Leon County (FL): NICS Check on All Gun Show Sellers. And Maybe Buyers Too.

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DATE: November 9, 2013
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

We were shocked and didn’t want to believe it — but It’s true.

The Leon County Board of Commissioners is actually asking gun dealers to help them implement a gun control ordinance!

Earlier, we relaxed a little because Commissioners started telling us there was no action going on with regard to a proposed “Gun Show Loophole” ordinance. Some even suggested that they were only going to receive our comments for a discussion at the January Commission meeting . . .

We were also told there was really no “proposed ordinance,” merely an upcoming discussion about whether or not to pursue an ordinance.

Turns out, that doesn’t quite ring true. There is something going on. And frankly, I call it aggressive action. They want gun dealers to facilitate taking your rights.

The County Attorney’s office, on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, sent a letter to Federal Firearm Licensed dealers in Leon County asking for their assistance.

It is now clear, they know, and have known, that collectors and private citizens are prohibited by federal law from accessing the NICS database to do background checks on private guns sales. So, they are looking for a way around that law to force you to do it anyhow.

This is what the letter asks of gun dealers on behalf of the Leon County Board of County Commissioners:

In order to facilitate compliance with the potential ordinance, Leon County is seeking participation from FFL dealers to act as third party intermediary to request background checks on behalf of private sellers. As such, the private seller would first sign the firearm over into the inventory of a licensed dealer. The dealer would then conduct the background check. If the buyer is not approved, the dealer must also perform a background check on the seller before returning the gun. If the seller is not approved, the dealer takes control of the weapon.

When the letter says, “Leon County is seeking participation from FFL dealers…,” they are asking licensed dealers to help county officials trample your rights. [To read a full copy of the letter signed by Assistant County Attorney LaShawn Riggans, click here.]

They want the gun dealer where you shop — who is your neighbor, whose kids go to school with your kids, whose family goes to church with your family — to sell you out for a gun control ordinance that will do nothing to stop crime or criminals.

Commissioners want to know your thoughts and how you feel for their “discussion.” In light of this new information you should tell them. And if you have already told them, we think this warrants telling them again.

(To send your message to all, just Block and Copy all email addresses and paste into the “Send To” box)

[email protected],
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Email Commissioners today — they said they want to know what you think.

Please Forward this email to all of your friends, fellow sportsmen and gun owners in Leon County. They need to know what is happening concerning gun rights in Leon County


  1. avatar Lance Farago says:

    Florida still has a state preemption law. So if the county board passes the ordinance the they’re braking state law.

    1. avatar Chip says:

      Yes but….. they can get away with their plans until they can’t anymore.

      1. avatar Ty King says:

        Florida Preemption has teeth. The county will have to pay the legal fees of the wrongly prosecuted, those idiots involved in violating state law will have to pay $5,000 a piece out of their own pockets.

    2. avatar Edgehill says:

      Not necessarily. Florida’s constitution allows counties one exception that since it is in the constitution means that it outranks the preemption law. The exception is that the county, according to the Florida constitution, can require background checks on all sales that occur on property that the public has access to.

      So a private sale in a parking lot or a public park would fall under that exception, while an exchange done in someone’s driveway would not fall under the exception. The county in Florida I live in has this exception and it’s pretty easy to get around it.

      The exception to this exception is that if you have a CWFL, then the background check doesn’t apply on those transactions.

      It could be that Leon County is going to pass this exception so that you can’t sell guns in the parking lots at the gun show or walking around the gun show.

      BTW, don’t take this to construe that I support this exception (I don’t), just reporting the fact that this exception is written into the state’s constitution, making it hard to remove. If Leon County does more than this, I’m sure Florida Concealed Carry, a non-profit group here in the state, I’m sure is prepared to challenge the law.

      1. avatar Ty King says:

        Chapter 790.33 allows a three day waiting period local ordinance, but does not say a thing about allowing ordinances to force background checks outside of Florida law.

        1. avatar Ken says:

          Sorry, but you are incorrect. Florida Statute 790.33(1) Preemption, begins with the words “Except as expressly provided in the State Constitution or general law . . .”. The State Constitution, Article VII, Sec. 5.(b) allows counties to do just what Edgehill says above.

    3. avatar Blue says:

      No because of a Constitutional Amendment from the 90s allows ordinances on public property. There are a couple of rogue counties in Florida that even consider shops open to the public to require 5 day waiting periods. This could likely be defeated in court, but none of the shops have pressed it. Tampa is an example.

