DEMOCRATIC PARTY POSITION:
To enact common-sense gun safety legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands, protect responsible owners, and do more to save the lives of all Americans, regardless of where they are (elementary and high schools, churches, markets, shopping centers, hotels, parks, universities, etc.). We favor background checks for purchasers of guns and a ban on assault weapons, particularly the AR-15 rifle.
In Florida, 76% of all homicides involve a gun. On average, 2,752 people die and 4,270 are wounded by guns each year. Guns are the 2nd-leading cause of death among children and teens in Florida. An average of 206 children and teens die by guns every year. Thirty-five percent are due to suicide and 60% are homicides including children killing children.
REPUBLICANS IN FLORIDA:
Oppose reasonable gun safety laws although they favored passage in June 2022 of the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which includes narrow restrictions on firearm ownership that are largely intended to keep guns out of the hands of people experiencing mental health crises. They oppose increasing age minimum requirements (now 18) and a ban on assault weapons. In Florida, they also favor allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in K-12 schools.
In 2023 the Republican majority Florida legislature and the Republican governor passed a gun law allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without a criminal background check and licensing requirement disregarding public opinion, the recommendations of most police leaders, and the suffering caused by the mass killings occurring in recent years in Florida and nationwide.