Following last year’s mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub and this year’s at the Fort Lauderdale airport, some Republican lawmakers are showing even more support for open carry-related bills. But, a gun coalition as well as some Democratic lawmakers are countering those pro-gun bills with measures of their own.
The recent gun-related tragedies in Central and South Florida have spurred Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith along with Senators Linda Stewart and Gary Farmer to file bills as a result of what’s occurred in their districts. Farmer says that includes a bill to do away with the sale of military style assault weapons in Florida.
“We’re working on legislation that would strengthen background checks and our third piece of legislation—which I’ve already filed—which seeks to eliminate many of the loopholes or exclusions to our trigger-lock bill that we already have in Florida, which mandates that one keep a loaded firearm locked and safe when children are in the vicinity,” said Farmer.
Had these measures been in place, Farmer says some of these tragedies may have been prevented.
“There are glaring gaps in the communication base, dealing with people who have mental health issues and possess a firearm. And, there are things that need to be looked at in that regard,” he added. “So, I don’t know that our proposed legislation prevented Fort Lauderdale, but it certainly would have prevented many of the other tragedies we’ve seen.”
Farmer says he’s already in talks with Senate leadership to allow his bills to get a hearing.
Meanwhile, the Florida Coalition To Prevent Gun Violence—made up of more than 100 groups like the League of Women Voters and Equality Florida—also support the bills.
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