Gun Sales: Are Tougher Laws Needed?

Whether a criminal background check is done may depend on whether firearms are bought in retail stores on from online private sellers.

If someone is breaking into your home, do you want to be armed with a handgun or an assault rifle?

That's the question that Alex Jackson, who sells guns at Stan's Pawn Shop in  St. Petersburg, poses to people who bring up gun control.

For Jackson, the answer is easy. "You want the fire power of an assault rifle for self-protection."

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, some politicians and groups are urging reforms that include a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips, as well as background checks for anyone who purchases a gun.

The gun that killed the 20 first-graders and seven adults in Newtown, Conn., was a Bushmater assault rifle.

Currently, bricks-and-mortar retailers, such as Stan's Pawn Shop, on 5th Avenue North, are required to do a criminal background check first. Stan's does not specialize in gun sales but will buy or sell assault rifles and other types of firearms.

Jennifer Arroyave, who works at Stan's Pawn Shop, says that in addition to doing a criminal background check, she also makes a point of talking with buyers to see if they seem "fit" to buy a gun.

Arroyave said that "visual check" is important.

But practices are different online.

There is no mandate for a background check for private sellers online who use websites like Florida Gun Trader to advertise guns for sale. The transactions are more anonymous.

Although it is illegal for anyone to sell a gun to a felon, criminal background checks are not required. Currently, there are 1,927 guns for sale by Central Florida private sellers on the Florida Gun Trader's website.

"Upon finalization of sale, we recommend that Florida Gun Trader members verify the identity of the buyer (state or federal ID) and exchange a complete a bill of sale for both the buyer and seller's information," Florida Gun Trader advises sellers on its site.

Florida Gun Trader also advises sellers to try to meet buyers at a gun range or a private residence as part of the transaction.

Is Gun Reform a Partisan Issue?

Whether gun laws should change is divided along party lines in Florida.

A "Gun Control" scorecard that reform advocates just released grades politicians on whether they have voted for stricter legislation in the past.

Florida's Republican lawmakers all received a "D" or worse. Most of the Democrats were rated with "A"s. (See chart below.)

But Florida voters may not be as hard line.

"I guess I don't understand how I, a law abiding citizen that may be banned from owning a semi-automatic weapon, can protect myself from a criminal who WILL have a semi automatic weapon with a gun that can only shoot one bullet at a time," wrote Susan Ferguson on New Port Richey Patch's Facebook page. "How can anyone in their right mind believe that a ban on these guns will keep them out of criminal hands."

From the Huffington Post:

Gun Control Scorecard

Between 2008 and 2012 all but 25 members of the incoming 113th Congress established voting records on gun control. The NRA uses those records to create a grade for each congressperson. This table, based on Project Vote Smart data, shows an inverse of those grades. High grades indicate a history of voting for stricter gun restrictions; lower grades indicate opposition to restrictions.

