Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made it clear that he does not support the call for a special session on gun laws as proposed by several legislators.
Last week State Representative Joseph Geller (D-Miami-Dade) sent a letter to all state lawmakers and the Florida secretary of state in an attempt to have a special session called to address gun violence.
In order for a special session to be granted, 60 percent of the lawmakers in the House and Senate would have to approve the request. The governor could also issue a proclamation calling for the special session.
On Wednesday, DeSantis responded to the request by noting that Florida has adopted a number of laws to address gun violence.
DeSantis said, “What we’ve done in this budget is have record funding, continued record funding for school safety and school security as well as mental health. We’ve done three-quarters of a billion dollars just for school security, just since 2019, so we took the Stoneman Douglas recommendations, we put those into effect in both policy and with resources and it’s made a really, really big difference.”
DeSantis then took a shot at the “leftists.”
DeSantis said, “With all due respect to these leftists, they just want to come after your Second Amendment rights. Let’s just be honest, that’s what they want to do. They don’t want you. They view you, as a law-abiding citizen, as the target of what they’re trying to do. How can they on the one hand say they’re serious about this when they support these people who let the criminals out of prison and they don’t prosecute people?”
Geller’s letter included three proposals not currently in law. These proposals included regulating large capacity rifle magazines, requiring universal background checks for all gun sales, and expanding the state’s red flag law.
Geller’s proposal related to the red flag law includes allowing family members to go to court in an attempt to get guns removed from people who are a danger to themselves or others. Currently, Florida’s red flag law allows only police officers to submit requests to courts.
State Senator Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) supports Geller’s proposal related to rifle magazines.
“Maybe magazines shouldn’t be able to hold over 10 rounds of ammunition,” she says, adding that most of the American public supports the idea of implementing universal background checks for gun sales.
The poll for a special session was recently sent out by Secretary of State Cord Byrd. The poll asks whether a special session “should be convened for the purpose of considering proposals to address gun violence” and must be returned no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10.
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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.