Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement celebrating their defeat of six separate NRA-backed bills that would have allowed guns in Florida K-12 schools and forced guns onto college campuses:
“The voices of moms, students, educators, campus police, and thousands of Floridians have been heard this year, and the message was loud and clear: keep guns out of our schools and off our college campuses,” said Chryl Anderson, volunteer Chapter Leader with the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We are thankful that lawmakers listened to the more than 155,000 Everytown supporters in our state, and stood up to the NRA’s dangerous agenda. Floridians will be safer as a result.”
Over the last several months, Everytown and the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action have driven an aggressive and successful campaign to defeat these six bills. The group launched a television ad in March titled “Backpacks, Not Bullets” that highlighted remarks by National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre at the 1999 NRA convention, in which he said, “We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period.”
The group also mounted a significant grassroots effort to make the voices of thousands of Floridians heard by driving more than 1,500 calls and more than 7,600 emails into Florida lawmakers urging them to reject the legislation. Also, at the Capitol in March, the group organized a rally to drop off 12,000 postcards with the simple message “backpacks and bullets don’t mix.” The rally brought together a coalition of gun violence survivors, law enforcement, educators, students, the League of Women Voters, and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.
Most recently, Everytown and Florida Moms Demand Action released polling that showed 61 percent of Floridians oppose the NRA’s misguided efforts.
Today Florida became the seventh state this year to reject guns on campus legislation—joining Arkansas, Georgia, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming—and the sixth state to reject legislation that would allow guns in schools—joining Arkansas, Colorado, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Here are the six defeated bills:
- HB 4005: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus
- SB 176: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus
- HB 19: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools
- SB 180: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools
- HB 251: Would change Florida law to decriminalize carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, in a school safety zone, as long as the person surrenders the firearm at the earliest opportunity
- SB 754: Would change Florida law to decriminalize carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, in a school safety zone, as long as the person surrenders the firearm at the earliest opportunity.