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Guns or puppies: which is harder to get in Palm Beach County?

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 18:16:28-05

Guns: it seems people either love them or hate them in America, where the gun debate ranges from mental health to stricter laws. 

Some say getting a gun is easier than getting a divorce, getting cold medicine or adopting a pet. So Contact 5 wanted to know: would Palm Beach County residents would have a harder time getting a gun or a pet?

Staff at Gun & Range Training Center in West Palm Beach say you need five key things to get a gun in Palm Beach County. “First, you need an ID,” said owner Alex Shkop. “Second, you need to be the right age: 21 years old for handguns and 18 years old for rifles and shotgun.” 

Shkop says he also needs proof of residence and gun buyers need to complete a federal background check.

Finally, if you do not have a concealed weapons permit, you’re going to have to wait five days to get the gun. (In Florida, the minimum wait time is three days.)

Next, Contact 5 went to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control to pick up a pet adoption application so we could compare it with the background check application for guns. 

According to the county’s website, if you want to adopt a pet you need to fill out an adoption form; pay a fee; pay to have the animal spayed or neutered; be 18 years old; live locally; be ready for a possible in home visit; show you have a collar, license tag, leash and carrying case; and get your landlords approval if you're a renter. 

The adoption process is not as streamlined as buying a weapon, however, when Contact 5 compared the two application forms, the background check for guns is much more intense. 

Staff at Guns & Range point out you can be a felon and own a puppy in Palm Beach County, but you cannot buy a weapon.

“It’s like comparing apples and oranges,” said Shkop. “I do not think you can compare the two.”

Contact 5 found some animal adoption centers require references and mandatory home inspections; things you do not need to get a gun. However, in Palm Beach County, it all depends on what shelter you go to. All gun shops in Palm Beach County abide by the same requirements.