Gun bill still has safety loophole
Gov. Rick Scott recently signed HB 1355 into law, which stops those who voluntarily commit themselves for mental treatment and are found dangerous from buying a firearms. They are placed on the national criminal background check list. They will be removed from the list when a judge and physician agree they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. Those who are involuntarily committed to mental treatment were already being added to the background checklist.
To quote Scott, "The law will prevent dangerous people with mental illness from being able to buy guns. Everyone should support that and thank government for caring."
Unfortunately the background check is only done by licensed firearm dealers. In Pasco County, persons who are mentally ill and criminals can buy firearms at gun shows and flea markets from unlicensed dealers without a background check.
This is a gaping loophole that allows felons and the mentally ill to get firearms and threaten our safety. We do not have to accept this as a way of life.
I would like to be able thank our government for caring, but our county commissioners are fostering gun crime and placing us all in greater danger of gun violence by refusing to require criminal background checks at gun shows. The Pasco County Commission's inaction is a threat to public safety.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson
Catch people lighting fireworks
It is truly disappointing that the police department and Sheriff's Office do not come out to catch people setting off these canisters and very large explosives in residential neighborhoods until all hours of the night.
There is no way the authorities cannot see all of these fireworks going up in the air. Why should the rest of us have to come out the next morning and clean up the mess in our yards?
Maryann Studley, Port Richey
Better system needed for alerts
Pasco County must address the importance of a more viable form of public service announcements.
On the recent water boil alert, I was informed by a neighbor who was alerted by a phone call to her landline. The latest data suggest only 25 percent of residents still have a landline. Furthermore, I saw an electronic sign announcing the alert, tucked away on a side road. This is unacceptable for a county on the cusp of great happenings.
An up-to-date alert system should be a cornerstone for our infrastructure. I was more informed of the fireworks display at the Shops of Wiregrass via Facebook than informed of a potential water contamination.
We must maintain some congruency between our growth and our infrastructure in order to continue to develop into a well-respected county that is able to compete with Hillsborough and Pinellas in the quest to be competitive and ultimately equivalent in attracting large businesses and well-informed residents alike.
Barbara Tigue, Land O'Lakes
Editor's note: The Florida Governmental Utility Authority was responsible for the alert to three Land O'Lakes neighborhoods.