Across Florida, a race is on to beat what gun advocates believe could be new legislation from Washington.
NBC 6 South Florida exclusively obtained an email chain Thursday from Florida residents and at least one gun dealer, sent across the state, in which they express their concerns about quick changes in gun laws that would restrict the ability to gain weapons.
One seller from central Florida writes, “To all, if anyone is interested in a Bushmaster AR-15 let me know. …. Keep in mind that legislation may be in place as early as January 1st, 2013.”
Gun dealers say that sales have increased sharply since the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.
“They soar off the charts,” said Jeff Dillard of National Armory in Pompano Beach. “People get afraid. People feel that the guns are going to be outlawed.”
One person in the email chain, writing Tuesday, claimed there were no eyewitnesses to the Connecticut shooting – only hearsay, and people’s explanations of what happened afterward.
The writer also said that a relative of the gunman worked for a “government think tank that comes up with scenarios like this one. What better way to get people to change their minds about gun control than to shoot some kids.”
Dillard said Florida must tighten rules when it comes to those with mental illnesses trying to buy weapons.
“If we could get government, hence the bureaucrats, to include this mental information to FDLE, no one needs to see it other than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” he said. “No gun dealers or anyone checking a background will know why this person’s being disapproved.”
One email author agreed with someone else in the chain that the “crazies” are committing crimes such as the Connecticut shooting. The emailer went on to ask, “has anyone with a concealed weapons license ever committed the heinous crimes that are happening?”
Over one million Florida residents now have concealed weapons permits, another writer boasted.
“I would bet that makes a few people who may wish to curtail our rights a bit concerned and maybe remind them that we the people here in Florida are not a push over,” the writer said.