Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill Friday that critics say will make it harder to investigate firearms crimes.
The legislation, SB 214, prevents credit card companies from pinning gun and ammunition purchases with a special code, which can then be used to investigate various gun-related transactions.
The Republican governor framed the decision as a defense of individual privacy and gun rights.
“You can be labeled or branded as someone who should be looked at in some way and that is fundamentally wrong,” he said Friday.
Critics say the bill will harm public safety and hamper police investigations.
“There is a lot going on in these investigations, and unfortunately we are in a crisis across the country,” said state Sen. Victor Torres, an Orlando Democrat. Orlando Weekly. “Every day, every weekend we hear about shootings in our counties, in our state, across the country. And this state should be more conscious when it comes to buying weapons and ammunition.”
Businesses that violate the bill can be fined up to $10,000.
Last year, credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and Amex announced plans to change the way they track purchases at gun stores, but put the changes on hold amid pushback from Republican states.
Last month, DeSantis signed a bill making Florida the latest state to adopt permit-free carry.
Now, citizens of the Sunshine State can carry guns without training, permit or background checks.
As the independent As reported, more than half of US states have such bills, which anti-gun violence advocates say make shootings more likely.
“Despite continued acts of gun violence, lawmakers continue to cave in to the gun lobby’s ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” said gun reform advocacy group Moms Demand Action. he said in a statement on March 27.
Florida has been home to some of the most infamous mass shootings in the country, including the 2018 Parkland massacre, which killed 17 people at Marjory Soneman Douglass High School.
After that shooting, Florida began requiring all public schools in the state to have an armed security guard on campus.
However, as the independent has reported, there is little evidence that armed security guards prevent school mass shootings, and sometimes make them worse.