Home / Government and politics / Lawmakers, Activists Push For Proposed Gun-Safety Legislation

Lawmakers, Activists Push For Proposed Gun-Safety Legislation


A host of Democratic state lawmakers, and a coalition of gun-control groups, gathered at the state capitol Tuesday, pushing legislation they say may have stopped deadly shootings that happened in Florida over the past year.

Proposals filed for the 2017 legislative session would ban the ownership of the Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle, the weapon used in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, in state, while strengthening background checks for those wishing to purchase guns.

The gun control bills face a difficult future in the Republican-controlled legislature.

A few hours before lawmakers held their gun-safety press conference, a group led by Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum was at the 1st District Court of Appeal where they urged judges to find laws that preempt local governments from passing gun-control ordinances unconstitutional.

Despite the opposition, however, supporters, including the League of Women Voters of Florida, the Florida PTA and Equality Florida, say the legislation deserves to be heard.

The legislation is proposed in light of the aftermath of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub, which targeted the LGBTQ and Latinx communities in Orlando, as well as a mass shooting last week at the Fort Lauderdale airport, where a gunman open fired, and the fatal shooting of an Orlando police officer on Monday

Although concrete motives for these recent tragedies are unknown, there’s an urgent call to action from many legislators against the epidemic of gun violence.

Senator Gary Farmer, whose Broward County district includes Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, stated the conference was not intended “to sensationalize [recent shootings] in any way shape or form,” but instead, “to reignite a healthy discussion on how to strengthen the state’s legislation to hopefully eliminate many of the loopholes that remain.”

Democratic Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith referred to the proposal as “common sense legislation.”

“We need a holistic approach that includes restrictions on assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” Smith said. It includes … trigger locks, it includes universal background checks; it includes making sure that Florida is a state that provides comprehensive mental healthcare services.”

According to Smith, Florida is ranked 50th in the nation for mental healthcare funding.

The way to reduce gun violence is mental healthcare funding, Smith said, beginning with having conversations about these issues.

Hannah Willard, public policy director  for Equality Florida, emphasized that it is not so much a second amendment issue, as it is a civil rights issue.

Last week, prior to the airport shooting, the Senate canceled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday that was expected to include debate about a controversial measure that would expand how and where Florida’s more than 1.67 million concealed-weapons license holders can carry handguns.

 Among the topics that had been planned for the meeting was a bill that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry handguns in public and also would allow them to be armed on college and university campuses.

Under the bill, they also could carry guns at airport passenger terminals, in elementary and secondary schools, and at legislative and local government meetings.  According to the Senate President’s office, the meeting was canceled because one committee member could not attend.

The News Service of Florida and WUFT News Reporter Daniela Prizont-Cado contributed to this story. 

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  1. ““We need a holistic approach that includes restrictions on assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” Smith said. It includes… trigger locks, it includes universal background checks; it includes making sure that Florida is a state that provides comprehensive mental healthcare services.” – AFTER you tell us WHY we have career criminals with 20 prior arrests roaming the streets of this state, Mr Smith. I suppose no one at WUFT thought to question why recidivism is rampant in this state. Clean up our streets and we wont be having these “sensible gun law” conversations designed to distract us form the real problems facing Florida.

  2. Funny how the anti gun fairies laws they promote only persecute the law abiding with laws that won’t reduce violence and can’t be used to prosecute the actual criminals, hence there is no debate

  3. There are over 370 “mental disorders” listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes “Tobacco Addiction Disorder” among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called “mental illnesses.”

    If the DSM is the standard by which politicians wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I’d guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.


  4. FBI Knew About Ft. Lauderdale Islamic State Jihadist for 4 Months – Investigated for Child Porn Years Ago..

    Ft. Lauderdale shooter was posting on jihadi forums when he was 17 years old in 2007. That twitter account, @Esteban00903, is now closed.

    The Fort Lauderdale gunman was known to the FBI for four months prior to this massacre.


  5. “Image of Esteban Santiago Ruiz wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh neck scarf symbolizing his allegiance to Islam #FLLshooting https://t.co/OeClufMmNg
    The Orlando shooter was also an islamist……


  6. New Yorks 1,000,000 new illegal gun owners..


    One million plus new felons, all armed with scary, high capacity, media labeled assault weapons!
    The deadline for New York residents to register their so called “Assault Weapons” and “High” (read standard) Capacity Magazines came and went.

    An estimated million plus, formerly law abiding, gun owners have refused to comply with Cuomo and down state Democrat’s naive belief that the NY Safe Act, passed in a so called emergency session of the New York legislature, could force free people to register their hard earned property.

    And who can blame these once lawful gun owners, with a president that picks and chooses which laws he will follow or enforce, as well as an Federal Attorney General that operates daily with a Contempt of Congress charge and gun running scandal, “Fast & Furious”, hanging over his head. Why should the average New York joe, bother to follow the law, especially when it is in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States, the one true law of the land.

  7. Any time a Democrat says “Gun” in any context it has nothing at all to do with Safety. Anything a Repressive suggests will increase accidents and decrease “safety”. Their “legislation” deserves to be heard and laughed at for their total transparency and lack of “Common Sense”. Why do Regressives in Florida keep voting for politicians that consider them all to be potential mass murders and untrustworthy lunatics?

  8. No. Move to New York. You’ll like the laws there a whole lot better.


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