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Closing the “Gun Show Loophole”

April 11th, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

Update: The Leon County Commission approved the ordinance on a 6-1 vote shortly after 11 PM

Hundreds of people have signed up to speak at at contentious County Commission hearing tonight for an ordinance that couldn’t get a hearing before the Parkland shootings. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the measure would close the so called gun show loophole. 

No background checks are required for one individual to sell a gun to another in Florida. But county commissioners in the state Capitol want to change that. The proposed ordinance has drawn hundreds of speakers. It would require background checks on any gun sale at a place where the public is invited. 

“This is a loophole.” Says sponsor Mary Ann Lindley.


“I’m kinda flabbergasted at the overwhelming response against it, because it really is a precautionary measure, a slight thing. You get background checks to get a passport” argues Lindley.

Gun dealer Mark Folmar says the prohibition will extend to neighborhood yard sales.

“You either are personally restricted in selling that item or having to follow a waiting period or having to go through a licensee to sell that firearm” says Folmar.

Marion Hammer, the Lobbyist for the NRA says the idea infringes on a persons rights to sell their personal property. 


“And the Parkland shooter went through a background check and purchased his rifle legally. He cleared the background check because government officials didn’t do their job.” Hammer is calling on penalties for officials who shirk their responsibilities. 

In a concession to opponents, the county is dropping the idea of extending the waiting period from three to five days.

The ordinance got no traction when first proposed it in 2013. Lindley says Parkland changed that. 

“I think it increased peoples interest in taking whatever precautionary measures we can” says the Leon County Commissioner. 

If approved, the ordinance, is expected to draw lawsuits almost immediately.

Under a 1998 amendment to the state Constitution, counties can impose up to a five day wait for gun purchases and require background checks on gun sales at public places. State law preempting firearm regulation to the state does not supersede the constitutional language. 

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