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The Nation : Florida Lawmakers Pass Gun Safety Bill

June 21, 1989

The Florida Legislature passed a bill making it illegal for gun owners to carelessly leave weapons around children. The gun-safety measure was sent to Gov. Bob Martinez after passing the Senate by a 26-6 margin and the House by 71 to 39. Under the bill, adults who fail to secure a loaded weapon that is used by a minor in an accidental shooting could be charged with a felony and sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5,000. It would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, if a minor displayed the gun or threatened someone with it. The legislation became the focus of national attention after three Florida young people were killed and four wounded in seven accidents earlier this month.

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