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Victory for Public Safety: Florida Moms Demand Action, Everytown Celebrate Defeat of Dangerous Gun Bills Including Measures That Would Have Forced College Campuses to Allow Guns, Allowed People to Openly Carry Handguns in Public, and Allowed Guns in Airports

Moms Demand Action Volunteers Launched Successful Campaign to Defeat Numerous Dangerous Bills

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Volunteers with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the defeat of several dangerous gun bills that would have:

  • Forced public colleges and universities in Florida to allow guns on campus;
  • Effectively allowed open and concealed carry of handguns in sensitive areas, including elementary schools, colleges and airports across the state;
  • Allowed guns to be carried in airports;
  • Allowed individuals to openly carry handguns in public;
  • Forced public officials to allow guns at public meetings;
  • Punished private businesses and other private entities with lawsuits and civil fines for exercising their right to prohibit concealed handguns on their premises; and
  • Created burdensome new rules for prohibiting guns at courthouses while also exposing judges and local officials to lawsuits, civil fines, and possible removal from office.

The bills expired when the legislature adjourned on Friday. The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action worked tirelessly throughout the legislative session to urge lawmakers to not pass these reckless bills.

“I am proud that our lawmakers listened to the concerns of Floridians and stood up to preserve public safety in Florida,” said Michelle Gajda, volunteer chapter leader with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Legislation that would have allowed people to openly carry handguns in public, allowed guns in airports and college campuses and punished our private businesses for exercising their right to prohibit handguns on their premises have no place in our state. Florida has a long history of responsible gun ownership, and because of gun sense champions like Senator Anitere Flores, it will remain that way. Today’s victories are proof that gun safety advocates are a formidable force who can take on the gun lobby and win.”

This legislative session, the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action drove a successful campaign to defeat numerous dangerous gun bills filed by Senator Greg Steube, which included:

  • Driving thousands of calls and digital messages to state lawmakers;
  • Organizing an advocacy day with gun violence survivors at the Capitol in February to urge the legislature to reject several of the gun bills that ultimately failed;
  • Visiting with lawmakers, both in district and in Tallahassee, to educate them on gun violence prevention and let them know that their constituents support them in standing up for public safety;
  • Testifying before legislative committees in opposition to dangerous gun measures; and
  • Releasing polling that found a majority of Florida voters opposed the gun lobby-backed gun bills.

Today, Florida became the fifth state this year to reject guns on campus legislation, joining Kentucky, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Here are the defeated bills:

  • SB 644 would have allowed people to openly carry handguns in public;
  • SB 646 would have effectively allowed people to openly carry handguns in public while also essentially allowing people to carry handguns in sensitive areas, like schools colleges and airports across the state;
  • SB 622 would have forced public colleges in Florida to allow guns on campus;
  • SB 626 would have forced public officials to allow guns at certain public meetings of counties, school districts, special districts and municipalities;
  • SB 618 would have allowed guns to be carried at airports;
  • SB 610 would have punished private businesses and other entities that prohibit concealed handguns on their private property by exposing them to costly lawsuits; and
  • SB 616 would have created new rules for carrying concealed handguns in courthouses, making it more difficult for law enforcement to keep courthouses safe, while at the same time threatening public officials who did not strictly comply with the rules with lawsuits, civil fines, and removal from office.