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Florida Moms Demand Action, Everytown Criticize Committee Vote Advancing Dangerous Open Carry Bill

House Bill 39 Would Essentially Legalize Open Carry of Handguns in Florida

A Volunteer with the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action Testified Against House Bill 39 This Afternoon

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today criticized state lawmakers for passing House Bill 39 out of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Volunteers with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action attended this afternoon’s committee hearing, where they were originally told they had to turn their red Moms Demand Action t-shirts inside out to enter the hearing. After requesting details on this decision, the volunteers were told by the Sargent at Arms that they’re allowed to wear their shirts, which have become famous at the capitol.

House Bill 39 would essentially legalize the open carry of handguns in Florida, despite the known dangers of such a policy. The presence of a visible gun makes people more aggressive and increases the risk that everyday disagreements will become deadly. Furthermore, recent incidents like the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville have shown that open carry policies can be used to intimidate and silence peaceful protestors. Given all this, it’s no surprise that a majority of Floridians oppose changing the state’s law to allow open carry.

Last month, similar legislation was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

STATEMENT FROM GAY VALIMONT, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“For over 30 years, Florida has made the common-sense decision to prohibit the open carry of guns in public places. Today, members of the House voted to dismantle this public safety protection. Thankfully, this legislation was already defeated in the Senate. The politicians who voted to advance open carry today did so to curry favor with the gun lobby, knowing it is unlikely to become law. When it comes time to vote, we won’t forget who sided with the gun lobby at the expense of public safety.”