May 06, 2021
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HB 0155

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to firearm records; creating s. 790.335,
3F.S.; providing legislative findings and intent;
4prohibiting the knowing and willful creation or
5maintenance of any list, record, or registry of privately
6owned firearms or any list, record, or registry of the
7owners of those firearms; providing exceptions; providing
8criminal penalties for a violation of the act; providing
9for the imposition of civil fines on certain governmental
10entities; authorizing the Attorney General to enforce the
11civil penalties against governmental agencies; requiring
12the state attorney to prosecute criminal violators of this
13act; prohibiting the expenditure of public funds for
14defense counsel for persons charged with a violation of
15this act; providing exceptions; providing for liberal
16construction of the act; providing for application to
17records already in existence; providing an effective date.
19Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
21     Section 1.  Section 790.335, Florida Statutes, is created
22to read:
23     790.335  Prohibition of registration of firearms.--
25     (a)  The Legislature finds and declares that:
26     1.  The right of individuals to keep and bear arms is
27guaranteed under both the Second Amendment to the United States
28Constitution and s. 8, Art. I of the State Constitution.
29     2.  A list, record, or registry of legally owned firearms
30or law-abiding firearm owners is not a law enforcement tool and
31can become an instrument for profiling, harassing, or abusing
32law-abiding citizens based on their choice to own a firearm and
33exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as
34guaranteed under the United States Constitution. Further, such a
35list, record, or registry has the potential to fall into the
36wrong hands and become a shopping list for thieves.
37     3.  A list, record, or registry of legally owned firearms
38or law-abiding firearm owners is not a tool for fighting
39terrorism, but rather is an instrument that can be used as a
40means to profile innocent citizens and to harass and abuse
41American citizens based solely on their choice to own firearms
42and exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms
43as guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
44     4.  Law-abiding firearm owners whose names have been
45illegally recorded in a list, record, or registry are entitled
46to redress.
47     (b)  The Legislature intends through the provisions of this
48section to:
49     1.  Protect the right of individuals to keep and bear arms
50as guaranteed under both the Second Amendment to the United
51States Constitution and s. 8, Art. I of the State Constitution.
52     2.  Protect the privacy rights of law-abiding firearm
54     (2)  PROHIBITIONS.--No state governmental agency or local
55government, special district, or other political subdivision or
56official, agent, or employee of such state or other governmental
57entity or any other person, public or private, shall knowingly
58and willfully keep or cause to be kept any list, record, or
59registry of privately owned firearms or any list, record, or
60registry of the owners of those firearms.
61     (3)  EXCEPTIONS.--The provisions of this section shall not
62apply to:
63     (a)  Records of firearms that have been used in committing
64any crime.
65     (b)  Records relating to any person who has been convicted
66of a crime.
67     (c)  Records of firearms that have been reported stolen
68that are retained for a period not in excess of 10 days after
69such firearms are recovered. Official documentation recording
70the theft of a recovered weapon may be maintained no longer than
71the balance of the year entered, plus 2 years.
72     (d)  Firearm records that must be retained by firearm
73dealers under federal law, including copies of such records
74transmitted to law enforcement agencies. However, no state
75governmental agency or local government, special district, or
76other political subdivision or official, agent, or employee of
77such state or other governmental entity or any other person,
78private or public, shall accumulate, compile, computerize, or
79otherwise collect or convert such written records into any form
80of list, registry, or database for any purpose.
81     (e)1.  Records kept pursuant to the recordkeeping
82provisions of s. 790.065; however, nothing in this section shall
83be construed to authorize the public release or inspection of
84records that are made confidential and exempt from the
85provisions of s. 119.07(1) by s. 790.065(4)(a).
86     2.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to allow
87the maintaining of records containing the names of purchasers or
88transferees who receive unique approval numbers or the
89maintaining of records of firearm transactions.
90     (f)  Firearm records, including paper pawn transaction
91forms and contracts on firearm transactions, required by
92chapters 538 and 539.
93     1.  Electronic firearm records held pursuant to chapter 538
94may only be kept by a secondhand dealer for 30 days after the
95date of the purchase of the firearm by the secondhand dealer.
96     2.  Electronic firearm records held pursuant to chapter 539
97may only be kept by a pawnbroker for 30 days after the
98expiration of the loan that is secured by a firearm or 30 days
99after the date of purchase of a firearm, whichever is
101     3.  Except as required by federal law, any firearm records
102kept pursuant to chapter 538 or chapter 539 shall not, at any
103time, be electronically transferred to any public or private
104entity, agency, business, or enterprise, nor shall any such
105records be copied or transferred for purposes of accumulation of
106such records into lists, registries, or databases.
107     4.  Notwithstanding subparagraph 3., secondhand dealers and
108pawnbrokers may electronically submit firearm transaction
109records to the appropriate law enforcement agencies as required
110by chapters 538 and 539; however, the law enforcement agencies
111may not electronically submit such records to any other person
112or entity and must destroy such records within 60 days after
113receipt of such records.
