HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The Florida chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to the mass shooting on Monday night of Memorial Day Weekend on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida. While details are still emerging, reporting shows at least nine individuals were shot and wounded, including four minors ranging from one to 17 years old. The Hollywood Beach shooting was just one of many over Memorial Day weekend, in which at least 16 people were shot and killed in several shootings across the country.
“It’s heartbreaking that we can’t get through a holiday weekend without it ending in gunfire,” said Angelica Repaci, a Florida Students Demand Action volunteer. “While Florida lawmakers choose to gut our gun laws, our families pay the price while on the beach.. When will the lawmakers elected to protect us wake up and realize they are actively creating a world in which we aren’t safe? We deserve better and we will continue to demand it.”
“Governor DeSantis and Florida Republicans have actively made our beaches, bars and restaurants, schools, grocery stores, amusement parks, and everywhere else we go more dangerous,” said Jennifer Blyther, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state is stuck in a seemingly endless cycle — lawmakers loosen our gun laws, tragedy strikes, communities are torn apart, and Floridians bear the burden. Guns are the number one killer of American children and teens — we refuse to accept that this is the best we get for our children and families”
Governor Ron DeSantis signed permitless carry legislation into law on April 3 behind closed doors despite recent polling showing that 77 percent of Floridians oppose the dangerous legislation. According to the Gun Violence Archive, since its enactment, Florida has experienced three mass shootings. Permitless carry allows 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. Because Florida does not require background checks on unlicensed firearm sales, someone can buy a gun online with no background check — the permit may be the only background check a person ever receives. This legislation took away a vital tool from law enforcement to ensure a person carrying a gun in public isn’t a criminal with a dangerous history. Law enforcement across the country, including in Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina have been vocal opponents of permitless carry legislation.
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.
If you are interested in speaking with a Florida Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].