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Florida: Heads-Up! Gun Show Changes in Pinellas County This Weekend

Friday, May 24, 2013

DATE:       May 24, 2013
TO:           USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:      Marion P. Hammer
                USF Executive Director
                NRA Past President

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has vowed to "start" enforcing a little known county ordinance that requires background checks at local gun shows for all sales -- including all private sales between individuals. 

We wish we could tell you how it's going to work but we can't.  We don't know.

How he plans to enforce the ordinance has not been made public, although Sheriff Gualtieri did admit that his monitoring and enforcement of the ordinance will also involve undercover operations

As we told the press, the timing of Sheriff Gualtieri's decision to begin enforcing the little known ordinance is curious.  Read more about it here:   Sheriff Gualtieri’s background check plan |

Our big concern is entrapment.  If Sheriff Gualtieri's "plan" doesn't include notifying attendees at gun shows of the change, there are no assurances innocent people will know he has a new enforcement agenda.  When people don't even know an ordinance exists, there is little chance they will know it's going to be enforced.

As reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune blogger Lee Williams, Sheriff Gualtieri said Thursday "he 'naively' assumed the ordinance was being enforced, until contacted by a reporter a month ago, and that unless his deputies start cracking down, a 'ludicrous and ridiculous situation will result.'"

If Sheriff Gualtieri didn't know the ordinance wasn't being enforced, how can he expect average citizens to know? 

For additional background, also read this article from the Tampa Bay Times

Gun show background check law to be enforced, Pinellas sheriff says | Tampa Bay Times

Florida Gun Shows


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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.