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Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Meets with Marjory Stoneman Douglas Survivors

Giffords Florida, Florida Lawmakers Call Out Governor DeSantis’s Dangerous “Anyone with a Gun” Bill

Parkland, FL — On Saturday, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Afterwards, Giffords Florida held a press conference with survivors Anthony Montalto (father of Gina Montalto) and Manny Oliver (father of Joaquin Oliver), as well as Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Jared Moskowitz, State Representative Christine Hunschofsky, and State Representative Dan Daley. 

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“Five years ago, 17 precious lives were taken too soon. Countless other lives were forever changed and a community was torn apart by senseless gun violence. I was honored to visit the Parkland community this weekend and meet with the courageous survivors. We will always stand with you and won’t stop fighting for a safer future in Florida.”

Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Giffords Senior Advisor:

“Our community in South Florida has been torn apart by gun violence too many times. We will never forget the victims and survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As a mother and survivor of gun violence, I am committed to creating ‘un futuro sin violencia’ for our children. Governor DeSantis’s reckless ‘Anyone with a Gun’ bill will only worsen the gun violence epidemic our state is facing. Giffords Florida stands with the courageous leaders in the Florida legislature who are standing up against this reckless legislation and we urge our fellow Floridians to make their voices heard to stop this.”


Why Permitless Carry Is Bad for Florida:

  • Studies show that weakening public carry laws is associated with a 13–15% increase in violent crime rates, as well as an 11% increase in rates of homicides committed with handguns.
  • One recent study found that when states weakened their concealed carry laws and removed provisions like live fire training and violent misdemeanor prohibitions—both of which Florida currently has—they experienced a 22% increase in gun assaults and a 35% increase in gun homicides. 
  • The current law ensures that people with a history of violent or risky behavior cannot carry firearms in public places. Between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, 7,605 Florida residents with a disqualifying history were denied concealed carry permits. Permitless carry would strip these important provisions. 
  • The state of Florida requires 1,200 hours of training to obtain a license to cut hair, 500 hours of training to obtain a massage therapist license, and 240 hours of training to become a licensed manicurist. If Florida passes permitless carry, the state will require zero hours of training for people to carry a loaded firearm in public. 

Floridians Oppose Permitless Carry:

  • Recent polling by Giffords and Global Strategy Group shows that over three quarters of Miami-Dade voters say gun violence (77%) was very important to their vote in November—more than inflation (75%), immigration (66%), or abortion (62%).
  • Floridians, especially Hispanic voters, oppose permitless carry: 61% Floridians and 71% Hispanic voters oppose permitless carry, which Governor DeSantis has promised to pass.
  • Over two-thirds of Miami-Dade voters oppose permitless carry (68%) with 60% of voters strongly opposing the policy. 
    • This opposition spans party registration and race. A majority of Republicans, DeSantis voters, gun owners (59%), and white voters (55%) oppose permitless carry. 
    • After hearing the policy would allow anyone who can legally purchase a firearm to carry a loaded gun publicly, along with examples of who those carriers would be, voters’ opposition grew by 12 points (68% to 80%) and strong opposition by 13 points (60% to 73%).



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