This comes just weeks after the Republican governor made it legal in Florida to carry a concealed gun without a permit, training, or background check.
Florida ranks #2 in mass shootings across the nation, and guns are the third-leading cause of death for Florida children ages 1–17, according to data provided by Giffords Law Center.
Rather than take steps to protect Floridians from gun violence, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that makes Florida the first state in the country to protect gun sale data, which could make it harder to investigate gun crimes.
CS/SB 214: Sales of Firearms and Ammunition prohibits financial institutions from collecting and monitoring information on Floridians’ firearm and ammunition purchases.
Companies found in violation of the bill will be fined up to $10,000.
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The legislation comes after major credit card companies like American Express, Visa and Mastercard expressed willingness to move forward with plans to categorize gun shop sales by joining the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for gun sales.
The measure would add a separate “merchant category code” to a list of purchase codes on sales made at retailers. Until the announcement, gun store sales were considered “general merchandise.”
Gun reform advocates say that being able to better track gun and ammo sales would make it easier to monitor any suspicious sales tied to potential mass shootings.
In Harm’s Way
DeSantis’ signing of CS/SB 214 comes just weeks after he also made it legal in Florida to conceal-carry a gun without a permit, training, or even a background check, despite the fact that states that passed permit less carry saw a 22% increase in gun homicide for the three years after passage. The governor’s move was widely condemned by gun safety advocates and state Democrats.
“You just don’t let anybody buy a gun and carry it on them and say ‘you don’t have to have a permit. You don’t have to have training. You don’t have to go through a background check.’ Things are too dangerous right now in our communities,” Boricua Florida Sen. Victor Torres, who was a police officer for the New York City Transit Police for 20 years, told Floricua. “[This] is putting people into harm’s way.”