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Assault Weapons Registry Would Come at a Cost

September 4, 2019 - 8:00am

A panel of state economists on Tuesday estimated it would cost $4 million to build a registry to carry out a proposed constitutional amendment that targets possession of assault weapons, if Floridians approve the measure in November 2020.

The ballot proposal, backed by the political committee Ban Assault Weapons NOW, would prohibit possession of assault weapons but would provide an exception for people who own the guns at the time the measure takes effect. Those people would be able to keep assault weapons if they register the guns with the state.

Before people could register the weapons, a system would need to be developed under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. One agency official warned economists on Tuesday that a “number of caveats” could impact the cost of the registry and the time it takes to build it.

“When you are talking about a gun registry, you are talking about potentially millions of guns,” said Ron Draa, the law-enforcement agency’s director of external affairs.

Draa told the panel of economists that they should consider the cost of background checks, about 2,500 work hours for staff to build the system and about $3 million every year to maintain the registry.

While the proposed ballot measure does not require the state agency to conduct background checks on the people registering their guns, Draa said not doing so could be “problematic.”

“If the gun is going to be registered with us, it is probably a liability for us to have a registry with people who should not be possessing a firearm,” Draa said. “From our perspective, we thought that might be a public safety issue.”

If the ballot measure is approved, the state agency would also be required to have the registry up and running within 30 days of passage. Draa told the panel that would be “impossible.”

“Depending on what the Legislature determines a registration system would look like, it could take up to a year and a half,” Draa added.

Panel member Amy Baker, who heads the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, said another “unusual dimension” to the cost of the registry would be accounting for the number of out-of-state people who would move to Florida and register guns.

The registry issues were raised during a meeting in which the economists worked to nail down specific costs of the proposed ballot measure.

The measure defines an assault weapon as “semi-automatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.”

The panel covered the financial impact the amendment would have on government contracts, tourism and sale taxes. For the most part, the panel was uncertain on the exact impact on such issues.

Banning assault weapons has long been a controversial concept in Florida. But a deadly shooting rampage on Feb. 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County brought the possibility of imposing such a ban into the spotlight again.

The effort gained traction after the Republican-dominated Legislature passed a law last year with gun control measures, but not a ban on assault-style guns. The ban was advocated by Democrats and students from the Parkland school.

For the proposal to make it onto the 2020 ballot, Ban Assault Weapons NOW needs to clear two major requirements. The Florida Supreme Court needs to sign off on the wording that Floridians would see when they vote on the measure, and the political committee would need to submit at least 766,200 valid petition signatures.

As of Tuesday, the state had received 105,062 valid petition signatures, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

Economists are scheduled to meet again Thursday to continue crunching numbers before signing off on a final tally of the ballot measure’s financial impact.


Since WHEN has ANY law that "BANS" Anything had ant effect on the problem it was SUPPOSED to fix? Semi-automatic rifles, guns, (sic) will not go away by LAW! Those who have them will simply ignore the "Law" and hide them away. It ain't GUN CONTROL, folks - it's PEOPLE control, which your stupidity and selfishness has LOST!

Something I haven't seen mentioned, other than in a few remarks about 'noncompliance' is the number of criminals that these laws will create, and the expansion of their criminal activity. I was building AK type firearms from imported parts kits, all of the parts from a military AK after the receiver was destroyed. A new receiver, which is the firearm according to BATFE, and you could rebuild the firearm. Military AK's have a pen which requires a hole in the receiver that doesn't exist in civilian ones. With 'no bayonet lugs', 'no barrel shrouds', when they had no idea what a barrel shroud was, and 'my rifle is legal if I use magazine A but not if I use magazine B' when both magazines looked and worked the same, some people broke the law a little, and some broke it more. I was offered the chance to make an AK I was building into a full auto. I said no, because full auto doesn't impress me. How many other people would have said yes, I don't know. If you tell people to register their firearms, don't expect compliance. I doubt that 25% of these so-called 'assault weapons' will be registered. If people have unregistered firearms, who knows what firearms they might have? Gun owners are mostly law-abiding, but many times they are particular about what laws they abide by.

Ask the guy in Ocala 4 armed thugs broke into his house.4 to1 not good numbers.He is glad to have had a 30round magazine in his so called assault weapon..There are millions of law abiding citizen who will never use them to commit crimes..YOU CAN NOY FIX STUPID!!!

The second amendment is intended to protect the first amendment. Also assault rifles are already banned.

“If the gun is going to be registered with us, it is probably a liability for us to have a registry with people who should not be possessing a firearm,” Draa said. “From our perspective, we thought that might be a public safety issue.”....................Copy and paste......................

My rifles self identify has a ‘self protection rifles’ therefore you cannot refer to them as ‘assault rifles.’

What's $4 million out of an $80 billion state budget! Loose change. An accounting error. Not much more than the cost of sending 250 politicos and their groupies to Israel for a week or ten days! GET RID OF THE ASSAULT WEAPONS, THEIR ACCESSORIES, AND THEIR AMMUNITION! End - the - absurdity!

Assault weapons are already banned. What else?

Never thought that I would need an assault weapon. That’s why I have a defense weapon. Any item that is used in an assault is an assault weapon. Weapons do not by themselves assault. That is the absurdity!

You are more stupid and more of a fool as you show no understanding or appreciation for what it takes to have a free country. Worry more about the longer-term consequences of an oppressive government and the idealists these are the problems. You can fix the violence without removing any guns just enforce the law and punish those found guilty. Punishment to be effective needs to be swift and thorough, time to go back to flogging. The failures of the idealists should warn you of the creep of deceit in the swamp creatures.

Comment from a moron

Gun control pushers are the scum of the earth

Time to get rid of the fascist wingnuts of the Democrat party.

No, get rid of the Democratic Party.

So the hoplophobes have 105 thousand of the required 700 thousand plus signatures. They have until March 2020 to get 600 thousand signatures? It appears this talk of what a so called assault weapons ban would cost is a moot point, is it not?

They have until February 1st to turn in enough signatures. It's not going to happen

Yup! Also, even if they did get the signatures, there's no way they'd ever get the required 60% of voters.

For the record, the banning of Assualt Weapons is NOT unconditional. Count them FOUR U.S. District courts have ruled that the ban on assault weapons like the one Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook — like the one that police say Nikolas Cruz confessed to using at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 and that Omar Mateen used at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub in June 2016 and Stephen Paddock used from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 — was constitutional. In over 20 cases to date, in fact, no federal appeals court has ever held that assault weapons are protected by the second amendment. Handguns, hunting rifles, all are protected by no semi-automatic rifles. The main two reasons offered by most court judgements is that banning them does not curtail the right of self-defence protected by the Constitution. There are plenty of other weapons — handguns and regular long guns — available to people to protect themselves. At the same time, the courts have said, states and municipalities have legitimate reasons to ban AR-15-style weapons because of the dangers they pose, to schools, innocent bystanders and police. As for the $4 million it would cost - we could get twice that from a Go Fund Me Page.

I am sure some nutcase liberal idealist persons or groups who have their own protection services would come up with the money but do it on a $10 per person limit and the difficulty gets extremely unlikely. Does it not bother you you employ the same Citizens United dogma that your liberal attitudes decry as vile?

You're wasting your time trying to be reasonable and intellectualizing in order to make a point to partisan wingnuts. They don't get "reasonable" and "intellectual".

Yes, Obozo's wingnuts are hopeless.

Then tell us what the conditions are.

Not to mention that it would be unconstitutional.

Comments are now closed.

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