Brown, Corrine FL House 3 Dem A+ Buchanan, Vern FL House 13 Rep D- Castor, Kathy FL House 11 Dem A+ Crenshaw, Ander FL House 4 Rep D- DeSantis, Ron FL House 6 Rep D- Deutch, Ted FL House 19 Dem A+ Diaz-Balart, Mario FL House 21 Rep D- Frankel, Lois FL House 22 Dem A+ Garcia, Joe FL House 26 Dem NA Grayson, Alan FL House 9 Dem C+ Hastings, Alcee FL House 23 Dem A+ Mica, John FL House 7 Rep D- Miller, Jefferson FL House 1 Rep F Murphy, Patrick FL House 18 Dem B+ Nelson, Bill FL Senate -- Dem F Nugent, Rich FL House 5 Rep D- Posey, Bill FL House 15 Rep D- Radel, Trey FL House 19 Rep D- Rooney, Thomas FL House 16 Rep D- Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana FL House 18 Rep D Ross, Dennis FL House 12 Rep D- Rubio, Marco FL Senate -- Rep D+ Southerland, Steve FL House 2 Rep D- Wasserman Schultz, Debbie FL House 20 Dem A+ Webster, Daniel FL House 8 Rep D- Wilson, Frederica FL House 17 Dem A+ Yoho, Ted FL House 3 Rep D- Young, Bill FL House 10 Rep D+
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
In the school shooting, the mother who bought the semi-automatics passed all required background checks, but the GUN she bought killed her, her son , and 20 little 6 and 7 year olds.What part of this are you people not getting???? Get rid of the semi-automatics and any and all repeat fire clips and guns. PLUS break-ins by criminals who end up dead are a lot fewer than break-in by criminals who end up owning guns of the homeowner
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 02:41 PM
YEAH that's what I see all around me. POLITE. Well, BIG JOHN, was it polite or did you not notice how EVIL it was that all those six and seven year olds ended up with two and three bullets in them?? Millions of guns around but where were you and your cronies?? Not at the schools protecting the kids. And, believe me, no one would want you there. And by the way, you can be shot 4 times in ONE SECOND. while you prepare your gun - and that's if you're sitting on it. And your big, well thought out argument is to arm the teacher! That goes along with the rest of your gun-mentality wisdom. I would MOVE AWAY if I lived near you. You sir are a vigilante and one type we need to protect ourselves from. AN ARMED SOCIETY IS AN EVIL SOCIETY!
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Nancy, there is no confusion when 20 six and seven year olds get 2 and 3 bullets pumped into them and their teachers in a couple of minutes. YOU are the one who is confused.semi-automatic which means quick refire, 4 shots in a second. "We the people" is not just YOU and your gun-lovers NRA. We the people out-number you and you would not have gotten as many rights as you have if it weren't for all the moneys that you give to politicians. We are now rising against you and the NRA, and I guarantee you we will win this fight. When we the people voted for the constitution we had MUSKETS, GET IT???? MUSKETS - ONE BALL AT A TIME. Look at our society. Look where all your laws in favor of YOUR weapons has gotten us. The proof is in the many families of these victims, day after day. You can own all the muskets you want. The founding fathers never saw you and your like coming. YOU are disgracesful. How can a woman not feel for those children and want to do everything to protect them??? All I can say is you must be related to LaPierre. You sound just as ridiculous as he did.
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Thank God for people like Michael Mirra. And to Big Jon, PLEASE do not ever defend me or mine. Let the professionals take the guns away from you and all your gun-toting friends. I trust them, not you. God bless your neighbors. Hope they don't have any pranksters in their families. They might get shot trying to have some fun. You are certifiable.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Sandi, thanks for the recognition. My long dead Father - Salvatore Mirra- used to say that when people don't understand the obvious it was because " they DON'T WANT to undersand" These people want to have kill power because they are heartless. That's why they call people like you & me bleeding hearts. Their hearts are so hard that they feel nothing for anyone else's loss. They also function without thought & are vengfull. If they were at Arora, they would consider themselves LUCKY to have the oppertunity to open fire with a license to shoot. If they killed the perpertrator, they wouldn't be as glad to have saved lives, as they would be to have made the KILL. The constitution crap is just that. Even disregarding the fact that there weren't weapons of anahlation then, the constitution was written by HUMANS, it's not infallable. These people act like it's the Bible, & think God wrote it. Times change. It's not the late 1700's anymore.
Carla Gibson December 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM
On Christmas (in front of everyone) my nephew reached toward his left leg and pulled out a brand new Glock that was strapped to his ankle. "It's a Christmas present to myself" he said. Of course it put an immediate BLACK CLOUD over the "fun" of the day and I wondered why he didn't keep it hidden from sight -- like an oozing pus filled boil. When everyone asked WHY he bought it he said "for protection in case someone wants to start a fight." He sounded like a little five year old talking about the "boogie man" hiding under his bed .... if he hits me I'll just shoot him dead! THIS is America today. I love the USA, but if I could afford to move to a more civilized country, I would leave right now.