Do We Need Harsher Gun Laws in Florida?

Presently, in Florida public retail sellers are required to perform a criminal background check on all potential fire-arm buyers. Maintaining that it is illegal to sell a fire-arm to a felon (3rd degree felony penalty, 2012 Fl. Stat. Title XLVI ch.790.065(12)(c).), the fore-mentioned safe-guard is not a requirement of private online fire-arm sellers such as the business “Florida Gun Trader”, whom has over 1900 guns for sale on their website. Current situations have raised questions regarding the effectiveness of preventing gun-related crime by the current fire-arm sales requirement laws. The dissimilarity in requirements for selling firearms in Florida parallels its residents’ stance on the proposed harsher gun laws.

While the Congressional representatives of Florida predominantly vote in accordance with their political party (Democrats pro harsher gun laws, Republicans oppose harsher gun laws), the citizens of Florida remain on the fence regarding the issue. Accordingly, this uncertainty of what is needed to be done combined with the recent national gun related tragedies has fueled the hot topic nature of gun laws in Florida.

The needs of Floridians stem from their existing values. Democrats tend to value more governmental intervention, while Republicans are more inclined to value individual rights with little governmental intervention. In turn, these values ultimately determine public policy. Arguments by those who value governmental intervention above all else seek protection on such issues, believing that stricter gun laws would decrease the potential for fire arm related crime.

Contrastingly, arguments by those who value individual rights above all else want greater restriction on governmental intervention, stating that stricter gun laws are an attack on individual constitutional rights to own fire arms for legal purposes such as self defense. The question of whether Florida needs harsher gun laws is clouded by these conflicting values and is, ultimately, a question of one’s personal principles.