TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Students across the country and in Florida took part in a walkout Wednesday demanding more action to prevent gun violence.
This comes a week after a gunman shot and killed three children and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville.
After a moment of silence for those victims, the Students Demand Action group at USF marched across campus with a message that not enough is being done to keep communities safe from gun violence.
“We cannot accept this we cannot normalize this,” Angelica Repaci said, addressing students outside the Marshall Student Center.
“I think that was my first big encounter with gun violence and I realized how it could impact me and my family and my community because it hit so close to home,” she said.
The college sophomore is now the president of the USF chapter of Students Demand Action.
“We definitely want more background checks, more red flag laws to make sure guns are kept out of the wrong hands,” Repaci said.
“The reality is this, people who don’t follow the law, who operate outside that space, are going to do their own thing,” State Sen. Jay Collins (R-Tampa) said.
Collins sponsored the bill that passed along party lines allowing the concealed carry of a firearm without a government-issued permit.
“We just don’t believe you need a permit if you follow the Constitution and read it the right way,” Collins said. “Our interpretation is that is a problem and that’s why we did this bill.”
Repaci said she disagrees with lawmakers who argue the new law enables Floridians to defend their families better.
“It’s just petrifying to know that they don’t have the best interest of their citizens at heart,” she said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the public safety bill including permitless carry behind closed doors without a public ceremony on Monday.