A person barred from buying a gun under Florida law is also prohibited from buying ammunition, but there’s nothing to stop them from walking into a gun shop and leaving with a few boxes of ammo.
A bill filed this week could change that fact. Jaime’s Law — named for Jaime Guttenberg, one of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year — would require background checks for anyone who tries to buy ammunition from a licensed manufacturer or dealer, just like the required background checks for people buying firearms.
The bill was filed in the Florida House by Rep. Dan Daley, a Democrat from Coral Springs, and in the Florida Senate by Sen. Lauren Book, a Democrat from Plantation.
Daley tells New Times the legislation seeks to close a loophole that allows people prohibited from buying guns to still purchase ammunition.
“I think the argument some folks make is that if a bad guy wants to get a gun, he’ll get a gun,” Daley says. “That’s right, but let’s make it more difficult. And if it’s easy to get a gun, why should we make it easier for them to get ammunition?”
Jaime’s Law was introduced first as a federal bill — the Ammunition Background Check Act — earlier this year to require universal background checks for all gun ammo sales. Jaime’s father, Fred Guttenberg; and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz worked on the bill together for months before it was filed, according to the Miami Herald. Daley, a Stoneman Douglas graduate, says he contacted Guttenberg and asked if he could file the same legislation in Florida in Jaime’s name.
With a Republican-controlled state Legislature, Daley is “cautiously optimistic” about the bill passing and hopes it will be heard and discussed.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction for Florida,” he says.