Police departments would be banned from compiling some gun records that could help them solve some crimes more quickly under a Florida legislative proposal.
The bill, drafted by the National Rifle Association, got preliminary approval Wednesday by the state Senate, reports the Miami Herald. Democrats opposed it as anti-law enforcement.
But Sen. Durell Peaden, a Republican, said it is needed to stop back-door gun control.
Reading from an NRA-supplied fact sheet, Peaden said police should stop compiling electronic records of gun sales — particularly from pawnshops — because it amounts to an ”illegal” intrusion into gun owners’ rights.
”This information has nothing to do with criminal investigations or guns that have [been used in] committing crimes,” Peaden said. “This bill only stops the illegal compiling of computerized lists of law-abiding firearms owners. It stops gun registration.”
The proposal, which is supported by a number of police associations, doesn’t prohibit law enforcement from keeping paper records that pawnshops furnish to police on a regular basis.
But those records, involving four million transactions in Broward County alone, pile up so quickly that large agencies such as the Broward Sheriff’s Office keep the information in computer databases that allow for easy storage and quick access.
With the stroke of a key, an investigator can quickly locate an item found at a crime scene, whether it involves a toaster or a gun.
Under the bill heard Wednesday, police could keep the electronic gun-related record for only 60 days after receiving it from a pawnshop, longer if the gun were connected to an ongoing investigation.