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Bill would ban Florida's mentally ill from buying guns

4:05 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida is moving to prevent some mentally ill people from buying guns.

A House committee passed a bill Thursday that would ban gun purchases by anyone who has been committed to a mental institution.

Currently, there's a loophole in state law that allows mentally ill people to voluntarily commit themselves to a mental health treatment facility and then be able to buy a gun when they check out.

The legislation would add those voluntary commitments to a list of people who are not allowed to buy guns in Florida.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford calls it a very important bill.

"We want to make sure that whatever background checks we're doing that they are fully vetting people's mental health and their criminal histories so that we have an understanding of who's buying these guns and we don't want to preclude someone that is lawfully able to carry a firearm, but we also want to make sure that if someone has a history of mental health problems that we know that before we hand over a gun."

That bill now goes to the full House for debate.

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