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Florida lawmakers propose bill to crack down on ammo sales

Jaime's Law would require background checks on the sale of ammunition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eighteen months after 17 people were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, lawmakers are introducing a bill to crack down on the sale of gun ammunition.

Jaime's Law takes its name from 14-year-old Jaimie Guttenberg, one of the victims of the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre. Her father, Fred, has been pushing for legislation that would require background checks on all ammunition sales in the wake of the shooting that killed his daughter and 16 others.

Even though state laws forbid someone who can't buy or own a firearm from purchasing ammunition, the bill's authors believe it would close what they call a loophole in the law. State Rep. Dan Daley and State Sen. Lauren Book said there's no oversight over the purchase of ammunition.

"There's actual no check to make sure people don't have the ammunition," Daley said. "So, you could get denied a background check for a weapon, walk into a gun shop down the street and purchase as much ammunition as you want, and no one would know any different."

There have 325 mass shootings in 2019, according to Gun Violence Archive. Some guns used in those shootings were purchased legally, even if others were not. But it's more than likely that the ammunition was bought legally because of the lack of background checks on ammo purchases.

Some of the bill's details still need to be ironed out. It's unclear how much implementing the legislation would cost, if there would be exemptions for ammo sold at gun ranges and how much time it would take to process every potential buyer. But Daley believes it would make a difference.

"Everybody says, ‘Well, they'll still get their hands on the gun, is it really going to stop them?'" he said. "Who the hell knows, but it's going to make it more difficult and that's what we should be doing."


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