TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, testified today at the Capitol in opposition to House Bill 163. In response to the Committee’s passage of a stripped-down version of HB 163, which included a dangerous open carry provision that allows some criminals to openly carry handguns throughout the state, but does not include the strict scrutiny provision that would have called all of Florida’s existing gun laws into question, the group released the following statement:
STATEMENT FROM CHRYL ANDERSON, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“We’re grateful that legislators have removed the provision in HB 163 that would have jeopardized all of Florida’s gun laws, including those designed to keep guns away from criminals, but passing HB 163 would still be a dangerous step in the wrong direction for our state’s public safety. Allowing the open carry of loaded guns on our streets puts communities at risk and and will force our families to guess whether the person in the places our families frequent everyday is a trained law enforcement official or a dangerous criminal. While we are pleased that some of the harmful provisions were removed of the bill, we urge Florida lawmakers to reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and instead focus on common sense measures that keep guns away from criminals.”
The original version of HB 163 would have called into question every gun safety law on the books in Florida, including most basic laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. Florida taxpayers would have been left paying the bill for frivolous lawsuits brought challenging even the most basic public safety laws. Thanks in part to the testimony and phone calls made by volunteers from Moms Demand Action, this harmful provision of the bill was removed in today’s Committee hearing.