52ºF

Group's gun violence effort may be too little, too late

Efforts may be too late to impact 2016 election

photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The so-called Vocal Majority Tour to support what they call common sense change that keeps guns out of the wrong hands stopped in the state Capitol on Friday.

This is in part because of the 2014 shooting at Florida State University, but the group's efforts may be too little, too late to impact the 2016 election.

The state Capitol was the fifth stop on a 50-city tour before election day. The tour is urging voters to choose candidates promoting gun restrictions.

"Common sense gun regulations need to happen this November," said Lauren North, of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

The event was interrupted by the proverbial train that's already left the station. The group's message did not resonate voters in the Aug. 30 primary.

While the campaign is asking voters to think about guns in November, it may a little late. The National Rifle Association-backed candidates in the August primary won more than 75 percent of the time.

In contested state primaries, the NRA was five for five. NRA-backed candidates also won 14 of 17 House primaries.

State Rep. Alan Williams has been on the losing side of most gun votes in the Legislature.

"All of the major gun backers in Florida won their primaries. Isn't it a little late for this?" asked reporter Mike Vasilinda.

"Well, I don't think it's ever too late for this," Williams said.

"Well, I think it’s an ongoing case that we are making," North said. "We are hoping that in November, even though those candidates won't on their primaries. We can show that gun rights, or gun violence prevention voters, really do have a voice in North Florida and beyond."

The NRA also claimed victory in the Jacksonville State Attorney's race, taking out incumbent Angela Corey because she prosecuted the woman who got 20 years for firing a warning shot at her ex-husband.

The NRA declined to comment on this story. Among the restrictions being sought are smaller magazines, better background checks at guns shows and for transactions between individuals and a ban on semi-automatic weapons.