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Gun-Related Measure Passes First Senate Committee Unanimously


A bill seeking to make it easier for firearm dealers to pay for the criminal background checks has unanimously passed its first Senate committee.

Currently, if someone wants to purchase a firearm, Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) says the firearms dealer is required by law to a background check.

“There’s a $5 fee for that background check, and that background check can actually happen electronically. Then, a bill is sent at the end of every month from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement  to the firearms dealer for however many background checks they did, and the only way they can pay for that currently is with a check.”

So, Steube’s bill would give firearm dealers more payment options. In addition to a check, they can also pay through a credit card, debit card, or electronic funds transfer. The NRA-backed measure also would allow gun sellers to submit requests for background checks online, instead of by phone.

“This bill is a good bill,” said the National Rifle Association’s Marion Hammer. “It just brings us into the modern age. You logon, you punch a button, you fill out the information, and you get the money. No checks. No checks to handle, process, no mail. This is something that can be done quickly, and inexpensively, and it just makes good sense.”

The measure passed the Senate Judiciary committee with bipartisan support Tuesday. But, another Steube bill was put on hold in that same committee. It would have allowed concealed weapons license holders to bring their guns into a courthouse, but they would have to store with a security officer. A similar measure died during the past legislative session.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.