St. Petersburg city council members voted 8-0 to open a dialogue on stricter gun laws

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla - St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell is calling the unanimous decision by the council to open a dialogue about strict gun laws common sense.

The vote took place Thursday morning.

Kornell ultimately wants to ban the sale of assault weapons in the city, close the gun loophole requiring background checks and waiting periods on all gun sales and by making it mandatory for gun owners to register their guns like you'd register a car.

He proposed a similar idea back in 2011 but was shot down by the council.  He feels the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred his colleague's into action.

"If I go and buy a gun at a gun show and I hand it off to a convicted felon, that is illegal," explained Kornell.  "I have committed a crime. How are police going to enforce that because their is no record of its sale?"

Kornell would try to pass an ordinance on his own, only it is illegal to make gun ordinances or laws that go against state laws.  Thus, this open dialogue will hopefully catch the attention of state lawmakers in Tallahassee.

Under state law, Florida counties can regulate gun shows by requiring background checks on all firearms sold.  Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties already require this.

What is problematic, according to Kornell, is when gun buyers head to counties who do not have similar laws.  Currently, Pasco County does not enacted regulatory laws at gun shows in terms of background checks.

In a few weeks, the The Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (LAIR) Committee will be the next to group to determine where the dialogue should go from here.

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