Gun safety supporters meet with legislators on bill strengthening background checks

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 23, 2020

Senate Bill 7028 permits police or family members to temporarily remove guns from someone who presents danger to others or themselves.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A bill filed in the Florida State Legislature primarily focuses on pushing for stronger background checks at gun shows and other public places.

This comes nearly two years after the state enacted red flag laws in the aftermath of the 2018 deadly mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Senate Bill 7028 permits police or family members to temporarily remove guns from someone who presents danger to others or themselves.

Hundreds of mothers, fathers and students gathered at the capitol Thursday in support of the bill.

"It is a common sense gun law, which we believe will save lives," Petia Rodewald from Moms demand Action said.

In addition to the stronger background checks, the bill hopes to close loopholes for those interested in purchasing firearms at gun shows or public places.

"Currently there are only 10 counties that require background checks on all gun shows that are only on public property," Rodewald said.

In Leon County, similar legislation is already in place. According to Moms Demand Action, 2,500 Floridians die very year from gun violence, averaging about seven people a day.

Although Moms Demand Action wants the policy to spread across the state, others do not feel the same.

"It is an infringement upon the right to keep and bare arms," Don Taylor said. "It is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It's already gone too far."

However, those in favor of gun safety say they believe more needs to be done.

"No family ever deserves an empty seat at the table because of gun violence," Kate Kile, the local leader of Moms Demand Action, said.

Those with Moms Demand Action say they hope lawmakers hear their plea.

"We want to build bridges and work together, it is not really about winning and losing from a political standpoint, it is about making our community safer," Kile said.

Advocates from Tampa, Orlando and Miami were also in attendance to speak with people in the capital city.

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