Days before the third anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre, Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) filed SB 1170, known as “Jaime’s Law,” joining house sponsor Representative Dan Daley (D-Coral Springs) in seeking to require a background check for all purchases of ammunition. The bill is named in honor of 14-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Jaime Guttenberg, who tragically lost her life in the school shooting on February 14, 2018.
“Background check laws are one of the few gun safety measures almost universally supported across both sides of the aisle,” says Senator Lauren Book, who sits alongside Jaime’s father Fred Guttenberg on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. “Jaime’s Law is a commonsense solution to ensure those who are already legally prohibited from purchasing firearms are unable to purchase ammunition to fill those firearms.”
Currently in the state of Florida, those prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm, like violent offenders or the mentally ill, are also prohibited from purchasing ammunition. However, Florida law does not require that vendors run background checks on ammunition purchases. The bill is aimed at addressing this oversight and ensuring our communities are safer from all forms of gun violence.
“With approximately 400,000,000 weapons already on the streets, we must make it harder for those who intend to kill to do so,” says Jaime’s father Fred Guttenberg. “Prohibited purchasers of weapons are also prohibited from buying ammunition, but there is no mechanism in place to keep that ammunition out of their hands. We must close this ammunition loophole and this bill is a step in the right direction to do it. Jaime’s Law will help save lives immediately.”
If passed, ammunition could still be freely transferred at shooting ranges, or hunting and fishing sites as long as the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee will use or intends to use the ammunition in a crime or that the transferee is prohibited from possessing ammunition under state or federal law.
“As a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, nothing is more important to me than preventing another tragedy like what our community experienced from ever happening again,” said House sponsor, Rep. Dan Daley. “Jaime’s Law is a huge step in the right direction towards ensuring that weapons and ammunition stay out of dangerous hands. It’s also common sense and does not restrict the rights of legal gun owners. If someone walks into a bar and orders a beer, a bartender is required by law to ask for their ID. Why isn’t a vendor required by law to ensure that someone seeking to purchase ammunition is legally allowed to do so?”
This is the second year Daley and Book have teamed up to advocate for the passage of Jaime’s Law.