Dozens gather despite rained out ‘March for Our Lives’ rally in St. Augustine

Dozens turned out at the St. Augustine March for Our Lives event despite bad weather. (WJXT)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – There will not be a special legislative session on gun violence in Florida. Democratic lawmakers came up short on getting enough votes to force one.

That news comes as “March for Our Lives” rallies against violence took place across the country Saturday.

One of those rallies was scheduled for the lawn of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine -- but the rally was rained out.

Despite the bad weather, dozens of people showed up for the St. Augustine event -- angry and hoping for change.

“I’m sad, angry. We want our government to step in and make some gun safety laws,” said Lisa Katz, president of the Blue Guardians of Democracy. “We’re here to send messages to our state senators: ‘Please do something!’”

Ominous clouds hint at the rain that would wash out the March for Our Lives event in St. Augustine. (WJXT)

Women from Moms Demand Action showed their support as well, waving signs, and many speakers shared their experiences with gun violence.

March for Our Lives rallies started following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018. They were organized by the teens who survived the mass shooting.

Their last rally four years ago for stricter gun control laws attracted 1 million protesters.

Organizers say 40,000 people turned out for the March for Our Lives rally in Washington DC Saturday.

The group also scheduled rallies in more than 400 U.S. cities, covering nearly all 50 states.

Florida’s failed legislative session would have addressed the issues of universal background checks, expanding “red-flag” laws and regulating high-capacity rifle magazines in the wake of recent deadly mass shootings at a Buffalo grocery store and a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.

Nineteen Republicans responded to the call for a vote on the special legislative session -- all voting “NO.”

Right now in Florida, you have to be 21 to buy certain guns.

If you buy a gun from a dealer, background checks are required and you must wait three days before you actually get the gun.

This all comes as the Florida Supreme Court is reviewing a challenge against the state’s so-called “preemptive gun law.” The law makes it illegal for a local governing body to make it more difficult than the state’s rules to buy a gun. It also creates room for local lawmakers to be sued if they violate that law.

About the Authors:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.