The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence strongly opposes a flurry of proposed gun legislation filed by state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. The sheer breadth of his call to allow citizens to arm themselves in public, including at schools and airports, would extend legal gun carry opportunities to unprecedented levels in the state of Florida.
” Sen. Steube’s proposals are outrageous and put us all at risk,” said Patti Brigham, coalition co-chair and 1st vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, which created the coalition in 2016. “This legislation doesn’t make us safer – it creates potential danger in nearly every aspect of our lives.”
Steube’s latest six proposed bills break down this way:
SB 644 and SB 646 in effect would allow the open carry of handguns in public places.
SB 622, SB 626 and SB 618 would require colleges and public officials to allow guns on campus and at some public meetings, while also allowing guns in airports.
SB 610 would open up private businesses that prohibit concealed handguns on their private property to lawsuits.
Andy Pelosi, executive director of The Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus and co-chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, denounced the bills, filed on the heels of Steube’s “open carry everywhere” proposal. “It appears that Sen. Steube is taking another bite at the apple of endangering public safety for all Floridians with his latest round of misguided bills that will actually decrease safety on our college campuses, K-12 schools, in our airports and during public meetings taking place in schools and municipal buildings,” Pelosi said.
Brigham vowed that the Coalition will continue to advocate for safe gun legislation in Florida.
The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence was created after the Pulse Nightclub massacre to promote smart, common-sense gun legislation. It helped set the course for a bill filed Jan. 5 by state Sen. Linda Stewart and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith to restrict the sale and transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in Florida, among its key goals for 2017.
The Coalition has grown to include more than 100 local, state and national organizations and includes such diverse groups as the Hispanic Federation, Interfaith Council of Central Florida, Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, Florida PTA, Equality Florida and Doctors for America.