Broward Commissioners Consider Voluntary Effort to Reduce Gun Violence

Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness says voluntary effort can reduce gun violence and illegal ammunition sales in Broward County.

Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness says voluntary effort can reduce gun violence and illegal ammunition sales in Broward County.

DATE: June 3, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
PHONE: 954-357-8053

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County Commissioners are considering a voluntary effort to reduce gun violence and illegal ammunition trafficking. The proposal, brought forward by Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness, involves a partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Broward’s 31 cities.

The preliminary plan targets the sales and marketing of guns and ammunition. 

“We know that gun violence, gun crime is a very serious issue and it affects our community. In fact, there are certain parts of our community that it's detrimental to. So whatever we can do to work to ensure that we're reducing this is going to be in the best interest of our people in Broward County,” said Commissioner Holness.

The voluntary program would ask gun and ammunition vendors to videotape all gun sales, provide employee training, require background checks and increase store security.  The proposal also encourages vendors to participate in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, which requires retailers to provide a crime gun trace log and alert system, implement purchaser declaration and identity checks, voluntarily prohibit sales without background checks and to incorporate the use of signs to alert customers of their legal responsibilities.

The cities of Weston, Lauderhill, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, and Hallandale Beach have passed similar resolutions. The Broward Sheriff's Office has endorsed the effort.  In Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade County Commission has passed it, as well as 13 municipalities, which represent more than 80 percent of the county population.

Under state law, local governments are prohibited from regulating firearms and face fines or removal from office should they attempt to do so.  “But this is not regulating.  This is basically coordinating a voluntary effort to make sure that gun sales are done in such a way that the people are protected,” said Holness.

Commissioners sent the proposal to the County Attorney for review and to develop a more detailed plan that would reduce gun violence and at the same time comply with state and federal laws. 

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