Mass shootings on minds of lawmakers considering gun legislation
State considers strengthening 'Stand Your Ground' law
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Many are still trying to make sense of the attacks in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday that killed 14.
Some lawmakers said high-profile mass shooting incidents are on their minds when they consider gun legislation in Florida.
Concealed carry on college campuses has stalled in previous years, but it is set for a full vote from the Florida House after the legislative session begins in January.
A day after the California mass shooting, Florida is considering changes to strengthen the state’s "Stand Your Ground law," which allows Floridians to claim self-defense during deadly shootings.
“This bill is about restoring constitutional rights to citizens who act in lawful self defense,” said Marion Hammer, of the National Rifle Association.
Gun legislation is nothing new for Florida. Multiple bills have already moved through the Legislature heading into 2016’s legislative session. But as national outcry has become more focused on guns in the wake of multiple shootings, bill sponsor Sen. Rob Bradley said legislators have to be mindful of the people in this state.
“I’ve always taken the position that you don’t legislate based on one case, so while these are awful, tragic events, we are trying to create laws that are just,” Bradley said.
Democrats have said that as long as gun-friendly proposals continue to be introduced, more tragedies will occur.
Rep. Mark Pafford said he doesn’t see America’s latest mass shooting slowing any gun momentum in the Capitol.
“The people who have been elected to hopefully prevent that type of tragedy continue to do nothing, and sadly, there’s going to be Floridians' blood on people’s hands,” Pafford said.
Along with the Stand Your Ground changes, there are two other high-profile pieces of gun legislation in the chamber: a bill that would allow concealed carry on college campuses and a separate bill that would allow open carry of guns throughout Florida.
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