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I've been posting here for a few days. There is another thread on patch from someplace in Tampa. Near Carrolwood, I think, where they are all going off on how they NEED their guns. They continue to act like people want to outlaw guns. I hate guns, but realize that they have the right to pack heat. Their arguments that ANY type of fire power is OK without limits is crazy. This all started when Obama first won election in 2008. My then live in girlfried was a TEA PARTY wocko. Her & her internet lunitic fringe were sure that Obama was going to take their guns.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I'm an old man of 66 now. One day, when I was about 20, I passed a gunshop on a New York street & as I looked at the guns in the window it sunk in that they were ALL instuments of killing & that killing was their only reason to exist. There is nothing positive about them. Most of these gun nuts call themselves CHRISTIAN, so I ask them, WHAT KIND OF GUN DOES JESUS PREFER YOU SNUFF OUT LIFE WITH? Even hunters are delivering death to God's innocent creatures. They say all life kills other life in nature. I say to them that those animals kill to survive. Human hunters kill for SPORT. That makes humans the only ones who snuff out life for FUN. That says something about Humans.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
On March 6, 2011 my nephew, who bought a gun for similar motivations as your nephew earlier, got up that Sun morning. He went out on his screen porch & a loud BANG rang through his house. His girlfriend ran out to the porch where he had blown his head off. When I told my neighbor about it, her reaction was, "WHAT THE HELL WAS HE DOING WITH A GUN?" I think we are all too gun happy in 2012 America.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Does anyone else see a coorelation between the same people that want to pack guns & shoot people they have a problem with, are usually the same people that want to NUKE Iran & or N. Korea? It must be a personality thing. Remember the Beatles once refered to the American as "the all American bullet headed saxon mother's son"
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The ideas on this page prove beyond any doubt that there is too much of a gun culture in America. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we are a bunch of crazys. Lets permit hand granades too, I mean why not really kick ass & take names? We can just forget the semi-automatic crap. Lets just sell machine guns to anyone that has the money. What the hell if crazys can kill any of us with ease? We'll just shoot back & turn the streets into the killing zones we want. If they don't like guns, we can cut their bellys open with bayonets. We're Americans so we can arm ourselves to the teeth. It's our right bestowed by the founding Fathers. You know who they were, they were inspired by God to give us devine guidance that has no no need to change with the changing times. Some crazys want to use sense & change with the times. That's for Obama lovers. We're true Americans. we're the master race & we're armed & in kill mode.
Big Jon December 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Just remember my shortsighted arrogant neighbors there are a lot more gun lovers than there are of you narrow minded, stick your head in the sand socialist. MM I'm older than you, better educated and certainly more of an American. I believe in my Constitution and our right to bear arms. I pray I never have to protect you are the other whiners that have posted their antagonistic views. I will leave y'all with this. Please think about your family members male and female that have put their life's on the line to protect your constitutional rights. Not just one or two of them but all. Yet you see fit to back a group of politicians that gives them away. Meaning that the lives given for you was in vain. You want to hide behind cloak of religions or your own insecurities. I pray that you never have to make that decision that someones life depends on because none of you have the backbone to deal with making a life saving decision. I am a proud gun owner and love the fact that I have the freedom to choose my friends. I hope your nephew enjoys his new Glock. Not my choice of personal carry weapon but a good choice. I hope I never meet you in person because that fact might hinder my ability to defend you if the need arises. Don't blame the guns for the tragedies blame the poor medical services provided by our mental health system. The system that is controlled by politicians not medical professionals.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Big John. You seem to think I advocate the govenment taking away guns. I know you have the right to be gun crazy if you choose. We don't think it is a challange to FREEDOM if we stop the mentally ill from getting firepower. I find the mind set of you people obtuse in that I have to ask, what part of that we aren't for outlawing of guns, but the outlawing of weapons of assault on the streets do you fail to comprehend? I imagine you don't see a limit to anything the founding fathers said, unless you choose too. You AREN'T more of an American than me. You may be better educated & you may not. The credentials I earned a lifetime ago are moot. It seems that some people toot their horn about their education because they have nothing else to hang their hat on. If you have a master's degre, or higher, you are better educated than me. . I feel that I have enough education to get bye. Your thought process doesn't reflect advanced education. Bye the way, my nephew wasn't the one with the glock. My nephew was the one who blew his head off with his gun. I don't think he enjoyed it. I don't blame the insane assault weapons for the tragedies, I blame the accessability to them as being at fault. Your way of thinking is vanishing in America. Times change & your America is nearly gone with the wind. "your old road is rapidly fading, so get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, for the times they are a changing" Bob Dylan
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Add to that list: Criminals break into homes sometimes because they know there are guns to be found there Background checks do not tell us whose hands the gun will end up in. Securing our schools does not secure the parking lots when kids arrive and leave the building. Many insane people can pass background checks. As the law stands, the police can do nothing about these assault weapons being as abundand as they are or if criminals have access to them. They respond after the fact because there is no law that will help them BEFORE the fact. Judges are all different. Criminals receive slaps on the hand for lots of aggressive crimes. Some criminals who kill or beat and rape a family member get released in plenty of time to step it up and kill the person they feel responsible for putting them in jail. Some murderers get away with murdering. OJ for example. Some murders are never solved. Kids live in homes with parents who do not lock up their firearms giving them access to these weapons.
michael mirra December 26, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Big John calls US arrogant & short sighted. Don't make me laugh!!!!
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Carla Gibson December 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Big Jon, you will never meet me in person so don't worry about it and feel any need to start polishing your gun. I'm just wondering what kind of mind set you have that's making you SO AFRAID that "danger" may be just around the corner and you will have to draw your weapons to defend yourself or someone else? If I had to live in a state of FEAR like that I wouldn't know what to do ... would probably go crazy. I'm an older lady living alone and I have NEVER in my life felt the kind of FEAR that you are presenting in your posts. I refuse to live with such FEAR. Why are you so afraid? I am NOT against having a simple gun for protection (if you need it), but I am totally against the semi automatic & "military type" weapons that are out there. When my nephew pulled out his new Glock on Christmas it changed how we felt about him .. and not in a good way.
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Big Jon is probably 5 foot two with a brain the size of a pea. He can't win this argument so keeps spinning and spinning, making no sense whatsoever. BJ, not for nothing, but there are more people who want gun restraint laws than the few million NRA combatants. We just haven't fought back until now when our backs are up against the wall. You have no compassion for children or the families who lost them. All you care about is your unbalanced view of having your rights taken aaway. Last time I looked the majority should rule. You WILL
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Big Jon, There are NOT more of you NRA creeps than us. You have a few million and Lapierre who the New York Times said it best: " ranting and raving". You are not all that well educated, as I have noticed you don't know when to use a plural noun instead of a possessive one - the word you should have used is lives not life's. You're so well educated, I see you skipped 6th grade. And "y'all" screams hillbilly to me. Your comments in total scream "unbalanced, foolish and domineering" Your need to control, I guarantee you runs through all of your relationships - not just gun issues, but everything. You couldn't be wrong if your life depended on it. Why don't you pay attention to the other side of the argument. Your argument has no substance, because we don't care about YOUR particular rights. We believe the majority, and educate yourself there before you say something else that's stupid, the majority of politicians whose palms are greased by the NRA have voted and were heard and this is where we end up. Craziness run by crazies. But we, sir, WE THE PEOPLE, THE MAJORITY will have our way now. Watch and see. We won't settle for half way this tim.e. You wil be giving up your repeat fire weapons. You talk about mental health. When was the last time you saw a psychiatrist? I ADMONISH YOU TO GET SOME HELP! PLEASE!
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Unfortunately, this new awareness and so many of us who remained quiet for so long, speaking out against the atrocities of these repeat fire weapons, has brought a lot more business for serious fire power because, somehow these gun crazies believe that they can buy now and forever hold their guns. So many of them bought and bought. Not from Walmart, but from Pawn Shops and Gun Shops with no conscience. They had to have permits, so we know where they are. They will end up handing them back or having them taken away, because, finally the times they are a-changing, and the majority is ready to fight back. We just CANNOT LET THEM WIN again.
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Amen to that, a personality thing of the brain. KILL KILL KILL. They have no conception of peace.
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Arrogant?? BJ - don't mind if I call you BJ, do you? Please go on .....and on......and on because every time you open your mouth on paper, it is proof that you are as crazy as a loon. MM, you have captured BJ in a nutshell. Appropriate, isn't it. Hard to believe such an EDUCATED man as BJ would be so vile as to go on and on and on about his rights to own semi-automatic weapons with what happened to those six and seven year olds - two and three bullets in those little bodies. But BJ doesn't care as long as he can keep HIS assault weapons, so he can protect you and me. Just full of education that one, and sympathy and empathy and love for children. BUT don't take his assault weapons Y'ALL cuz hims gut rites, doncha BJ. How was that? arrogant enough of a neighbor for ya????
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Wish I could show you the 17 errors contained in your UNeducated comment. You are so above the rest of us, so sympathetic of the families of the six and seven year olds with 2 and 3 bullets in their tiny little bodies. You are right about one thing. When we have to listen to you and your rants (much like Lapierre's rants according to the New York Times) we understand that the mental health system has not only provided poor medical services, but the mental health system has neglected you entirely. Keep on talking. You are living proof that you gun crazies really need good mental health treatment.
Janis Graskewicz December 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I can't believe adults can't see the stupidity of what is really going on in America. This is not about assault rifles, it's about a way of life that has been fought and died for. 250 years this country has been a nation of workers. If you want socialism, move, You keep threatening to do so. Find another country that you will be happy in. You are not the majority, just the majority that have the loudest mouths at the time. There are many of us that do not agree with your idealist views, Arguing over a type of gun is not the way to fix our country.Get out of your cozy safe house and see what it is like in other neighborhoods.Stop believing the liberal news and use your brain. I would bet that there are people that sleep with a gun every night and afraid to leave the house or sit on the porch with their kids. They live with fear every day. And I am not talking about psych wards. Take a chance and go visit other Americans. Live with them for a week or more. Bet you won't, Bet you are all mouth. America was built on people of other beliefs living together, working together, and making a life they could be proud of. Treating Big Jon as a blood thirsty idiot is not the adult way to discuss a problem that affects us all. The comments that you made, that will have your way because you are the majority, not caring about another's rights, wanting to leave in another country? This scares me more than any gun.You are dangerous to everyone.
michael mirra December 27, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Janis G thinks Americans fought & died so that people can continue to be bullet headed idiots. I thought they died so we wouldn't have to live under facism, like the kind the your right wing wants. Silly me. I somehow missed the part where wanting safe streets amounts to socialism. I guess I have to watch Faux News to be up on to the real meaning of these things. Stop beliveing the 'liberal news ' she says. I'm supprised she didn't call the ligitimate news by the wacko right lable of 'the drive bye media' . She tells us to think. She thinks that just being the majority doesn't mean anyhthing. Janis, do you know what the word democracy means? Are you saying that if the minority sees it YOUR WAY, then your way rules because that's the way you & your minority say it must be. That doesn't sound like democracy.
michael mirra December 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM
This argument here will go on forever. It's not what we decide. It's what Big Brother decides. The right doesn't like that, but most Americans can see that Big Brother has to step in sometimes when Little Brother acts like an imbacil.
Carla Gibson December 27, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Janis, I'm sure there are people out there that DO sleep with guns on their pillows .. and millions more, like my nephew who just bought a Glock, live with an unfounded PARANOIA that someone just "might" try to start a fist fight one day and he'll enjoy blowing their brains out. Of course my nephew has never had a fist fight in his entire life, yet he lives with this strong FEAR that it "could" happen. Guns are ALL ABOUT FEAR . . but the RIGHT (yours and mine) to own a gun will never be taken away . . however the availability and easy access to semi automatics & "military type" weapons will no longer be tolerated. Period. PS. If you are referring to me when you said that I am DANGEROUS to everyone .. well for an "old" lady like me who REFUSES to live in fear and doesn't own a gun, that could be a compliment. BOO!
michael mirra December 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Janice, You talk about this being a nation of workers. then you talk about socialism as if it is contrary to work ethic. The motto of Karl Marx was WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS. The workers built this country on their backs & the Capitilists have been raping the workers for over 100 years. This thread is about gun violence. It has nothing to do with socialism & workers. that's another topic.
michael mirra December 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Someone named Leroy made a geat suggestion of Eastlake Patch. He suggested that names & pictures of assault weapons owners be published in newspapers, TV. & the internet, like they do for perverts. Employers will fear to hire them & may terminate their employment for fear of workplace violence if they snap. They would become stigmatized & profiled as people too fear. Some neighbors would shy away from them & some parent wouldn't let their kids play with their kids for fear that they could get their parent guns & kil their kid. It is a quick fix untill Big Brother gets the chops to act on this national problem. Parents would demand transfer of their kids out of classes where the parents are known assault owners. Leroy's idea is brilliant.


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