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Florida has been putting out some brilliant policies in gun control. Their best idea? — not checking mental health records before granting someone a gun permit. Since the Department of Agriculture and Consumer services is not a law enforcement agency it cannot go through the FBI’s records of 1.6 million people with mental illnesses. Without this information they are still allowed to grant concealed weapons licenses.
Since the Virginia Tech Massacre when a mentally instable Seung-Hui Cho gunned down 32 people the state and federal governments have been working to add restrictions to gun licenses. These restrictions would not enable anyone with a mental health issue to be able to receive a gun license. Without access to the mental health database Florida could be undermining that initiative entirely.
Executive director of the Washington-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Josh Horwitz is not satisfied with Florida’s lack of regulations on this issue. Horwitz says that, “it seems incredibly silly and dangerous to public safety to let this information rest on the shelf, People with dangerous mental health histories should not be allowed to carry firearms in Florida.” 12 percent of Florida’s concealed weapons license holders are out-of-state carriers. With over 952,000 carriers over 100,000 of them do not reside in Florida. That’s scary.
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