A bill for lower the minimum age to buy a long firearm from 21 to 18 in Florida and thus reversing a measure adopted in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland shooting passed on its first vote in a state legislative committee.
The HB 1543 project is one of those related to firearms that the Florida Congress plans to discuss in the current period of sessions, all of them aimed at make it easier to own and carry such weapons.
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Given the large majority enjoyed by the Republican Party in both chambers of the Florida legislature HB 1543 is highly likely to passas well as another bill to allow concealed carry of weapons in public places without the need for a permit or training.
“When we have shootings and gun violence among 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds, we’re slapping people in the face when we say, well, let them go get a gun,” Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby said in the debate on the bill HB 1543 in a Florida House committee this Monday.
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Florida has been the scene in recent years of two bloody shootings: the one that occurred in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and the 2018 Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, with 17 fatalities.
According to former US Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell, every three hours a person is shot by a firearm in Florida.
Mucarsel Powell spoke like this at an event held last Saturday in Miami Beach attended by former Democratic federal congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who suffered serious brain damage from a shooting in Arizona in 2011.
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Giffords announced at the Jewish Museum in Miami Beach that his foundation will launch a program in Florida to stop those projects promoted by Governor Ron DeSantis, who is credited with presidential aspirations.
The Giffords Foundation program in Florida will include radio and television campaigns and will aim to “educate” Floridians so that when they vote they will choose candidates who defend the need for gun control in the US to stem the bleeding of gun violence, Mucarsel Powell said.
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After the Parkland massacre, the Florida Congress approved raising the minimum age to purchase long firearms from 18 to 21, as required by US federal law.
Last week, gun control advocates in Florida had welcomed a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholding the constitutionality of the 2018 lawchallenged by the National Rifle Association.
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