The ongoing debate on gun regulation has recently had another turn. Rep. Debbie Powell, D- Fla., is working to pass new legislation entitled the Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act. Powell’s bill aims to deter guns from ending up in the wrong hands.
The Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act, if passed, will highlight certain business applications and certificates that firearm dealers must adhere to.
Powell’s act would mandate firearm dealers and staff to continuously renew their training. These employees would have to complete the training every two years. The training works on developing dealers’ skills to recognize gun sales that should not be occurring, whether for fraud or legal purposes.
The legislation bans firearm dealers and staff from selling guns to certain individuals, including those with the intent of trafficking and those under the influence. Legislators hope to protect a wide span of individuals by banning those who may injure others from purchasing a firearm.
Beyond restricting particular individuals from purchasing firearms, the Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act requires the implementation of notices.
The notices would clarify several of the leading attestations that a sale may be illegal or an act of fraud. Furthermore, the notices would also include how to notify authorities of a possible criminal sale.
Powell’s legislation would make insurance a necessity for firearm dealers with federal licenses for both liability and the business. For a gun dealer to legally operate they must carry this insurance.
Powell believes the legislation would aid in reducing gun violence. The Brady United Group, who has been working directly with Powell toward passing the legislature, notes that “…guns do not just simply appear in impacted communities – they first begin as legal firearms, sold by licensed gun dealers that are then funneled into the illegal market.” Powell hopes national regulations will prevent criminals from obtaining firearms.
According to the Pew Research Center, almost one-fourth of Americans state they or a family member have been threatened with a firearm. Close to one-half of Americans “personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally.” The study found that almost 40,000 Americans died from gun violence in 2017.
Gun violence continues to be a topic of debate between Democrats and Republicans throughout the nation. Both sides frequently research and argue about the correlation between strict gun regulations, mass shootings, and homicides.
Powell has been working hands-on with two parents who have been directly impacted by gun violence in Florida. Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Olivera are the parents of Jaime Guttenberg and Joaquin Olivera. Jaime and Joaquin were victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting less than three years ago. Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Olivera maintain a strong presence working to end gun violence through the Brady organization.
The Brady organization highlights their goal as reducing gun violence through the three areas of legislation, litigation, and education. The organization states, “under the leadership of Kris Brown, we unite people from coast to coast, young and old, liberal and conservative, fed up and fired up, to free our country from what is killing it. It’s in our hands.”
The Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act will soon go before the House of Representatives with hopes of the act one day becoming federal law. The future of the bill is unclear as of right now, but it already displays a secure following.
Featured image: Gun violence protesters. Unmodified image used under a creative commons license (https://bit.ly/3cygLxa)
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