislation, referred to by its proponents as “Constitutional Carry” is strongly supported by both the governor and House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast).