UPDATE:


How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 4:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

Florida is a state where it is not particularly difficult to get a gun. The Giffords Law Center, which is a gun-control advocacy group named after former U.S. House Rep. Gabby Giffords, gives Florida an "F" grade for its gun laws. Below, from the Giffords Law Center, is a look at Florida’s gun laws. 

>> Read more trending news

In Florida, you do not need a license to own or purchase a handgun, shotgun or rifle, nor do you have to register a gun. Here is what’s required from the state for gun ownership.

How do you get a gun in Florida? 

In Florida, to purchase a gun from a gun store, you must pay $8 and complete the paperwork for a background check. If you pass the background check, you get the gun. If the gun is a rifle or a shotgun, you do not have to wait three days to get it. For a handgun, there is a mandatory three-day “cooling off” period in Florida, one of only 10 states that require any waiting period for the purchase of a gun. There is no federal waiting period required when purchasing a gun. Waiting periods are imposed by states.

Here is what Florida does not do:

Who is prohibited from purchasing a gun in Florida?

Federal law prohibits certain people from purchasing or possessing firearms. Felons, certain domestic abusers, and people with a history of mental illness are generally barred from buying a weapon. In Florida, a person is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm if they:

  • Have been convicted of a felony, or are under 24 years of age and have been convicted of a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult
  • Have been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence
  • Are a “violent career criminal,” as Florida law defines that term

What is the minimum age to purchase a gun in Florida?

In Florida, a person has to be at least 18 years old to purchase and possess a gun. There are exceptions to that law. Minors are eligible to possess a gun if they are:

  • Engaged in a lawful hunting activity and are at least age 16 or if under age 16, are supervised by an adult
  • Engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity, and are at least age 16 
  • Transporting an unloaded firearm directly to or from one of the aforementioned events
  • Florida law prohibits dealers from selling or transferring firearms to anyone younger than 18

Can someone who has become a person who would be prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida have their guns taken away?

No, Florida has no law requiring a person who has become a person who would be prohibited from owning weapons in Florida to surrender the weapon, nor is there a law that would allow law enforcement to take that person’s firearms.

If a person is the subject of a court-imposed protective order, then Florida does consider it a violation of that protective order if the person refuses to surrender his or her firearms.

What about a semi-automatic weapon? How tough is it to get those type of weapons? 

In most cases, it’s no tougher to get a semi-automatic rifle than it is to get a handgun. Seven states -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning semi-automatic weapons. Minnesota and Virginia regulate semi-automatic weapons. There is no ban on purchasing the weapons in any other state.

Students grieve outside Pines Trail Center where counselors are present, after Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning.(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
 

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Ex-Trump aide Corey Lewandowski reacts to story of immigrant girl with Down syndrome: 'Womp womp'

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 6:58 AM

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is under fire for his reaction to the story of an immigrant girl with Down syndrome during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News.

>> Recording of crying immigrant children separated from parents at border sparks outrage

Lewandowski's controversial comments came as he and panelist Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist, discussed the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

"I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage," Petkanas began before Lewandowski responded, "Womp womp."

>> Watch the clip here

>> All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border

"Did you say 'womp womp' to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother?" Petkanas replied angrily. "How dare you. How dare you. How absolutely dare you!"

The clip quickly circulated on Twitter, sparking outrage and condemnation from celebrities and public figures.

>> Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know

“There is no low to which this coward Corey Lewandowski won’t sink,” former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who now hosts NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” tweeted. “This man should not be afforded a national platform to spew his hate.”

Conservative commentator Meghan McCain, daughter of Republican Sen. John McCain, tweeted: “This is so horrible, even by Lewandowski standards.”  

>> Read more trending news 

According to CNN, Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign minister, said in a news conference earlier Tuesday that the story of the girl, who is Mexican, was "particularly painful." After reaching the border, she and her brother were placed in a different detention facility from their mother, Videgaray said. Mexican officials are pushing for the girl to be released to her father, who legally resides in Texas.

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Wife shoots, kills woman after finding her with husband, sources say

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 5:28 AM

A woman was shot and killed in Kershaw County, South Carolina, on Sunday night after sources told WSOC-TV that she was with another woman's husband.
WSOCTV.com
A woman was shot and killed in Kershaw County, South Carolina, on Sunday night after sources told WSOC-TV that she was with another woman's husband.(WSOCTV.com)

A woman was shot and killed in Kershaw County, South Carolina, on Sunday night after sources told WSOC-TV that she was with another woman's husband.

