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Everytown, Florida Moms Demand Action Release Polling Showing Overwhelming Majority of Floridians Oppose Measures That Would Allow People to Openly Carry Handguns in Public, Allow Guns in Airports and Force Guns Onto College Campuses

February 27, 2017

SB 644, SB 646, SB 626, SB 622 and SB 618 Ignore Clear Majority of Florida Voters Who Oppose Dangerous Gun Measures

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released a new poll showing a strong majority of Floridians oppose dangerous gun bills that would do the following:

  • Force public colleges and universities in Florida to allow guns on campus;
  • Effectively allow open and concealed carry in sensitive areas, including elementary schools, colleges and airports across the state;
  • Force public colleges and universities in Florida to allow guns on campus;
  • Allow guns to be carried in airports;
  • Allow individuals to openly carry handguns in public; and
  • Force public officials to allow guns at public meetings.

The polling was conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC on behalf of Everytown before state Senator Greg Steube dismantled his previous “guns everywhere” bill, SB 140, into several individual ones.

Among the poll’s findings:

  • 76 percent of Floridians oppose allowing guns on campus.
  • 69 percent of Floridians oppose allowing guns in elementary, and high school classrooms.
  • 75 percent of Floridians oppose allowing individuals to carry guns in airport passenger terminals.
  • Of the Floridians who opposed the “guns everywhere” bill, 68 percent of those opposed the bill for a reason related to the open carry of guns.

“This poll serves as further evidence that Floridians find the idea of carrying handguns, either openly or concealed, in sensitive areas like our children’s grade school classrooms entirely inappropriate,” said Michelle Gajda, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It is time for our lawmakers to listen to our concerns and ensure that our schools remain educational safe havens.”

“After the death of our son in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, we have dedicated our lives to fighting for common-sense gun safety measures that will keep other families from knowing the pain we live with every day,” said Fred and Maria Wright, members of the Everytown Survivor Network, whose son, Jerry, was killed in the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting. “The truth of the matter is laws directly impact our daily lives, and these policies would leave far too many Floridians vulnerable to the threat of gun violence.”

“By some stroke of luck, my laptop saved my life by blocking a bullet during the Fort Lauderdale airport mass shooting,” said Steve Frappier, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “Simply put, I would not wish such a traumatic experience on anyone else. That’s why it is incomprehensible to me that some Florida lawmakers would attempt to allow guns into sensitive places like airports. It would be deeply disappointing for our elected leaders to completely disregard the concerns of Florida voters and gun violence survivors to pass legislation that would increase the chances of a similar shooting in our state.”

“Forcing guns onto our college campuses is a solution in search of a problem. Our campuses are extremely safe, and there is no research to suggest that allowing guns onto our campuses would deter potential mass shootings or make our school communities safer than they are now,” said Richard Beary, chief of police at the University of Central Florida. “Allowing private individuals to carry handguns on campus would only jeopardize the safety of our students, faculty, staff and law enforcement who dedicate their lives to protecting our schools.”

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