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The Nation

December 27, 1987

The percentage of killings committed with handguns in Florida rose slightly in the first month after the state liberalized the licensing of concealed firearms, state figures show. But most observers said the figures were too limited to show a trend toward more handgun homicides, something opponents of the law had predicted. "It would require a period of time before we have sufficient data to establish a trend," Stewart Schurr of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. The law, which took effect Oct. 1, gave the state instead of the counties power to issue or withhold licenses for concealed firearms. It also simplified requirements for obtaining a permit. Preliminary statistics show that 43% of the homicides committed in October were carried out with handguns, contrasted with 39% statewide during the first nine months of the year. The figures are based on the 92 homicides in October for which the agency had collected information on the type of weapon, Schurr said.

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