TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s gun laws are coming into focus Tuesday as people remember the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School five years ago.
At the state capitol, flags were at half staff and lawmakers took a moment of silence to remember the lives lost in the Parkland shooting as well as the recent Michigan State University shooting.
Controversy is swirling as Democrats in the Florida Senate grow frustrated with Republicans who are set to roll permitless carry measures into a widely supported public safety bill.
State Sen. Tina Polsky, whose district includes Parkland, told reporters Tuesday, “It’s just a tragedy that we would do that in this state five years after parkland,” adding, “I think what they are doing in the Senate bill is terribly cynical. They are wrapping a bill for more guns into school safety.”
Florida’s House minority leader State Sen. Lauren Book held a frame encasing papers recovered from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school parking lot of a lesson on how a bill becomes a law. Book shared, “We can talk about the policy surrounding Senate Bill 150. We can talk about wrapping school safety in with a carry bill. What we need to do is look at ourselves in the mirror and say, how do we actually affect change in this place? And remember and show, how a bill truly becomes a law.”
However, Republicans in both chambers are committed to passing legislation allowing permitless carry in Florida. Tampa lawmaker Jay Collins is carrying the bill in the Senate and calls this a “huge step for Floridians’ safety,” adding “This isn’t a dig. This is what strong public policy looks like.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis has voiced support for permitless carry and will likely be on board when this legislation crosses his desk. The proposal is set to be heard in committee next week. If this were to become law Florida would become the 26th state to allow permitless carry.