Orange County mayor pushes for ordinance to allow county to impose stricter gun laws

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is asking commissioners to vote to bring back an ordinance from the late 1990s that would allow the county to impose firearms regulations without punishment.

Other cities have joined a lawsuit to fight the 2011 state law that allows the state to fine them up to $5,000.

She sent out a memo outlining the ordinance, which would bring back a three-day waiting period and background checks in the county for buying a gun.

If the commission approves it, it will close a loophole allowing residents to buy from a private citizen without the wait.

The county used to have the ability to impose waiting periods and background checks.

But in 2011, the state implemented a law allowing the governor's office to remove that person from office and strip their ability to use government funds to fight removal if they tried.

“It’s a gun. You have the same ability to cause harm and I think the same background check and waiting period should apply,” Jacobs said.

For years, the stiff penalties had the county leaders keep the ordinance off the books.

But Jacobs feels she has enough support given the recent school shootings including the one in Parkland.

"I am much more confident today than I was back in 2011 that the legislature and the governor will not challenge our constitutional right to move forward with this,” she said.

Some are speaking out against the effort.

“You want to tell me I can build a house? OK. But if you want to get into my rights at a state or federal level, that's a whole other conversation,” said Randy Ross, who was the Orange County Trump campaign chairman. “I think since the mayor is running for school board chair, I think she is doing this as a political opportunity.”

Jacobs has not decided yet if the county should join the lawsuit other cities have filed against the state on the law.

The governor's office has not yet responded to Channel 9 about the mayor's proposed ordinance.

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

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