In the wake of yet another terrible mass shooting in Florida - this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland - grief and anger at the lack of action on gun safety has turned into courage and determination. Leading the way have been the students of Douglas High School themselves, who despite having survived a horrific massacre have immediately taken their case for gun safety to the public through media interviews, rallies, and speeches. Their key demand? Real, substantive action by Florida’s lawmakers on gun safety. We’re standing with them.
For months, gun safety bills have languished in the Florida Legislature, unable to get even a single committee hearing. This includes:
- HB 219/SB 196: An assault weapons ban.
- SB 838: Universal background checks for all gun sales.
- HB 321/SB 456: A ban on bump stocks, which allows semiautomatic rifles to fire faster.
- HB 231/SB 530: Risk Protection Orders that would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person's access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others.
These measures enjoy popular support and would reduce the availability of weapons of mass slaughter. And even if you don’t agree with some of these bills, shouldn’t we at least be able to have a public debate about them in our legislature?
It’s time for state legislators, particularly the Republican majority that controls the Florida Legislature, to stop the empty rhetoric, diversions and half-measures on guns. Floridians have waited too long for real, substantive action on gun safety.