FL House speaker says gun-control legislation not likely to win favor in his chamber

Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva. CBS Miami screenshot

An effort to close the so-called “gun-show loophole” that now allows the sale of firearms without background checks is not likely to win support in the Florida House.

A Senate committee has backed legislation that would require someone purchasing a weapon at a gun show involving a non-licensed dealer to undergo a background check. The bill (SB 7028) would also require more documentation of private gun sales not made at a gun show.

The National Rifle Association has condemned the proposal, with the NRA’s top lobbyist in Tallahassee, Marion Hammer, calling it “nothing less than gun control on steroids.”

The measure has the support of top Senate leaders, including Senate President Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, although he acknowledged the legislation will be a heavy lift in the 2020 session.

“I’ve always maintained it’s a difficult bill,” Galvano said. “We’ve had objections and concerns raised on both sides of the issue.”

But House Speaker Jose Oliva, a Miami-Dade County Republican, predicted Wednesday the measure is not likely to win favor in the more conservative-leaning House.

“That is a proposal like so many others that probably will not move very far here in the House if at all, because that’s just the way the chambers are,” Oliva said.

Some conservative critics have slammed Galvano for the gun-control legislation, labeling him a “RINO,” Republican in name only.

But Oliva defended Galvano’s conservative credentials.

“If there’s one thing that President Galvano is not, is a RINO,” Oliva said. “I didn’t agree with that whatsoever. I think that we pile on very quickly.”