Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NRA-backed bill yanks gun questions from adoption process

TALLAHASSEE — A bill backed by the National Rifle Association that would prohibit adoption agencies from asking prospective parents if they have guns or ammunition in the home appears to be sailing through the Legislature.

The House and Senate are scheduled to vote today on the bill (SB 530, HB 315). Though sponsored primarily by Republicans, it earned Democratic support in committee tests, an unusual circumstance for an NRA-backed proposal. A spokesman said Gov. Charlie Crist strongly endorses the measure.

Said NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer: "It's a bill that is critically important because adoption agencies have been registering firearms and creating their own firearms regulations, which violate Florida statutes under two different provisions."

Though little formal opposition has surfaced, some have noted that parents often inquire if other parents have guns in their homes because they consider that an important safety issue for their children.

Under the measure, adoption agencies no longer could ask prospective parents if they keep firearms or ammunition in the home and gun ownership could not be considered a factor in determining a parent's suitability to adopt.

All applicants, however, would be required to acknowledge that they have received a written copy of the state law requiring the safe storage of firearms.

"The bill would direct adoption agencies, whether public or private, that they can no longer require information relating to lawful gun ownership," Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, said during a brief debate Tuesday.

Most of the legislative discussion about the bill has centered on Senate and House amendments that also would have prohibited adoption suitability decisions based on an applicant's sexual orientation. Gay couples generally are barred from adopting children in Florida.

Sponsors of those amendments made impassioned statements on behalf of gay or lesbian prospective parents. In the end, though, they withdrew the proposals, knowing they were doomed.

The issue of adoptions by gun owners came to light after a few prospective parents complained last year that the Children's Home Society of Florida, the state's largest provider of services to children and families, was asking applicants to disclose information about weapons or ammunition they keep at home. Florida law bans state agencies or their agents from maintaining a registry of firearm owners.

NRA-backed bill yanks gun questions from adoption process 03/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Workers from the Advanced Granite Solutions in Maryland console each other Wednesday after a shooting there killed three people. Officers said the attacker fled and also shot a man in Delaware.    as police and Emergency Medical Services respond to a shooting at a business park in the Edgewood area of Harford County, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.  A gunman opened fire at the office park killing several co-workers and wounded others, authorities said.  (Matt Button/The Baltimore Sun via AP) MDBAE105
  2. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  3. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.
  4. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners


    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  5. UF president Kent Fuchs: 'Charlottesville changed everything' (w/video)


    GAINESVILLE — Wednesday evening, hazy rumors of an impending Neo-Nazi march reached some wary protesters. A few quickly rallied to denounce the marchers in downtown Gainesville, only to find plazas empty but for police.

    University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs talks with reporters Wednesday about white nationalist Richard Spencer's planned speech on Thursday. He said of Spencer: "In a small way, he is causing us to redouble our focus on supporting actions that are the opposite of what he wants." [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]