Individuals who want a state-issued permit to carry a concealed gun in Florida would first have to pass a mental health evaluation under a new proposal from a Miami-Dade County senator.
The measure (SB 956) comes six weeks after a gunman who had shown signs of mental illness shot and killed five people and injured six others in a baggage claim area of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
State Sen. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami Shores, said the impetus for her proposal came not only from the airport shooting but the ongoing gun violence in Miami-Dade — such as in her district, which includes Liberty City.
“Everybody’s talking about gun violence, but what do we do about it?” Campbell said. “We have to do something. ... It’s crucial. People’s lives are in jeopardy. How are we going to protect our people? That’s why I add this piece to make it harder and stricter on people who want to get a gun permit.”
About 20 gun-related proposals have been filed for the upcoming 2017 legislative session, but Campbell’s is the first related to mental health — particularly in the wake of the Fort Lauderdale shooting.
Photo credit: Miami Shores Democratic state Sen. Daphne Campbell, shown here in the Florida House in 2015, has proposed a bill that would require people applying for a concealed weapons permit in Florida to undergo and clear a mental health evaluation. Florida House.