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Posted: 5/13/2004 7:24:42 AM EST
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May 13, 11:35 AM EDT

Gov. Bush Signs Gun Owner List Bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Jeb Bush signed bills Thursday that ban police from keeping comprehensive lists of law-abiding gun owners and give gun range owners almost total immunity from lead cleanup lawsuits.

The National Rifle Association praised Bush for signing the bills, both of which were pushed hard by the gun-owners' group.

Under the new law, police and government agencies could be fined $5 million if they keep a list of people who own firearms. The measure doesn't apply to lists created as part of a criminal investigation.

The gun range bill arose out of a lawsuit that sought to force a gun range to clean up lead from old ammunition. Environmentalists say if the lead leaches into the groundwater it can be dangerous.

The measure, which Bush signed in a private ceremony, bans such lawsuits, but requires state environment regulators to set up a protocol for how gun ranges should prevent lead contamination. Among the ideas is the use of lead-free ammunition.

If ranges follow the plan, they can't be sued.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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