The mother of a 7-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook massacre recently said it might be easier to buy a gun than adopt a kitten.
The comment garnered media attention leading up to the announcement of President Barack Obama's gun control proposals Wednesday.
As South Florida reacts to Obama's proposals, Local 10 went to an animal shelter and a gun shop to find out how much truth is in the mother's statement.
At the Broward Humane Society, the process to adopt a kitten takes approximately an hour. People are asked to fill out paperwork that includes name, address, and type of environment he or she would be able to provide to the cat. After signing a form of good faith, pledging to take care of the animal, a willing human can walk out of the shelter with a new pet in hand.
Some rescue organizations require more rigorous background checks. At Paws South Florida Rescue based in Fort Lauderdale, prospective adoptive families must provide references as well as contact information. Typically, a cat won’t be released for adoption for up to three days.
As it turns out, in some Florida counties, it is a faster process to purchase a gun than a kitten. Thanks to an amendment in the state constitution, however, that isn’t the case in South Florida.
At the National Armory in Pompano Beach, owner Jeff Dillard explained that there is a waiting period in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties. The waiting period applies to every type of gun.
A prospective buyer who wishes to purchase a gun at a store is required to fill out a form drawn up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and provide his or her Social Security Number and a copy of a current Florida Drivers License.
The information is called in to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement database, which is connected to national networks, and a background check can be performed in seconds. But even an approved buyer must wait five business days to pick the gun up.
Many gun owners have told Local 10 that they support a nationwide background check on guns.
“I served my country as a member of the U.S. Army and I also [was] deployed to Afghanistan as a DOD contractor. I'm keeping my guns. I am for stricter background checks,” said Local 10 viewer Michael Hennings.
Under current law, people buying from licensed dealers must submit to background checks. Those buying arms from private sales or gun shows are not required to. Dillard believes every responsible gun owner should have a background check.
“We have been lobbying for years to have everyone go through this. Nobody's trying to eliminate anyone from getting a gun. Nobody's trying to step on anyone's second amendment rights. They just want to make sure -- we want to make sure -- that a bad guy doesn't get a hold of a gun,” Dillard said.
Below are documents released by the White House details the President's announced gun policy.
- READ: Remarks by the President and Vice President on gun violence
- READ: Now Is the Time: The President's plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence
- READ: Engaging in Public Health Research on the Causes and Prevention of Gun Violence
- READ: Tracing of Firearms in Connection with Criminal Investigations
- READ: Improving Availability of Relevant Executive Branch Records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System