In the wake of the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week, Florida politicians are reacting to the tragedy and offering their solutions to the issue of school shootings. Notably, Florida’s Democrat and Republican politicians had markedly different approaches to solving the crisis.
“We should be focused on those families,” said State Representative Randy Fine (R-Broward). “We should be focused on understanding what happened.”
Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) said Florida’s legislature should be passing a constitutional carry measure.
“Florida MUST pass Constitutional Carry NOW, #1 fastest way to secure our public spaces and institutions,” Sabatini tweeted. “Also, re-open the mental asylums that liberals closed in the 1970s and get these psychos out of society ASAP. Make the Edu-crats secure our schools for once!”
Florida MUST pass Constitutional Carry NOW
#1 fastest way to secure our public spaces & institutions
Also re-open the mental asylums that liberals closed in the 1970s & get these psychos out of society ASAP
Make the Edu-crats secure our schools for once!
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 25, 2022
However, Florida’s Democrat contingent were critical of Republicans in their own state and have even blamed pro-life politicians for the tragic shooting.
“What we don’t need is to move in the other direction to allow permitless carry, which could snowball into open carry in the state of Florida,” said State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando). “That will cost lives.”
Smith referenced a policy that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has previously offered support for, and that is constitutional carry. DeSantis has promised to get constitutional carry legislation passed and signed before he leaves the governor’s office.
“I can’t tell you exactly when, but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to sign ‘constitutional carry’ into law in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference earlier in May. “The legislature will get it done. I can’t tell you if it’s going to be next week, six months, but I can tell you that before I am done as governor, we will have a signature on that bill.”
Florida gubernatorial candidate Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) asked why DeSantis would support the policy.
“DeSantis says he’ll sign ‘constitutional carry’ into law,” DeSantis said. “Why in the hell would we even think about allowing permitless concealed carry in Florida?”
DeSantis says he’ll sign “constitutional carry” into law.
Why in the hell would we even think about allowing permitless concealed carry in Florida?
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 25, 2022
Crist also took aim at so-called “assault weapons” and said they are actually a threat to school-aged children.
At a press conference, other lawmaking Florida Democrats said they will continue to push for more gun control measures including magazine capacity bans, expanded red-flag laws, and background checks on ammunition purchases.
“We could do all of these things, and not touch a single legally owned firearm by a responsible gun owner. It is time to have that conversation in Florida and for America,” House Minority Leader-designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) said.
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