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Firearms background check proposals would impact those convicted of domestic violence

Access to firearms is an important issue, particularly in the context of domestic violence and abuse. Authorities are keen to address the issue in order to better protect domestic violence victims. At present, Florida lawmakers are reportedly considering legislation that would provide extra protections for potential victims and extra burdens for those who have been convicted of domestic violence.

By law, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is required, upon receiving a request for a background check, to review records to determine whether the buyer is prohibited from purchasing a firearm. If it is determined that the individual is not allowed to possess a firearm, the agency is supposed to revoke any conditional approval that may have been given and notify law enforcement. 

Under a Florida bill currently under consideration, the FDLE would be required to notify local police agencies within one week of background check denials. The purpose of the proposal is to allow local police to quickly determine whether the individual has made more than one attempt to purchase a firearm and to investigate the purpose for purchasing a firearm.

The other bill would change the current rule about background checks by private sellers. Current law does not require private sellers to conduct background checks before sales, but the bill would require both sellers who hold a Federal Firearms License and private sellers to run a background check before a sale.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at the topic of firearms and domestic violence, particularly when the law prohibits those involved in alleged domestic violence situations from purchasing and possessing a firearm, and how an experienced attorney can help when charges arise as a result of firearms purchase or possession.

Sources:

Florida Courts, Florida Firearms Legal Executive Summary for Domestic Violence Cases: State and Federal Firearms Laws, Accessed online March 3, 2017.

Center for American Progress, Florida Domestic Violence and Guns Fact Sheet, July 2014.

Smartgunlaws.org, Background Checks in Florida, Updated Oct. 17, 2016. 

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