LWV SRQ addresses City Commission on gun safety

On April 2, Carol Hartz, VP, addressed the Sarasota City Commission. Hartz, Carol Rescigno, president, Sarasota Brady Chapter, and Sarasota student leaders spoke about gun safety and preemption. Hartz asked the City Commission to issue an Advisory Resolution banning semi-automatic weapons. She also asked city leaders to fight preemptive laws surrounding gun safety. Carol’s remarks follow.

My name is Carol Hartz and I’m Gun Safety Chair of the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County. The League supports regulations concerning the purchase, ownership and use of handguns that balance as nearly as possible individual constitutional rights with the general interest and welfare of the community.

Specifically, among other goals, the League supports a ban of all semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.

Two years ago, the Pulse shooting took place in Orlando. The weapon used was an AR-15 style semi-automatic assault weapon.

Our City Council met just after the Pulse massacre. The City Commission was unable to adopt a resolution related to semi-automated weapons because of limits imposed by preemption.

Now I’d like to tell you about February 14, 2018.

  • On February 14 at 2:06 pm in Parkland, Florida, Uber picked up Nikolas Cruz.
  • On February 14 at 2:07 pm, in a sad coincidence, I sent the following email to this City Commission:

The League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg reports that the State Attorney’s office upholds the right of local officials to speak out on gun violence. The email and link to the news article follows.

After the Pulse nightclub shooting, a resolution related to semi-automated weapons in our city limits was tabled because of preemption statutes. The League of Women Voters of Sarasota strongly supports your right to speak out on gun safety and urges you to raise the issue again under these new guidelines

  • On February 14 at 2:21 pm Cruz started shooting with an AR-15 rifle

The League of Women Voters of Sarasota County asks you again to consider an Advisory Resolution to ban military-style weapons and large-capacity magazines in Sarasota. We also ask you to join other Florida cites in fighting preemption laws. The League of Women Voters asks you to keep us safe.