Letters to the Editor

Legislature can fix lax firearm laws

Following the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, a recent Herald article made a number of valid points, mostly regarding background checks, concealed weapon license training — or the lack of it — and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules governing the checking of weapons and explosives on commercial aircrafts.

As a Florida licensed firearm instructor, I find several flaws in the concealed weapon/firearm licensing (CW/FL) statutes.

The state approved expedited processing of applications for current or discharged military personnel, the only requirement being the submission of an application and a current military ID or copy of military discharge papers.

The flaw is the presumption that: the applicant has read and understands all 34 pages of FS 790 (Weapons and Firearms) and FS 776 (Justifiable Use of Force); and the applicant is proficient in the handling and use of concealed-carry weapons. These are flawed assumptions because no “proof of knowledge or training is required.” Further, the majority of military personnel have no training with handguns.

The state has no required training course for the CW/FL or what level experience or training an instructor must have to give training.To experience how lax the training is, go to the Miami Gun Show and take their Concealed Weapon Class.

I have worked security at Port Miami and Port Everglades, screening passengers and luggage. Each cruise line has its own set of rules and regulations regarding what is allowed on board. There is one common element: No explosive device or weapon is allowed.

Firearms may be taken on board an aircraft. However, they must be declared at check-in and secured in flagged locked luggage, which is checked and boarded. No explosives, ammunition, etc. can be taken or checked.

How ammunition was allowed on board has not been explained.

Richard Wilkinson, Miami