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Giffords Florida, Law Enforcement, Doctors Call for Florida Legislators to Stop “Anyone With a Gun” Bill

Miami, FL — Yesterday, Giffords Florida, the gun violence prevention organization founded by Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, held a press conference calling on Florida’s legislators to stop Governor DeSantis’ “anyone with a gun” bill that would allow almost anyone in the state to carry a concealed gun in public without a background check or training. Giffords Senior Advisor, former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, was joined by retired Chief of Police David Magnusson, Dr. Robin Starks, Police Training Advisor and Law Enforcement Professional, and Pediatrician Dr. Robin Straus-Furlong. 

Giffords Senior Advisor Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell:

“My family, like so many of us that live here in Florida, came to the United States looking to escape violence in our home countries, looking for a safe place to raise our children. Unfortunately, that is not the case now here in America. We have a gun violence epidemic in the United States. We know that this epidemic is killing our children every single day and it is the number one cause of death for children in America. In 2021, we lost more than 3,000 Floridians to gun violence. And we know that if permitless carry passes, our state is going to experience higher rates of violence and crime. Our families, our children and our communities shouldn’t be faced with the constant fear of a shooting when they drop their kids off at school or when they’re going to the theater to see a movie. Florida’s gun laws are already too weak. Allowing people to carry weapons almost anywhere would make these laws even weaker. We are here to say directly to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature that we are going to fight back. We are not going to allow this reckless bill to pass through the legislature. Please, Floridians, families, amigos join us in fighting this legislation.”

Retired Police Chief David Magnusson:

“Throughout my law enforcement career, the well being of the rank and file, the men and women who were out there each and every day and night, were my topmost concern. Permitless carry is bad for cops. There’s nothing woke about safeguarding those who safeguard us. I am strongly against permitless carry as a citizen of the state of Florida, but even more so as a law enforcement professional.”

Dr. Robin Starks, Police Training Advisor and Law Enforcement Professional:

“Gun violence has taken the toll of members of the Miami community. There are mothers, there are fathers, there are grandmothers, siblings that are still affected by the gun violence that has taken place. The permitless carry of a weapon should not be permitted, and I say this as a training advisor for over 15 years with Miami Dade College, and as a certified defensive tactics and firearms instructor. It is paramount for every individual to be trained properly in the use of a firearm.”

Dr. Robin Straus Furlong, Board Member of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Co-Chair of the Gun Violence Task Force:

“I’m a mother, grandmother, pediatrician and proud member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This organization strongly opposes HB 543, SB 150, that concealed carry of weapons and firearms without a license. Since 2017, firearm injuries have surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death in children. Keeping our children safe should not be a partisan issue. Easier access to handguns and eliminating training requirements is not harm reduction but rather will greatly endanger the lives of Florida children. For this reason, the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes this legislation and any effort to weaken gun violence prevention laws.”


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