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Orlando, Florida – On July 1st 2009, Wednesday, a 43-year-old man went inside an Orange County gun range and rented a gun for target practice. Valentin Pepelea proceeded to fire a few shot before pulling the trigger on himself at around 6:40pm. Employees and witnesses told reporters that the man was a regular, and never caused any problems with anyone at the range.
Rieg's Gun Range is on South Orange Blossom Trail, and the shooting is the fourth incident and the third gun range suicide in Florida since April where a woman shot her 20-year-old son and then killed herself at a Casselberry shooting range.
The other incident was at the same Casselberry range where a 26-year-old Jason McCarthy killed himself with a 9mm rented handgun. The first incident was a failed suicide attempt on June at another Orange County gun range.
There are no current laws or regulations that require a person to undergo background checks before renting a firearm in any of the 50 states. The only requirement is an ID.
The recent incident has raised concerns about the gun ranges and establishments readily renting guns to anyone without checking on their mental or criminal backgrounds. Currently Florida Gun Ranges are already petitioning for legislators to pass a law mandating background checks for people renting firearms, and allowing these ranges to access government databases to conduct instant background checks.
The Casselbury gun range where most of the suicides occurred are now looking at running instant background checks by employing a third party firms services, and are no longer renting firearms since the july incident. Other Florida gun ranges no longer rent out firearms to individuals but only to parties of two or more, they would also require an ID copy of a family member and their phone number before being allowed to possess the firearm.
Federal law does not mandate these requirements, but since the incidents, gun ranges have made their own regulations regarding gun rentals. Many second amendment advocates see's these regulations as a threat to American's rights to bear arms, despite the current suicides.