Controversy over possible gun sales ordinance

gun shooting shot
Posted at 6:39 PM, Nov 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-06 18:39:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Leon County commissioners are looking into a move that would add background checks to private firearms purchases on public property.

"I got shot over an altercation with a person and I was probably six or seven feet away and we were arguing and he shot me," said Leon County resident Wesley Dobson. "I didn't have a weapon."

Dobson says he could've died after he was shot in the face 2011.

He says he's all about stricter background checks for those buying guns and he supports the possibility of an ordinance Leon County commissioners are now looking into.

It would require background checks on private firearms purchases made on public property.

"I think if you want to own a gun that's just what you have to do," said Dobson."You don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people."

"It won't help doing background checks and overregulating law abiding gun owners, it's not going to stop criminals from breaking the law and buying guns," said National Rifle Association President Marion Hammer. "It's that simple."

The Leon County attorney has been researching the issue and according to analysis, unlike licensed firearm dealers, private sellers regulated by county gun laws, have no direct access to a buyer's criminal history.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says it would involve several steps including signing over the gun to a licensed dealer. Then the dealer would do the background check.

"There aren't that many private sales that go on at gun shows and this is a colossal waste of effort and energy and the $100,000 for the sheriff's office to hire a deputy to go to gun shows and try to enforce," said Hammer.

For now the idea is in the early stages. It's not on the table just yet, but it is something that will be discussed by commissioners possibly in January.