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Bill would expand domestic violence laws

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Legislation that would require those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence (DV) crimes to surrender their firearms has been introduced into the Florida State Senate.

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Currently Florida statute prohibits the sale or transfer of firearms to anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

Introduced on Dec. 14 by Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach), S.B.186 amends Florida domestic violence law to require that anyone found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes must upon conviction surrender the firearms and ammunition in their possession to law enforcement personnel. The measure also gives more authority to law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from a home when reporting to a scene of domestic violence.

“The bill was spurred by the clearer and clearer link between escalating domestic violence and gun violence, both within relationships and the near universal correlation between previous domestic violence in the history of mass shooters,” Berman said. “Additionally, since the pandemic began, almost every state has reported increases in DV, including Florida.”

The measure is the second introduced by Berman for Senate consideration when the new Legislative session begins in March.

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On Dec. 7, Berman introduced S.B.196 which would require trial and appellate courthouses in Florida to provide at least one dedicated space to be used by lactating and nursing mothers. The measure requires that those spaces be hygienic, out of public view and located outside the confines of rest rooms.

If passed, courthouses would have until Jan. 1, 2022 to comply with the law.

S.B. 196 has been referred to the Senate’s Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.

S.B.186 is pending in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice and Appropriations committees.

 

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