Mitch Perry Report: Will Hillsborough Commissioners tighten background check law already on the books?

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To the surprise of no one, Hillsborough County Commission attorney Chip Fletcher ruled yesterday that the board does not have the authority to enact a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips. State law forbids local Florida governments from enacting their own such laws, as you might recall we all learned last year after Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was unsuccessful in getting guns banned from the so-called "event zone" during the Republican National Convention.

The request came from Commissioner Les Miller, who tells the Tribune today that a friend asked him to inquire, but told the board last week that it came from certain reporter ("I had a conversation this week with a guy that works for one of the local newspapers that comes out biweekly to talk about assault bans in Hillsborough County...). But what Fletcher told the board is what was reported by the Tampa Bay Times Peter Jamison on Sunday - that Hillsborough does have a law on the books requiring a criminal background check and three-day waiting period (as does Pinellas County). As Jamison reported however, it isn't being enforced.

As somebody who does talk-radio and hears incessantly from gun owners that the government simply needs to enforce the laws on the books and not create new laws, one would think that it would be a no-brainer that when the Hillsborough board convenes next week, they would get to work with Sheriff Gee in correcting this breakdown in enforcing the law.

In other news - Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor is saying flat out that it's time to end the economic embargo against Cuba. She made those comments yesterday to members of the local media after spending a few days on the Communist island.

Remember Pastor Terry Jones, who has been derided as a "crackpot" by some government officials after he threatened to burn Korans up in Gainesville a few years ago, is back at it again. This time he says his goal is to burn 3,000 Korans, possibly in Tampa, on this year's 9/11 anniversary.

And this afternoon the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County will be recounting who is homeless in the county, after they came up with what they believed was an extremely low total for their once every two year count back in January.

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