Sunday, June 17, 2018
The Buzz
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  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Thousands of would-be gun buyers failed a Florida background check last year. Here’s why.

The things you read after the legislative session is over.

We found an interesting list in a report by the Senate Appropriations Committee staff that outlines the legal issues surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Staff reports can be a great source of detail and factual information on legislation. And this one does not disappoint, even though it came out 10 days before the final version of the bill was signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

For anyone who wants to get up to speed on Florida and federal gun laws, it contains an informative summary, including a list (below) of all the reasons people were not approved to buy a firearm in 2017 after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement background check.

The list makes clear that lots of people, including fugitives and convicted felons, apparently do not know the rules for purchasing a gun going in. According to the staff report, the FDLE last year received 990,314 inquiries for firearms transfers from licensed dealers, and 96 percent were approved at the time of the transaction.

As for the other 4 percent, here are the reasons they were rejected:

• 4,170 for a felony convictions
• 717 for being under indictment
• 556 for being a fugitive from justice
• 920 for being user or addicted to any controlled substance
• 871 for having been adjudicated as mentally defective or having been committed to any mental institution
• 449 for being an illegal alien
• 11 for having been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces
• 3 for renouncing his or her U.S. citizenship
• 1,185 for being subject to a restraining order
• 1,174 for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
• 2,587 for a wide range of state offenses, from child or elderly abuse to human trafficking and stalking.

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