The Florida legislature has voted to bar government agencies from keeping comprehensive lists of people who own firearms, reports the Associated Press. The bill was pushed by the National Rifle Association and includes fines of up to $5 million if a court determines a government agency knew an employee was compiling such a list. The measure does not cover lists created as part of a criminal investigation.
Opponents were unaware of any cases where an agency used a list to violate an individual’s rights. “Why is it that we want to get rid of this list?” asked Rep. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa. “Who is it who has been harmed by this list? . . . Those of us who own firearms should not be afraid to let others know about it.”
Rep. Susan Bucher, D-Royal Palm Beach, said lists of gun owners help law enforcement track down suspect in criminal cases. Without them, she said, half the cases under the state’s “10-20-Life” laws would not be prosecutable.