With over 90% of House and Senate Democrats voting ‘yes’ for a special session to address important common-sense gun reforms, there has been no support from their Republican colleagues despite Floridians urging their legislators to act; less than 20% of Republicans participated in the poll, all voting ‘no’ as understood by the Secretary of State. Democrats wanted to work with their Republican counterparts to find compromising ideas to make Florida safer for all.
Representative Joseph Geller (D-Aventura) requested the special session to consider three ideas known to have public support, and are flexible enough to allow the Legislature to craft collaborative bipartisan legislation for each:
- Regulating high capacity rifle magazines
- Universal criminal background checks on all firearms sales
- Expanding Florida’s Red Flag Law
“There was a time in Florida when Democrats and Republicans could reach across the aisle to work on necessary, bipartisan legislation for the safety of every single Floridian,” said Representative Geller. “It’s unfortunate and sad to know our Republican colleagues would rather wage culture wars than actually work on issues Floridians really care about. What is especially distressing is the large number of Republicans who didn’t even bother to cast a vote, considering that those all constitute ‘no’ votes. At least fulfill your duty by weighing in on this life and death issue instead of simply ignoring it. This was crafted to have bipartisan appeal so we can get something done right now. I’m deeply disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle missed and ignored this opportunity to save lives.”
It’s important to note that none of these proposals will take any gun from a legal gun owner, or prevent any future gun purchases. These ideas carefully balance our Second Amendment rights with the need for public safety.
Senator Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) added, “We had hoped our Republican counterparts would come to the table and work with us to end the slaughter of Americans but that hope was misplaced. They would rather revert to the same, tired NRA talking points they wheel out after every mass shooting. Every voter should be insulted by their reckless negligence. DeSantis and Republicans can run from their responsibility to keep our children and people safe. But the children in Uvalde couldn’t run. They had to come to terms with this country’s gun violence head on, and they paid with their lives. When will we have the courage to do what’s right?”
“In the wake of the Marjory Stone Douglas shooting, over 65% of Floridians thought we should act on gun reform legislation and since then support has continued to grow, and yet the Republican legislature has declined to do so. They won’t take action during regular Session and how now upended every opportunity to do it during a Special Session. Even the most reasonable measures we have presented have been rejected by our Republican colleagues. It is terribly sad to see the Florida Legislature in the wake of the most recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and in Buffalo, N.Y., decide not to have serious committed conversations on this issue. The victims of yet another senseless, violent act deserve more than our thought and prayers. Vastly more. The moment is now for action. Enough is enough,” said Representative Dan Daley (D-Coral Springs).