      As far as Leon Co, we have been climbing the commission’s back. They have been more into this than they are currently admitting and are trying to walk it back to some extent. A punk lawyer named Blondeau drafted it based on bull shit law in Palm Beach County. It is open season on Blondie.

  2. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Who would in a million years allow this to happen?

    “So I am just going to hand you this 300 to 3000 dollar piece of steel, and if a background check happens to come up denied or delayed, you get to keep it. No problem!”

    1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

      Real gun buybacks cost too much money…

      Let’s rig NICS to deny everyone and just get them all for FREE!!

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Yeah, that nasty little proviso brought me up short, too. If the background checks don’t pan out the FFL gets to keep the gun? WTF?

      It could be a purely practical move. Maybe they just proposed it as a convenient way to bribe compensate the FFLs for the extra time they’ll spend helping the gov keep the public safe being forced to help the gov rape the rights of their fellow Americans if the ordinance goes through.

  3. avatar cubby123 says:

    Here is my take ;’JUST SAY NO!’

  4. avatar cubby123 says:

    These ignoramuses are stupid-er than I thought.

  5. avatar 5Spot says:

    “Potential Ordinance” – that’s good stuff right there.

    FFL: We potentially won’t be following your request. Thank you.

  6. avatar DougR says:

    “Seeking participation”, FFLer’s just have to say no.

  7. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Uhm Kay.. NO!
    Was that to terse of a response?
    How about F$%^K NO!
    Perhaps When pigs fly? Car insurance commercials aside here.

    Ok real question. Can someone tell me how many guns have been purchased at a gun show which are then used by criminals in the commission of a crime? I mean this honestly. We hear from the media how this is such a huge problem, but I don’t see the crypts and bloods lining up at the local gun shows to buy gats. Have there been any large studies, recent with a descent sample size of recovered firearms which were traced back to a private seller at a gun show. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying it has NEVER happened but I think this is much to do about nothing, or anything.

    One of two things will happen. 1. The FFL dealers will agree since they get to charge a fee. Both ways even! So the guy doesn’t sell his gun and wants it back. And one guy tried to buy but couldn’t. that is a double dip right there. We as the AI will out the sellers and their shops will suffer on the bottom line. 2. FFL dealers will refuse, because they don’t want the hassle etc. There is liability right there. Imagine what will happen the first time a private seller can’t get his firearm(s) back because he didn’t pay a speeding ticket or something. That is a bad ending waiting to happen.

    1. avatar Patrick says:

      Well, the letter says that they are considering “requiring” 3-5 day wait and background check.

      They are “seeking participation” from FFLs “to request background checks on behalf of private sellers. As such…” (potential three party scenario described)

      This makes it sound like they want FFLs to keep an eye on folks, hassle them, etc., to get them to follow the ordinance. Obviously then the FFLs won’t force anything, but will they be asked (interrogated) later if they saw any suspicious transactions? If the FFLs don’t step in and “request” to be a part of the process, will someone else come in to enforce things more strictly? Will cameras be required? Yikes!
      From any direction, it doesn’t look good – except to “The Man”, in this case Mr(Ms?) Riggans.

    2. avatar Steve Truffer says:

      Pigs DO fly. Politicians and lawyers are not barred from air travel.

  8. avatar jwm says:

    California disease hits Florida. Film at 11.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      I don’t know why, but I just had images of Shannon Watts(TM)(aka SUNSHINE) confessing that she has herpes. . . . .

      and then I saw this . . . . . yep, that’s her – trolling for $$$


      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        Here I was, expecting to see a story about a woman injured from giving too many handjobs…>.>

      2. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

        Dirk can you at least limit your comments about shannon Watts to the comment section of articles that actually contain some reference to Shannon Watts? frankly your running out of orginal material and its starting to get old.

      3. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

        and that link just tells me you need to get a life.

  9. avatar Ty King says:

    Just so people know, Leon County encompasses our capital. Like many capitals it is full of douche.

  10. avatar FahQ says:

    Attention commissioners…EAD….thank you that is all

  11. avatar KMc says:

    As an FFL holder, my response is GTFO! Fortunately, I live in Iowa. But Floridians do have my sympathy.

  12. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Support this “potential ordinance”, Leon County FFL’s, and watch your small businesses shrivel up as local firearms owners rightfully label you as collaborators and proceed to take their business to neighboring counties.

