Feb. 15— Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence strongly opposes newly filed proposals that would allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry handguns into bars, police stations, jails, courthouses, polling places, colleges, and professional sporting events.
The bills, filed by Sen. Dennis Baxley R- Lady Lake and Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, R-The Villages, would also allow the state’s 1.7 million permit holders to carry their weapons at Florida’s seaports. The proposals follow Sen. Greg Steube‘s flurry of firearm legislation that includes the open carry of guns in public.
“Sen. Baxley has taken the notion of guns everywhere and thrown in the kitchen sink.” said Patti Brigham, coalition co-chair and 1st vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “The idea of allowing permit holders to take their guns into bars is absurd – and incredibly dangerous. And just why would we want permit holders to take guns into polling places? These gun-happy legislators have gone too far. They are endangering the public, not protecting it.”
“Allowing guns on campus is not just incredibly short-sighted, it’s potentially lethal for college students, professors, and visitors,” said Andy Pelosi, executive director of The Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus and co-chair of The Florida Coalition To Prevent Gun Violence. “There’s a very good reason that college and university administrators and security officials are adamantly opposed to the idea. Continuing to expand concealed carry places all of our residents at risk. If these bills pass, it’s not a matter of if an innocent person is killed or injured, but when.”
The Coalition is made up of more than 120 local, state, and national organizations and includes such diverse groups as Equality Florida, Hispanic Federation, Florida PTA, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Interfaith Council of Central Florida.