PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Senate Dem: Improve Concealed Weapons Tracking

The Florida Senate's top Democrat is planning legislation to better track concealed weapons permits.

Senator Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale says the state Department of Agriculture can't search some databases because only law enforcement has access to them.

Smith is researching a bill to move concealed weapons background checks to another agency, possibly the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

He also says lawmakers should examine their own actions in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

"Think about what the Legislature did with 'stand your ground.' It said, 'Do not walk away from altercations. Do not retreat. Shoot your way out of it.' So the Legislature is just as culpable for creating a culture of violence within Florida through legislation like 'stand your ground'", said Smith.

Smith also plans to propose more funding for mental health programs. He says the combination of guns and mental illness causes mass shootings like Friday's in Connecticut.

The final report of Governor Rick Scott's stand your ground task force is expected to be released any time.