Firearm owners in Jacksonville voice support, opposition to gun control bill

Bill filed in Florida Senate would close gun show ‘loophole’

Jacksonville Gun Show
Jacksonville Gun Show (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of people checked out firearms this weekend at the Jacksonville Gun Show, which was held about two weeks after a Florida Senate panel unanimously signed off on a sweeping gun-control measure.

The proposal (SB 7028) would close the so-called gun show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention,” among other things.

Some gun owners at the Jacksonville Gun Show on Sunday had mixed feelings about the proposal.

“I think it might help some," gun owner Jack Olson said. “But I think the people that do all the shootings will still get the guns."

“I’m all for gun restrictions actually," gun owner Teddy Teschner said. “I have four kids. Keeping it locked up and safe -- I’m all about it.”

The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.”

The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 -- up from the current threshold of 16 -- could have access to the weapons.

The bill also would create a new section of law that would require guns to be stored to prevent access “by a person of unsound mind.”

And the proposal would impose new requirements for private gun sales. Under the measure, individuals who sell guns to other people would be required to fill out a form that would include the name, date of birth and identification information of the purchaser. The affidavit, which would include background questions aimed at ensuring the purchaser is eligible to buy a gun, would have to be notarized.

“I think it’s a violation of our Second Amendment rights," said Jorge Fernandez, with the Jacksonville Gun Show. "It’s one of those where I think legislators and the public need to go out and vote and make sure the legislators they elect into office are doing right by gun owners and those who support the Second Amendment.”

Officials at the Jacksonville Gun Show said federally licensed gun dealers require background checks for buyers, and they also do fingerprinting to make sure guns do not end up in the hands of people who are restricted from buying guns.

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