Florida Roundup: Florida Legislature Moves Forward With Open Carry Gun Bill
Following two weeks of nationwide gun violence on school campuses, guns are becoming part of the conversation in Florida, too -- but in the form of legislation.
This week, a bill was filed in Tallahassee to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in public.
For nearly 20 years, Florida has prohibited the open carry of firearms but now the passage of the bill (HB 163) in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee by an 8-4 vote may change that, despite resistance from critics.
The passage of the bill through the subcommittee follows a mass shooting at a college in Oregon last week that left nine dead and nine wounded. The shooting was the deadliest in the state’s history. This Friday, two more shooting occurred at universities in Arizona and Texas.
But gun rights advocates support the Florida bill and say it would help Floridians feel safer, while opponents say it would have the opposite effect.
The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who says the measure “restores and vindicates” the Second Amendment.
In Miami this week, locals weighed in on the state of gun control and to the state's proposed bill.
Miami-Dade College professor Maureen O'Hara says she is concerned about her own personal safety.
Ana Hernandez, who also teaches at Miami-Dade College, says she is against open carry laws because of the easy accessibility to obtain a firearm in Miami-Dade County.
Mike Delido says he is in favor of open carry laws. Delido says it's not the guns that do that killing -- it's the people.
At National Gun Inc. in Coral Gables, employee Frankie Vazquez says he loves guns and thinks people should be more educated about them.