Orange County may reinstate waiting periods, universal background checks for firearm purchases

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Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs says the County Commission will vote next month to reinstate a three-day waiting period and establish universal background checks for firearm purchases, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Jacob’s announcement comes less than two weeks after she instructed County Attorney Jeff Newton to draft an ordinance reinstating the waiting period, which was struck down following the passage of a 2011 state law that cracked down on local leaders considering gun regulations.

The county’s move resembles the City of Orlando’s decision on Tuesday to join a dozen cities across Florida in suing the state over the penalties, which go as far as to include fines up to $5,000 and the possibility of an elected official being removed from office by the governor. On top of possibly enacting the ordinance, Orange County is also still considering joining the lawsuit, which includes cities like Weston, Miramar, Miami Beach and Cutler Bay, among others.



If approved, the county draft ordinance would mirror one approved by the Leon County Commission in Tallahassee last week. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Leon County commissioners pointed to a 1998 constitutional amendment that allows counties to establish such waiting periods and background checks without breaking state law.

Going further, it would also address what’s known as the “gun show loophole” – how Florida doesn’t require background checks for private citizens selling guns. However, the draft ordinance states, individuals who are licensed to carry concealed firearms and law enforcement officers would be exempt from the waiting period.

The vote will take place at 9 a.m. on May 8 at the Orange County building in Orlando.

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