April 10, 2018-
After a more than four and a half hour, at times emotional public hearing, Leon County commissioners signed off on an ordinance that will impose a three-day waiting period and background checks for private gun sales on publicly accessible property. Commissioners voted 6-1 in favor of the ordinance, with Bryan Desloge, the lone Republican on the board, casting the only no vote. Roughly two weeks after the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley proposed putting the ordinance in place. Local governments have little authority to regulate guns because of a 2011 state preemption law, but a 1998 constitutional amendment allows counties to enact waiting periods and background checks.
Opponents of a proposed Leon County ordinance that would require background checks and waiting periods for private gun sales are warning that commissioners will be on the hook personally for lawsuits and fines if they approve the measure tonight. However, commissioners and legal staff say the county has full authority under the Florida Constitution to move forward.