Coalition Drops Off 12,000 Postcards to Legislators with the Message: “Backpacks and Bullets Don’t Mix”
Everytown for Gun Safety and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety joined with a coalition of gun violence survivors, law enforcement, educators, students, and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus to rally against six guns-in-schools bills in the State Legislature. The coalition dropped off 12,000 postcards to legislators signed by Floridians with the simple message “backpacks and bullets don’t mix.”
“Less than a year ago, my son Christopher was shot and killed. He was a college student at U.C. Santa Barbara with his entire life ahead of him” said Richard Martinez, father of 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez who was killed in the tragedy near the campus of UC Santa Barbara last May. “Since that fateful day last May, I have been determined to speak up for the people who no longer can. Do not make it any easier for troubled students to make deadly mistakes. Do not allow guns in K-12 schools or force colleges to allow them on campuses.”
“Our kids’ teachers enter the esteemed profession of education to teach, not to become sharpshooters. Florida lawmakers should do their jobs, too — pass laws to keep Floridians safe from gun violence instead doing the bidding of the gun lobby,” said Chryl Anderson, a volunteer with the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Allowing guns in our schools and forcing colleges to allow guns on their campuses endangers faculty, students and law enforcement – backpacks and bullets just don’t mix.”
“Those of us charged with keeping campus communities safe know that allowing concealed handguns on campus won’t make students safer, but it will make our jobs harder,” said Terence Calloway, Florida A&M University Chief of Police. “The only people on campus who should be armed are trained law enforcement officials, like the professionals who responded to the shooting at Florida State in just minutes.”
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Florida Moms Demand Action released a new television advertisement this week calling on Floridians to ask their legislators to reject the six guns-in-schools bills. The ad, which can be viewed here, is airing throughout Florida between March 5 and 13.
Moms recently spoke out against S.B. 176, legislation that would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus, before the bill was approved 3-2 in the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
Further Information on Guns and Florida Schools
- The six bills the gun lobby is pushing would allow guns in K-12 schools and force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on their campuses. They are:
- HB 4005: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus.
- SB 176: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus.
- HB 19: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools.
- SB 180: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools.
- HB 251: Would change Florida law to decriminalize carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, in a school safety zone, as long as the person surrenders the firearm at the earliest opportunity.
- SB 754: Would change Florida law to decriminalize carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, in a school safety zone, as long as the person surrenders the firearm at the earliest opportunity.
- Florida’s State University System, which includes 12 universities, their police chiefs, and the Board of Governors, opposes guns-on-campus legislation, saying it could “create new challenges in our ability to provide a safe and secure learning environment.”
- Florida State President John Thrasher and FSU Police Chief David Perry strongly oppose the legislation in the wake of FSU’s shooting on campus in November. Thrasher has said “When it comes to guns on campus, the consequences far outweigh the positives.”
- The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators opposes the legislation.
About Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2.5 million supporters and more than 40,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and help save lives. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of American mothers founded the day after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown
About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of American mothers fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2.5 million members and more than 40,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand