Just eight days before committing one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent American history, Omar Mateen reportedly walked into a Florida gun store and bought an AR-15 style rifle without any trouble at all. After passing a brief in-store background check (essentially just checking for felony convictions and active warrants), the perpetrator of the massacre walked away with a perfectly legal assault weapon.
Under Florida law, Mateen did not need a permit or license to purchase the gun, and no waiting time was required before actually carrying it out the store. Along with 35 other states, Florida has no legal license, registration or permit requirements to purchase guns. In fact, the Sunshine State is ranked as one of the easiest places to purchase a gun, along with others like Alaska and Kansas, which don't even require permits to carry around handguns.
With lenient gun laws like those in Florida, purchasing deadly weapons can be horrifyingly easy — a lot easier than most things we don't think twice about every day. If an individual's background checks out, the process can take a matter of minutes, faster than most of us can get in and out of a grocery store. So we wondered, just how many things do we do that actually take longer than purchasing an assault rifle like the one Mateen used? Here's what we came up with:
In the U.S., adopting a shelter animal can take up to three whole weeks. Most shelters require extensive interviews, screening processes and reference checks to make sure you are the right fit for the animal.
Getting a permit to build a pool in your backyard can be up to a six-week process depending on where you live and what kind of pool you're building.
Thirty U.S. states require women to receive in-person counseling before having an abortion, and 28 of those states also require women to wait a minimum of 24 hours between counseling and having the procedure done.
Under ObamaCare, it can take up to six weeks to be officially enrolled in an employer's health care plan. If you sign up between the first and the 15th, your plan should start on the first of the following month, but if you apply after the 15th of the month, your plan won't start until the first of the month after that... so about 45 days.
It can take several days between applying for and receiving your official marriage license in most states. The state with the longest waiting period is Wisconsin, which requires you to wait six days before you get your license.
Yup, getting a divorce takes even longer than tying the knot in the first place. Depending on where you live, the period between filing a divorce petition and making it final can take more than two years. Arkansas, for example, has a minimum processing time of 540 days.
If you want to purchase more than nine grams of cold meds like Sudafed, you have to wait a 30-day period between your purchases. These over-the-counter drugs contain the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, which is commonly used to make illegal drugs like crystal meth — hence the waiting period.
In the U.S., it generally takes six to 18 months between registering for adoption and having your placement finalized.
In certain states, it can take up to 30 days to get approved by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to start receiving food stamps.
And yes, last but not least, getting tickets to this year's favorite Broadway show actually takes longer than walking in and out of a gun store. As of now, Hamilton tickets are sold out on its website through April 2017.
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