    That’s how we do it in Houston, anyway. Owner of Tactical Firearms in Katy, Tx (Houston suburb) ran his mouth in a local radio interview supporting a ban on Internet sales of ammo. He had to back pedal pretty fast and apologize on his website. His business survived as the flap blew over, but in the meantime took a hit it didn’t have to.

  13. avatar Gregg says:

    Doesn’t the transfer to an FFL from the Seller and then a transfer to the buyer setup a lot of extra paperwork (4473) that the FFL isn’t being compensated for?

    1. avatar Blue says:

      They would get 25 to 50 dollars for the transfer depending on the shop + the FDLE (NICS) Fee. They would have to keep up with a bunch of bound books though.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    FYI, the NSSF on behalf of FFLs strongly opposed Manchin-Toomey because it prioritized private checks over the FFLs own checks and might have subjected FFLs to potential product liability claims.

    I’m sure that’s why most FFLs will oppose this ordinance. Not necessarily for us. For them.


  15. avatar Pulatso says:

    I live in Leon County, first I’ve heard of this, but I’m not suprised they’d come up with this scheme. The commision is full of progressive thought, and most are safe politically due to most of Leon County (population wise) being the City of Tallahassee, which is a progressive oasis surrounded by a sea of right-of-center people. Glad to see Mrs Hammer is on this case, she usually handles more statewide issues.

    1. avatar neowa says:


      Three chicks (a govt drone, a greenie, and a “journalist”); Two black guys (chair and vice chair, neither with any pio or apparently accomplishment/Baracks brothers); a professional gov’t teatmonkey and one small business owner (apparently the only one with a REAL job). Some diversity.

    2. avatar Blue says:

      You must have been out of the loop because it has been on WCTV, Tally Fish Wrapper (Democrat) and the Capital City Gun Forums, NRA-ILA etc.

  16. avatar RaynBama says:

    They are”asking” for now, if they do not get the answer they want it’ll be made mandatory.

  17. avatar full.tang.halo says:

    Interestingly, I believe a FFL doing this check would be guilty of abuse of FDLE NICS services. What dealer in their right mind would risk their access to the NICS to “help a government out”…

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    From the Florida Constitution:

    (b) Each county shall have the authority to require a criminal history records check and a 3 to 5-day waiting period, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring within such county. For purposes of this subsection, the term “sale” means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Holders of a concealed weapons permit as prescribed by general law shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection when purchasing a firearm.

  19. avatar superiorposture says:

    I’m guessing if they try this, most of the FFL’s will do what many outdoor-sy shows did in NY after the SAFE act; not participate in the show. In NY, they ended up having almost no vendors so they scrubbed the whole show. The same could happen in Florida. Maybe the Kings of Leon… county… are aiming for that outcome, but the press surrounding the economic ramifications would be fairly biting.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Biting for who? You don’t think that no gun show at all is exactly what these people want?

      1. avatar Pulatso says:

        Hate to break it to ya, but the local vendors don’t like the gun shows either. One Leon County gun store actually advertises that his store doesn’t cost $7.00 to look around.

        1. avatar Blue says:

          I hate to break to you and the 7 local shops I have done much business with, but if they throw in with the commies on the LEon Co. commission, I will take my business to Marianna and Lake City.

  20. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Im not a lawyer didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
    Regardless of who says what about the Florida State Constitution.
    This aint gonna fly for long.
    The City of West Palm Beach tried all sorts of shenanigans and got blown away.
    If it does go to the courts and it will.
    It will be pardon the pun, be shot down.
    If it isn’t in the States provisions specifically, a county cant just add it.
    That’s the purpose of the Preemption here and they the State do enforce it period………….

    1. avatar Ken says:

      The CITY of WPB got shut down because the FL Constitution says a COUNTY can enact the background check and waiting period. Palm Beach COUNTY still has the requirement on the books and, if you read the preemption statute you’ll see that it is provided for.

  21. avatar BigUnit says:

    When the “original” seller transfers the firearm to the “FFL dealer” , with the intent of the “dealer” selling the gun to the “intended” buyer – wouldn’t this be considered a sell to and purchase by a “straw” buyer, and thus be a violation of the law?
    I don’t know exactly how this would work because you need to do something similar to this when buying a gun from Gunbroker.com etc… but I’d sure want to be sure BEFORE I did went through with something like this (assuming I’d be fool enough to go ahead with throwing away common sense and rights.)

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