On Parkland’s fourth anniversary, Florida Democrats highlight gun safety measures blocked by GOP

On the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Democrats in Florida argue gun control reform is still needed, but point the finger at Republicans standing in the way.

At a press conference on Monday, members of the House Democratic Caucus said not enough was being done to protect residents from another mass shooting.

“Our duty is first and foremost to ensure that every Floridian has the freedom to be healthy, prosperous and safe, and the safety of our children could not be more paramount,” said Tampa Rep. Driskell Fencewho joined the House Minority Leader Evan Jenne of Dania Beach and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith from Orlando.

“There’s so much that can be done that the Republican legislature just isn’t interested,” Smith said.

Lawmakers introduced a series of bills this legislative session to change Florida’s gun laws. Of the many bills aimed at tightening existing restrictions or banning certain products and practices, all have been introduced by Democrats.

Smith again submitted a proposal (HB 199) for the fifth consecutive year to ban high-capacity firearm magazines and military-style firearms, including AR-15 models. Sen. Gary Farmer of Lighthouse Point filed its analogue.

The bill was the first he submitted after being elected in 2016 just months after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, the second worst mass shooting by a single shooter in United States history.

Other Democrats, including West Park Sen. shevrin jonesBoca Raton Sen. Tina PolskiParkland representative Christina Hunschofskyrepresentative of Maitland. Joy Goff-Marcil and representative of St. Petersburg. Michele Rayner — have introduced other legislation to, among other things, repeal Florida’s “Hold On” law, add safe storage requirements, strengthen the state’s red flag rules and ban the sale of coins. unfinished guns that make it easy to create untraceable”ghost guns.”

At the other end of the continuum are three bills – all introduced by Republican Rep. Howey-in-the-Hills. Antoine Sabatini – would lower the age to purchase firearms to 18, allow the open carry of firearms in public and the concealed carry of firearms in the state legislative building.

Govt. Ron DeSantis and President of the Senate wilton simpson have reported Support for a statewide change to open carry, or “constitutional carry.”

So far, however, all gun-related bills this session appear dead on arrival. Not one has seen a single committee hearing since its introduction.

Smith said that even if the Legislature takes up and passes his bill or his Senate analogwhich attracted 35 co-signers, that would be far from enough.

“The 17 taken at Parkland, the 49 taken at Pulse – if we are going to honor them with actions, we really need to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, the freedom of all Floridians not to fear that they are going to be murdered by an assault weapon if they go to the grocery store, if they go to a nightclub or if they send their child to school,” he said. . “This advocacy, this need to honor them, is not limited to a single bill.”

Smith added: “We need to be able to enact common sense gun safety reforms and not do it reactively. We can’t wait for the next mass shooting or the next gruesome headline to take action to protect Floridians from gun violence.

Meanwhile, Sabatini has largely attacked members of his own party, whom he calls Republicans in name only, or “RINO”.

Last week, Sabatini – who is running for Congress rather than a third term at Florida House, where his office was recently moved on the ground floor – swapped beards with Clearwater Rep. Chris Latvala on the Speaker of the House Chris Sprows’ inaction on the constitutional deferral bill.

Sabatini took to Twitter, writing, “RINO Cowards like Chris Sprows BLOCK constitutional portage once again! When will the people wake up and vote to eliminate these TRASH establishment ‘Republicans’?! “

He went on to say lawmakers who remain silent on the issue are working against Floridians.

Latvala responded by noting that Sabatini’s bill, in addition to gaining zero traction in the House, has yet to gain a sponsor in the upper house of the Legislative Assembly.

“Hey moron, who’s your Senate sponsor?” said Latvala. “Surely you know how to pass a bill now.”

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