>> Watch the news report here

The shooting happened at the intersection of Highway 521 and Catoe Road, several miles south of Kershaw. 

The Kershaw County coroner said 54-year-old Brenda Marie Coates died from a single gunshot wound. She was found in her car at the scene.

>> Man stabs wife with pruning shears in Walmart parking lot, police say

Late Monday, crime scene tape still hung on an old building on the corner. Deputies said the person of interest in the killing is the wife of the man Coates was with in the car. Officials have not released her name.

Bob Keiningham lives on Catoe Road and is familiar with both families.

"That just goes to show you never know. These are people that live in our area. Everybody sees them every day, from Kershaw here, just regular folks," he said.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said investigators recovered a bullet from the car and also found the gun used in the shooting. They wouldn't give any further details, and he would not say where the gun was found. 

The few people who live nearby said it was disturbing to see the aftermath.

>> Read more trending news 

"We heard gunshots – sounded like a firecracker going off. Happening so close to where we live is kind of nerve-wracking," said neighbor Dylan Hall.

Sheriff's investigators are waiting on three items sent to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for analysis – DNA, gunshot residue tests and ballistic tests – before they file any charges.

Matthews said his officers have already interviewed the person of interest. She is not in custody. They do not believe she is a flight risk.

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Diplomas temporarily stripped from 2 students who wore military cords at graduation

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 3:42 AM

File photo of military service members saluting.
skeeze / Pixabay.com
File photo of military service members saluting.(skeeze / Pixabay.com)

Two North Carolina students said they had their diplomas taken away because they wore military cords around their necks at graduation.

>> Woman graduates from Naval Academy 5 years after struggling to get ex-NFL player dad's signature

The two graduates wore the special cords during graduation to symbolize their enlistment in the U.S. Army.

Their celebration turned to punishment after they wore their cords Friday at West Bladen High School in Bladen County, located in eastern North Carolina.

A school administrator said they broke the rules because their cords weren't pre-approved.

>> Read more trending news 

"Ms. Kelly came up to them and asked them if she could see the diplomas, and they handed them to her and she kept them," a mother, Wendy Paris, said. "I don't have a problem with rules and policies, but some of them are ridiculous."

Paris said she was able to get her son's diploma back the day after graduation.

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21-year-old drowned trying to save child at the beach, family says

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:05 AM

Family Says 21-Year-Old Man Drowned Trying to Save Child at the Beach

Friends and family of a 21-year-old Cartersville, Georgia, man who drowned at Florida's Panama City Beach over Father's Day weekend say he died a hero.

>> Watch the news report here

Tony Jackson Jr. was on vacation swimming with friends when a strong current pulled him under.

>> 2 Georgia men drown over Father’s Day weekend in separate incidents in Gulf of Mexico

WSB-TV's Michael Seiden spoke with Jackson's friend, Muhammad Qasim, who was at the beach with him and witnessed the accident. 

Qasim told Seiden that just before they planned to leave, Jackson had turned back in the water to try to save a child who had fallen off a float.

>> What parents need to know about 'dry' and 'secondary' drowning

“I was right next to him in the water, but when he tried to go toward the kid and the wave hit him, the wave just dragged him back 10 feet," Qasim said. "There was nothing I could’ve done.”

Rescue crews recovered his body two hours later. 

>> Children may face drowning danger 24 hours after hitting the pool

Jackson's family is now trying to raise enough money to fly his body back to Georgia so they can bury him. They say it will cost around $1,700. 

“The main thing is to just get him home; that’s the biggest thing," said Jackson's mother, Latanisha. 

>> GoFundMe to bring Tony Jackson's body home

She hopes the public will step up to help. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the expenses. They hope to raise $10,000 to pay for transportation and funeral arrangements. 

In the meantime, the family is remembering a man who they believe risked his life to help a complete stranger. 

“He had a big heart. He would do anything for anybody,” Latanisha told Seiden. 

>> Read more trending news 

“He was a hard worker and he would do anything," Qasim said. "He would literally give the shirt off his back for anybody.”

Qasim says there was no warning posted about dangerous conditions in the water. A spokesman for the Panama City Beach Police said red flags were flying before the drowning, warning swimmers not to get in. 

Qasim says that isn't true. 

Click here to help the family.

Water Safety Tip

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