Smyrna, G.A. — Today, the Florida and Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements condemning Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for holding a rally at Outdoor Adventures, the largest gun store in the country, this afternoon. The rally comes just hours after the Florida legislature passed permitless carry legislation, and days after the tragedy at The Covenant School in Nashville. In 2017, Outdoor Adventures was subject to a routine ATF inspection which found several violations of the law, and the ATF conducted an inspection of the store last week that continued into this week.
“If Governor DeSantis really cared about public safety and protecting law enforcement, he’d be back in Florida fighting to keep guns out of the wrong hands and vetoing the deadly permitless carry legislation sitting on his desk,” said Makiko Felice, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead, he is campaigning in Georgia to pacify gun extremists. We shouldn’t have to beg our own Governor to care about the safety of our friends, children, and families.”
“The last thing we need in Georgia is for extremist politicians from other states to come here and buddy up with the gun industry,” said Diana Gregory, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “If Governor DeSantis cared about law and order, he wouldn’t be proud to speak at a gun store which has repeatedly broken federal gun laws.”
“Instead of focusing on non-Floridians, Governor DeSantis should consider doing what he was elected to do and work to keep our communities safe, instead of traveling across the country bowing to gun extremists,” said Cate Allen, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Students Demand Action. “The majority of Floridians oppose permitless carry and have felt the weight of living in the Gunshine State, which is probably why the governor knew he shouldn’t flaunt his relationship with the gun industry in our state.”
Today, the Florida Senate sent permitless carry legislation to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk, which would allow people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training, dismantling Florida’s system of responsible gun ownership. New research has also revealed that road rage shootings are at the highest level since 2018 and that states with permitless carry have by far the highest rate of road rage shootings with injuries or deaths. In fact, permitless carry states have nearly triple the rate of road rage shooting victimization than those states with the most protective standards. “Florida already has the 30th highest gun-death rate in the country, with 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people, and this bill will only further jeopardize the safety and lives of Floridians.
Recent polling shows that 77 percent of Floridians oppose permitless carry which allows people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training.
In an average year over 2,900 people are killed by guns in Florida, and over 5,200 more are shot and wounded. Gun violence costs Florida $40.3 billion each year, of which $875.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Florida is available here.
Georgia suffers from some of the weakest gun laws in the country – in an average year, 1,868 people die by guns in Georgia, and 4,321 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Georgia. More information on gun violence in Georgia is available here.