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St. Pete Councilor Wants Resolution on Gun Control

Council member Steve Kornell wants city council to vote on a resolution for the city's lobbyists to go to Tallahassee to fight for more stringent gun laws.

In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. many organizations, government officials and businesses are rethinking and challenging America’s policy on gun control.

Local Rep. Kathy Castor is calling for a limit on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons; former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said there needs tougher background checks and even Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are curtailing their sales of assault weapons.

In St. Pete, one council member is seeking a resolution to ask city lobbyists to pressure state officials in Tallahassee to have a discussion on stricter gun laws in Florida.

“I think the two things for sure that need to happen, No. 1, an assault weapons ban,” said council member Steve Kornell. “That and tightening up the laws that allow you to prosecute someone for purchasing a gun for someone that can’t buy one legally.”

He said "assault weapon" is too loosely defined, too easy to obtain and just too dangerous to do any good. 

Council will discuss the proposed resolution, which was submitted by Kornell this week, at the Jan. 10 council meeting.

While his new business item is about having a gun control discussion, Kornell insists his action was not a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings in Connecticut that left 27 dead.

“That was a horrific tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to the families,” Kornell said. “But, I’m also concerned with what’s happening right here.

“Since the elementary school shooting, we’ve had the guy in Clearwater Beach found with a cache of guns and we had a shooting (yesterday) morning at a hotel in Kenwood,” Kornell added.

Kornell, who is also a school social worker at Dixie Hollins High School, tried to bring a similar gun control resolution before council in June 2011. However, his proposal was rebuffed by half of the council out of fear of legal repercussions from Gov. Rick Scott.

A new Florida law prohibits municipal governments from passing laws pertaining to state gun law. Those who do, face legal action from the state.

For Kornell, this is part of the problem.

“Tallahassee is so beholden to the NRA, they don’t want to hear anything from the people,” Kornell said on why cities hands are tied in making gun laws. “The NRA has stopped representing gun owners and hunters and really started representing gun manufactures that pump millions of dollars into these lobbying efforts.

“To continue to bury our heads in the sand and let the NRA write gun laws and influence policy, I don’t think it’s going to have a positive result for the people of St. Petersburg,” Kornell added.

Rider December 23, 2012 at 04:27 AM
You are obviously committed to your cause. Good luck as it is probably in the minority of opinions and, based on precedence, reason will rule. Don't worry, there are lots and lots of guns available and there always will be. There is no need to be so didactic. It is healthy to scrutinize any attempt to regulate a right and you will strengthen your position by avoiding personal slams. Passion is good, really good, yet it does not require a disrespect for other positions. Have a great Sunday.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Hh ..go change your diaper and get off the porch. Don't start something if you can't take it in return. You are your silly ''big, big difference'' remark. And what the heck does ''didactic'' mean? Don't use language like that around here..go wash your mouth out with soap. You don't listen to a thing people say to you in that little box of a world you live in. I tried to make sense to you, but some people simple are too think headed.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
''Oh''
TBInCW January 09, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Steve Kornell is ignorant about guns, and the law. Semi-Autos are not Automatic Rifles. Automatic Rifles and "Assault rifles" are banned by NFA1934 and GCA1968. This law is in effect already. These words and feel good knee jerk crap is ridiculous. You guys can say what you want, but Chicago is the Utopia of Gun Control Laws. If you want stricter gun control move to Chicago. Also CT has an "Assault Rifle" ban and the ban states that it is illegal to sell or transfer an "Assault Rifle" in the state of CT. CT Law Chapter 943 Sec 53-202c Possession of an "Assault Rifle" Prohibited. It lists by name the Bushmaster as a banned weapon. So tell me how that ban worked in Newtown?
TBInCW January 11, 2013 at 06:10 AM
I forgot to address his second point about straw purchases. Apparently 10 years and $250000 is something he is not aware is the law, so maybe he should be aware of what laws exist before telling us that we need more, abd stating that we need laws that are already on the books. http://www.dontlie.org/FAQ.cfm

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