Saturday, January 20, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco officials move toward closing 'gun show loophole'

NEW PORT RICHEY — A divided Pasco County Commission voted Tuesday to move forward with a proposal to require a three-day waiting period and background checks for most firearm purchases at gun shows.

State law requires such regulations at retail gun shops but leaves the rules for gun shows up to the counties. Pasco could soon join a handful of other counties that have closed the so-called "gun show loophole" by imposing the waiting period and background check requirements for most gun sales on any "property open to public access." It would not apply to transactions in which the buyer has a concealed weapons permit.

"It's still hard for me to understand why it would create such a problem," said Commissioner Pat Mulieri. "If I were buying a gun, I wouldn't mind waiting three days and getting my background checked."

The proposed ordinance was not on Tuesday's agenda and was brought up during the public comment portion of the meeting. Commissioners voted 3-2 to bring the topic up for a future public hearing.

Joining Mulieri were Commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Ted Schrader. Commissioners Henry Wilson and Jack Mariano dissented.

GOP state committeeman Bill Bunting told commissioners that gun shows are regularly patrolled by state and federal law enforcement officers.

"Criminals are not going to where there's law enforcement," he said. "Would you go to a gun show if you knew FDLE was there and (federal firearm agents were) there?"

He added: "People have a legal right to sell their firearms. Every time someone gets their foot in the door, they want to take away another right in the Second Amendment."

The proposal has been pushed by the Pasco Democratic Party in the wake of last month's mass shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn., which has also prompted federal officials to look at increased gun control measures.

Pasco Democratic Party chairman Lynn Lindeman ticked off statistics of people with mental health problems or who are felons arrested for crimes with guns.

"This is not an abstract problem," he said. "It's a real and present danger. Allowing firearm purchases without background checks at gun shows places us all in greater danger."

But county GOP vice chairman Jim Mathieu raised a logistical concern: How do you institute a three-day waiting period for two-day gun shows?

"What is (the seller) going to do, mail it to me three days later?" he said.

Voters added a section to the Florida Constitution in 1998 allowing counties to decide whether to expand regulations at gun shows. Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando have all adopted such ordinances. After initially warming to the measure, a unanimous Pasco commission rejected the idea in 1999.

Schrader said he is open to further discussion about the idea, though his focus is curbing the availability of assault weapons.

"No one can legitimately explain to me why someone other than law enforcement or the military would need to have access to those weapons," he said.

Such regulation must come from the state or federal level. Counties in Florida are limited to requiring background checks for most gun sales and imposing waiting periods for handguns.

Starkey also voted to advance the idea, though she warned it wouldn't be a cure-all.

"To me it makes sense to not be selling guns to people with mental issues," Starkey said. "However, I don't think it stops a Sandy Hook or all those things we've been seeing."

Comments
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

WEEKI WACHEE — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday investigated the death of a Hillsborough County man in the Eagle’s Nest, an underwater network of caves where at least 11 others have died since 1981.Even experienced divers have lost th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

Florida’s dip into frigid temperatures did more than just stun humans unused to such cold air. This month scientists and volunteers have rescued more than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles from a single bay in the Florida Panhandle.The U.S. Geological S...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Forecast: Tampa Bay’s bitter cold snap is finally over

Forecast: Tampa Bay’s bitter cold snap is finally over

Tampa Bay is finally clear of the bitter chill that covered the region this week as temperatures picked up on Saturday. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around t...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Bicyclist dead after being hit by car in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — A bicyclist is dead after he was hit by a car just before 10 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.Police were still investigating the crash in the 8700 block of 49th Street N late Saturday morning.Police shut down northbound 49th Street...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Motorcyclist crashes into Subaru while trying to flee Pinellas deputies

CLEARWATER — A 21-year-old fleeing from deputies on a motorcycle crashed into car while speeding away from a cruiser Friday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Brown, of Clearwater, was recklessly driving his 2016...
Published: 01/20/18