Commission votes to look at extending firearm purchase wait period

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 07, 2018, 1:31 PM EST

The Hillsborough County Commission discussed gun legislation on a local level Wednesday afternoon. 

  • Commissioner Les Miller calls for a ban on all assault style weapons; no commissioners backed that
  • Commissioners voted 4-1 on future discussions on extending gun purchase wait periods
  • Commissioners voted 5-0 on making it a misdemeanor to threaten a school

While the commission moved forward on a measure to increase the waiting period when buying a firearm, the group declined any measures to reject a local ban on assault weapons. 

The topics came up for discussion at the request of Commissioner Les Miller, who had called for a ban on all assault style weapons countywide. 

When Miller made a motion for the ban during the commission meeting, it quickly failed. 

Miller had more success on his proposal for increasing the waiting period. 

Commissioner Al Higginbotham backed Miller on the waiting period, chiming in "I see no problem with increasing from three to five days."

Commissioner Sandy Murman was part of the 4-1 approval on the idea of increasing the waiting period but added she was somewhat torn on the issue. She said she wants to hear more public comments on the matter and wait to see what the legislature decides during the current session. 

Commissioner Victor Crist said "bad people will always find a way to find a weapon" but voted to support increasing the waiting period for obtaining a firearm. 

Also, the group voted unanimously to create an ordinance to make it a misdemeanor for anyone making an online — or any other type of — threat against a school or daycare center. 

The push could have been a tricky one for the commission.

In Florida, it is illegal for any local government official to push gun laws that are tighter than those on the state books. 

The group will discuss the measure to extend the firearm purchase waiting period from three to five days at a future meeting.