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Gun Control

Little more than a week ago, some of the biggest problems students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faced were math tests and the baseball team’s performance.

But seven days after a 19-year-old gunman went on a killing spree at the Parkland school, students turned into activists as they cried, pleaded and argued with lawmakers Wednesday in the state Capitol.

In the seven days that have followed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people, students from the Florida campus have moved from terror to grief to activism, inspiring a national youth-led protest against political inaction on gun reform.

On Wednesday, the Parkland students — still mourning and fueled by anger — made their way to the state capitol in Tallahassee to confront lawmakers to demand a ban on assault weapons.

A week after 17 people were killed at a Parkland, Fla., high school, President Trump hosted survivors, parents and teachers from that and other recent school shooting tragedies for an emotional, nearly 90-minute listening session at the White House Wednesday.

Hundreds of students from around the state rallied at the Florida Capitol Wednesday. They joined Parkland students to promote their gun control cause and convince lawmakers to look into what they see as better policies.

Lawmakers, Scott Weigh Options After Mass Shooting

Feb 20, 2018

A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school, as legislative leaders craft a multi-pronged response to the massacre and Gov. Rick Scott plans a series of workshops about school safety and ways to keep guns away from people struggling with mental illnesses.

Gun Control Could Become Key Issue In November

Feb 20, 2018

An aversion to gun-rights restrictions has been a bedrock of Republican campaigns in Florida —  a testing ground for model NRA-backed legislation — for years.

After a gunman killed seventeen students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many politicians Tweeted out their thoughts and prayers. A couple of Southwest Florida congressmen Tweeted those sentiments, but many people, including constituents, commented that thoughts and prayers aren't enough this time. 

Following last week’s mass school shooting, about 100 Parkland students are expected to come to Tallahassee this week to speak to Florida lawmakers about gun control. It comes just as an NRA-backed bill was withdrawn from consideration. But, some may see the student’s gun control views as a bit “naive.”

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

Dead bodies were still inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when survivors of this week's shooting began speaking out about gun violence. It seemed as if the teens had stepped straight from the bullet-scarred school into the nation's gun debate.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A vigil and rally against gun violence was held in St. Petersburg's Williams Park Saturday night in response to the mass shooting in Broward County.

`Courthouse Carry' Proposal Filed In House

Oct 24, 2017

A measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to store firearms with security officers at courthouses was filed Monday in the House for the 2018 legislative session.

A new poll released Tuesday finds 52 percent of registered voters in Florida oppose prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, with 42 percent supporting a prohibition.

'Bump Stock' Ban Proposed In Florida

Oct 10, 2017

Little more than a week after a massacre in Las Vegas, a Florida state senator Monday proposed banning devices — known as “bump stocks” — that can be used to increase the rate of firing bullets from semi-automatic weapons.

Last weekend's massacre in Las Vegas is only the latest reminder of the persistent gun violence in the United States. And a new set of statistics on the rates of gun violence unrelated to conflict underscores just how outsize U.S. rates of gun deaths are compared with those in much of the rest of the world.

It costs American hospitals about $622 million every year to admit patients with gunshot wounds—and it turns out, we’re all paying the bills.

That’s according to a new study in the journal Injury Epidemiology that tapped into a national sample of hospital records to gauge the cost of admitting patients with firearm injuries.

The researchers broke the costs down by injury type, demographics and insurance status.

Among the findings:

Florida gun control advocates say a new report on gun theft by the Center for American Progress underscores the need for stricter laws.  The left-leaning group estimates 80,000 guns were stolen from individual owners in Florida between 2012 and 2013.

Scott Signs ‘Stand Your Ground’ Change

Jun 12, 2017

A measure changing the state's controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law was among 16 bills that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law late Friday.

A Florida lawmaker is hoping the state legislature will take up a refiled gun control bill during this week’s special session.

After Pulse, An LGBTQ Effort For Gun Control

Jun 8, 2017

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence says it has raised $125,000 in the year after the Pulse mass shooting, the deadliest in modern American history.

Lucy McBath is afraid many more people will die if Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill making it harder to prosecute when people claim they commit violence in self-defense.

‘Stand Your Ground’ Dispute Heads Into Final Day

May 5, 2017

The Florida Senate remained steadfast Thursday in a dispute with the House about a change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law.

South Florida law enforcement and transportation officials met Friday with airline representatives and officials from the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration to continue analyzing the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January.

Five people were killed and six injured when a gunman opened fire in Terminal 2. Dozens more were hurt as they fled in panic from a supposed second shooter. There was only one gunman in the incident.

House Ready To Move On ‘Stand Your Ground’

Apr 3, 2017

After senators quickly approved the proposal, the Florida House could be poised to pass a bill that would shift a key burden of proof in "stand your ground" self-defense cases.

Battle lines are being drawn in Florida over a perennially thorny issue: Guns.  State lawmakers have filed over a dozen bills seeking changes to existing gun laws. 

State lawmakers will consider a raft of gun bills this session primarily aimed at expanding rights.  But one representative is focused on making it easier to get firearms out of abusive households.

Gun Bills Filed In Legislature

Feb 14, 2017

A measure that would reduce the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public and make it a non-criminal offense has been filed in the House.

The suspect arrested for the January shootings inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had been held just months earlier on a mental health evaluation in Alaska.

While Governor Rick Scott has said he supports making it harder for mentally ill people to have guns, no such proposal is on the agenda for the coming legislative session.

Michael Auslen in the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau spoke with WLRN's Gina Jordan about the latest calls for action dealing with mentally ill people and guns. Listen to the interview here: 

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