114     5.  Notwithstanding subparagraph 3., secondhand dealers and
115pawnbrokers may electronically submit limited firearms records
116consisting solely of the manufacturer, model, serial number, and
117caliber of pawned or purchased firearms to a third-party private
118provider that is exclusively incorporated, exclusively owned,
119and exclusively operated in the United States and that restricts
120access to such information to only appropriate law enforcement
121agencies for legitimate law enforcement purposes. Such records
122must be destroyed within 30 days by the third-party provider. As
123a condition of receipt of such records, the third-party provider
124must agree in writing to comply with the requirements of this
125section. Any pawnbroker or secondhand dealer who contracts with
126a third-party provider other than as provided in this act or
127electronically transmits any records of firearms transactions to
128any third-party provider other than the records specifically
129allowed by this paragraph commits a felony of the second degree,
130punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
131     (g)  Records kept by the Department of Law Enforcement of
132NCIC transactions to the extent required by federal law and a
133log of dates of requests for criminal history record checks,
134unique approval and nonapproval numbers, license identification
135numbers, and transaction numbers corresponding to such dates.
136     (h)  Records of an insurer that, as a condition to
137providing insurance against theft or loss of a firearm, identify
138such firearm. Such records may not be sold, commingled with
139records relating to other firearms, or transferred to any other
140person or entity. The insurer may not keep a record of such
141firearm more than 60 days after the policy of insurance expires
142or after notification by the insured that the insured is no
143longer the owner of such firearm.
144     (i)  Lists of customers of a firearm dealer retained by
145such dealer, provided that such lists do not disclose the
146particular firearms purchased. Such lists, or any parts thereof,
147may not be sold, commingled with records relating to other
148firearms, or transferred to any other person or entity.
149     (j)  Sales receipts retained by the seller of firearms or
150by a person providing credit for such purchase, provided that
151such receipts shall not serve as or be used for the creation of
152a database for registration of firearms.
153     (k)  Personal records of firearms maintained by the owner
154of such firearms.
155     (l)  Records maintained by a business that stores or acts
156as the selling agent of firearms on behalf of the lawful owner
157of the firearms.
158     (m)  Membership lists of organizations comprised of firearm
160     (n)  Records maintained by an employer or contracting
161entity of the firearms owned by its officers, employees, or
162agents, if such firearms are used in the course of business
163performed on behalf of the employer.
164     (o)  Records maintained pursuant to s. 790.06 by the
165Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of a person who
166was a licensee within the prior 2 years.
167     (p)  Records of firearms involved in criminal
168investigations, criminal prosecutions, criminal appeals, and
169postconviction motions, civil proceedings relating to the
170surrender or seizure of firearms including protective
171injunctions, Baker Act commitments, and sheriff's levies
172pursuant to court judgments, and voluntary surrender by the
173owner or custodian of the firearm.
174     (q)  Paper documents relating to firearms involved in
175criminal cases, criminal investigations, and criminal
176prosecutions, civil proceedings relating to the surrender or
177seizure of firearms including protective injunctions, Baker Act
178commitments, and sheriff's levies pursuant to court judgments,
179and voluntary surrender by the owner or custodian of the
181     (r)  Non-criminal records relating to the receipt, storage
182or return of firearms, including, but not limited to, records
183relating to firearms impounded for storage or safekeeping,
184receipts proving that a firearm was returned to the rightful
185owner and supporting records of identification and proof of
186ownership, or records relating to firearms impounded pursuant to
187levies or court orders, provided, however, that such records
188shall not be compiled, sorted, or otherwise arranged into any
189lists, indexes, or registries of firearms or firearms owners.
190     (4)  PENALTIES.--
191     (a)  Any person who violates a provision of this section
192commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
193s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
194     (b)  Except as required by the provisions of s. 16, Art. I
195of the State Constitution or the Sixth Amendment to the United
196States Constitution, no public funds shall be used to defend the
197unlawful conduct of any person charged with a violation of this
198section, unless the charges against such person are dismissed or
199such person is determined to be not guilty at trial.
200Notwithstanding this paragraph, public funds may be expended to
201provide the services of the office of public defender or court-
202appointed conflict counsel as provided by law.
203     (c)  The governmental entity, or the designee of such
204governmental entity, in whose service or employ a list, record,
205or registry was compiled in violation of this section may be
206assessed a fine of not more than $5 million, if the court
207determines that the evidence shows that the list, record, or
208registry was compiled or maintained with the knowledge or
209complicity of the management of the governmental entity. The
210Attorney General may bring a civil cause of action to enforce
211the fines assessed under this paragraph.
212     (d)  The state attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction
213shall investigate complaints of criminal violations of this
214section and, where evidence indicates a violation may have
215occurred, shall prosecute violators.
216     (5)  CONSTRUCTION.--This section shall be construed to
217effectuate its remedial and deterrent purposes. This section may
218not be construed to grant any substantive, procedural privacy
219right or civil claim to any criminal defendant, and a violation
220of this section may not be grounds for the suppression of
221evidence in any criminal case.
222     Section 2.  Any list, record, or registry maintained or
223under construction on the effective date of this act shall be
224destroyed, unless prohibited by law, within 60 calendar days
225after this act becomes law. Thereafter, failure to destroy any
226such list, record, or registry may result in prosecution under
227this act.
228     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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