Understand the Issues
While acknowledging the Second Amendment rights of all citizens, gun violence remains a persistent and disturbing public safety issue. Its impact is most keenly felt by minority communities but has touched a broad cross section of our country. In 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 38,000 people were killed by a gun, up from a 15 year average of 33,500.
In 2018, the Florida Legislature considered laws to permit open carry, campus carry and elimination of gun-free zones, as well as expanded background checks and a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. With pressure from the public after the 14 Feb Parkland shooting, legislation was passed at the end of the legislative session raising the minimum age to purchase all guns, increasing the waiting period for permit issuance, banning bump stocks, and expansion of law enforcement powers to seize firearms in cases where the owner poses a threat to themselves or others. At the federal level, the new administration supports federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity. Passed by the House, this a “national reciprocity act,” takes from the states their right to design concealed carry laws.
LWVSPA’s Gun Safety Action Team has developed an education campaign to provide you with the facts you need to know. Our work is based on timely, authoritative research and reflects the non-partisan position of the Florida and U.S. League of Women Voters, as well as the FL Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
We have a long term commitment to gun safety… we continue to study and will publish more information on gun safety issues as we prepare for each Florida Legislative Session. Here are our fact sheets on issues that inform our work with the Legislature:
1. Get involved with our Gun Safety Action Team.
Contact Sharon Winters to get on the email distribution list. Monthly meetings are the 4th Monday of every month at 7pm at Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Rd. N, St. Petersburg (Wesley Room).
2. Attend local events.
Click here to view past events and learn about what’s coming up!
3. Contact your state legislators and U.S. congressional representatives.
a. Review tips on how to talk effectively with your legislator.
b. Find contact info for your federal and state representatives:
- visit http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx
- OR text 507-609-3322 and send your zip code as the message
“The State of Gun Violence in the U.S.,” 7-minute video by Joss Fong, Vox, 21 Feb 2016.