Gun show loophole closed in Hilllsborough, Pinellas Counties, not Pasco

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - The gun show loophole was closed in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. But in Pasco County you can still buy a gun from a private seller at a gun show or flea market without any waiting period and without getting a background check.

State Committeeman Bill Bunting says things are just fine without any more gun legislation and he doesn't see a "wild West" in Pasco County.

"The laws are on the books.  You just want to put another law on the books, commissioner, and I don't understand why."

Pat Mulieri was on the Pasco County commission when they rejected closing the so-called gun show loophole 13 years ago.

But she says it's a much different world now. "You are not taking away anybody's gun rights, because I do believe you should have the right to bear arms, even though the only thing I'm packing is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as I told you."

Local democrats say they were influenced by the massacre at Sandy Hook and thought it was time again to ask the board to close the loophole.  It allows gun buyers to avoid waiting periods and background checks at gun shows and flea markets.

"The danger is here there is no record of the buyer or the seller of the gun," said Art Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coaliltion to Stop Gun Violence.

During Tuesday's discussion on the gun show loophole, commission chairman Ted Schrader said assault weapons are the real problem.

"No one can legitimately explain to me why someone other than law enforcement or the military need to have access to those weapons."

But he was quickly reminded that county governments can only pass laws that deal with waiting periods and background checks -- nothing more.

"The state has taken away your authority to do anything with guns with the exception of the two areas that are shown in the constitution as being a local government issue," said county attorney Jeffrey Steinsynder.

The board voted to put the gunshot loophole issue on a future agenda. That will include feedback from citizens with public comments at the meeting.

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