TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Spurred by a recent spate of gun accidents that killed three children, the Florida House on Tuesday approved its version of a gun bill that would crack down on negligent gun owners.
The House passed the bill by a 70-42 vote after several minor amendments. The measure was sent back to the Senate to reconcile differences with similar legislation that the Senate passed Monday in reaction to the rash of gun accidents, which also wounded three chidren. The 32-4 Senate vote was taken on the first day of a three-day special session called by Gov. Bob Martinez to consider the gun bill and a controversial $2-billion bond program to expand Florida's turnpike.
The gun bill would require gun owners to lock away their weapons in a box or gun case or use a trigger lock if they know or reasonably should know that a child under 16 years of age might have access to the weapon.
Violations would be a second-degree misdemeanor. Gun owners who leave a loaded gun within reach or easy access of a minor who uses it to injure or kill himself or anyone else would be guilty of a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.