'Cooling-off period' to buy gun extended in Hillsborough Co.

- It will now take longer to buy a gun in Hillsborough County. In reaction to the Parkland shooting, the county commission extended the "cooling-off period" from three days to five.

"I don't know if any of you have had a family member that was shot with a gun? I did," said Commissioner Les Miller. "My son."

He admits a longer waiting period may not have stopped it, but he also argues you can't prove it wouldn't have.

"Maybe he would have thought twice," said Miller. "Maybe I shouldn't buy this gun."

Miller and four other commissioners voted five to two to extend the county's waiting period from three business days to five. 

While local governments can't preempt state gun laws, there is an exception for waiting periods.

"It is incumbent upon us at the very least to do the small amount that the state of Florida allows us to do," said Commissioner Pat Kemp.

The four public speakers were all against extending the wait.

"I don't believe it will have any effect," said Marna Tracy, the owner of Tampa Tactical Supply on Highway 301 in Riverview.

She is in favor of a three-day period, but says five is too long.

"It helps you give it some time, give it some thought," said Tracy. "Beyond that three days, it is not going to change anything. If somebody is determined to do something, they're going to do it."

Other counties with five-day waiting periods include Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade. 

County officials say there will be no noticeable impact on public finances, but Tracy says Hillsborough stores could be the losers.

"The money, instead of being spent in Hillsborough County, could very easily go to Manatee County, Pasco County, Polk County," said Tracy.

The rule would not apply to those who already have concealed carry permits or to law enforcement.

Three Republicans -- Sandra Murman, Al Higginbotham and Victor Crist -- voted with Democrats Miller and Kemp to support the proposal.

Republican Ken Hagan and Stacy White voted against the proposal.

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