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Rep. Eskamani, Hundreds of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers, Gun Violence Survivors, Shannon Watts and Everytown’s Angela Ferrell-Zabala Call for Action on Gun Safety and Celebrate 10 Years of Life-Saving Work During Annual Advocacy Day

March 9, 2023

Gun Safety Advocates and Champions Rallied for Lawmakers to Reject Permitless Carry as the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee Prepares to Send Bill to the Senate Floor, to Repeal Florida’s Dangerous ‘Shoot First’ Law, and Fund Community Violence Intervention Programs

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Florida Moms Demand Action andStudents Demand Action volunteers part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, alongside survivors of gun violence, gathered for their annual advocacy day at the statehouse to meet with lawmakers to oppose dangerous gun bills such as permitless carry and advocate for gun safety measures to be passed and implemented during this legislative session. Volunteers also testified today in the Senate’s Fiscal Policy Committee to oppose permitless carry. 

“We have spent countless hours testifying against dangerous gun bills that Governor DeSantis and Republican lawmakers are trying to pass,” said Makiko Felice, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are not going to take our foot off the gas pedal and are ready to reject permitless carry and lowering the age to purchase firearms. We will fight these bills every step of the way to keep our communities safe.”

“We’re turning out in force today to make sure Florida lawmakers know that permitless carry puts communities in danger – because allowing more guns in more places with no questions asked only leads to more gun violence and more senseless and preventable tragedy,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “While Governor DeSantis puts his political ambitions over the public safety of his constituents, we won’t stop fighting for the majority of Floridians who oppose this reckless legislation.”

“Florida Moms Demand Action volunteers have been on the front lines of the gun safety movement, and we know that they will continue to show up and reject dangerous gun bills like permitless carry to keep Floridians safe,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, senior vice president of movement building at Everytown. “Today, our movement is larger than ever before and we are fired up to continue building a culture where all communities are free from gun violence.”

Since the chapter’s founding 10 years ago, Moms Demand Action volunteers have been on the front lines fighting to protect communities across Florida from gun violence. Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which 17 people were shot and killed and 17 others were wounded, volunteers worked tirelessly to help get lawmakers to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act which created an extreme risk law to enable law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms by those in crisis and requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms, prohibits bump stocks and raised the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. 

This year’s advocacy day comes as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican lawmakers are putting their political ambitions above Floridians public safety by pushing for permitless carry — which would allow people to carry concealed handguns in public places without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training, dismantling Florida’s system of responsible gun ownership. 

In an average year over 2,800 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.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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