'Sunshine State' or 'Gunshine State': Florida leads in handing out more gun permits than any US state

Dubbed the 'Sunshine State' for its sun-soaked climate, Florida is also ironically branded the 'Gunshine State,' a place where firearms are easy to come by — especially for perpetrators of violence.

AFP February 15, 2018 08:56:17 IST
'Sunshine State' or 'Gunshine State': Florida leads in handing out more gun permits than any US state

Miami: Dubbed the "Sunshine State" for its sun-soaked climate, Florida is also ironically branded the "Gunshine State," a place where firearms are easy to come by — especially for perpetrators of violence.

The state, home to 21 million people, has handed out more gun permits than any other state — around 1.9 million as of January, according to official statistics.

But this only makes up part of the total number of firearms, an unknown figure that cannot be estimated.

Comparing the number of firearm permits with the number of inhabitants puts Florida at mid-range for gun ownership — trailing a number of mostly-white rural states.

But the peninsula, located in the southeast of the country, has been the setting of several particularly deadly shootings in recent years.

Sunshine State or Gunshine State Florida leads in handing out more gun permits than any US state

Police cars outside the shooting site. Reuters

The worst remains an attack on an Orlando gay nightclub on 12 June, 2016, which saw a heavily armed man — who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group — kill 49 people.

Six months later, a man opened fire at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, killing five people on 6 January, 2017.

On Wednesday, a 19-year-old man expelled from a high school for disciplinary reasons returned to the building in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people.

But despite the repeated tragedies, Floridians make no secret of their attachment to the right to bear arms.

Florida was the first US state to adopt controversial "Stand Your Ground" legislation in 2005, backed by the gun lobby.

The law allows a person to use lethal force if they believe they are in serious danger — even if there is a possibility that they could escape or retreat from that threat.

As a result, the concept of self-defense is particularly prominent in Florida, as illustrated in February 2012 with the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager killed by a neighborhood watchman. The perpetrator, George Zimmerman, pleaded self-defense and was acquitted by a jury.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

China to impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and other US firms over Taiwan arms sales
World

China to impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and other US firms over Taiwan arms sales

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the sanctions were "to safeguard national interests" and would apply to those who have "behaved badly in the process of arms sales to Taiwan"

India and US need each other to achieve their goals, but strengthening both democracies is crucial
World

India and US need each other to achieve their goals, but strengthening both democracies is crucial

India’s democracy is key to sustaining the momentum of its Indo-Pacific vision over the turbulent years to come.

Mike Pompeo to visit Maldives, set to become first US Secretary of State in 16 years to tour island nation amid China's growing clout
World

Mike Pompeo to visit Maldives, set to become first US Secretary of State in 16 years to tour island nation amid China's growing clout

His visit comes a week before the 3 November presidential polls, the campaigning for which has seen China emerge as an agenda