Battle brewing over gun waiting period

A class action lawsuit was filed  against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) by gun advocates, saying potential gun owners are being left in limbo as it relates to a waiting period to purchse a gun.

In Florida, there is a three day waiting period when purchasing a gun, in order to allow authorities time to conduct a background check on the would-be gun owner.  Lately, owners of stores like The Arms Room say they are seeing more customers haviing to wait longer than the three days.

A group called Florida Carry filed a the action lawsuit on Monday.  

"Somehow FDLE has gotten the idea that that three-day background requirement no longer applies to them, and that they can just ignore it and ignore it indefinitely with no time limit," said Florida Carry's attorney, Eric Friday.

In one case, Friday said a customer has been waiting seven months to buy a gun. He says that while thousands are affected, he adds that this lawsuit represents three men from around the state, including one who was arrested but never charged..

"The proof that he was not charged was forwarded to FDLE. Despite having that information FDLE has made him wait months."

Florida Carry says a "Decision Pending" status started affecting more customers, after the passage of the Parkland bill in 2018. But some residents say they agree with longer waiting periods.

Resident Robert Spitler says, "I think they need to wait as long as necessary to make sure whoever has a gun is a responsible person."

Robin King agrees, adding "I think gun violence in our nation is a little out of control and I would want there to be more restrictions."

But Friday says, "Almost every active shooter in this country went through a background check and passed it."  

Friday contends that the government shouldn't be limiting a citizen's legal right to own a gun.

"FDLE is making up their own rules and agencies in Florida don't get to make up their own rules."

He says clerks need ot do a better job giving the state updated information regarding a case.  

FDLE declined to comment pending litigation.