Senator Audrey Gibson & Representative Lori Berman Call on Legislative Leadership to Hear Gun Safety Bills
Tallahassee, FL – Today, Senator Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) and Representative Lori Berman (D-Lantana) called on Senate President Joe Negron and Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran to hear their bills, SB 530 & HB 231, this legislative session.
SB 530 and HB 231 allow family members, household members and law enforcement officials to obtain a court order to temporarily remove a firearm where there is demonstrated evidence that a person poses a significant danger to themselves or others because of mental health crisis or violent behavior. Similar legislation has passed in California, Oregon, Indiana, and Connecticut along with proposals in another 20 states and cities.
This legislation could have potentially impacted the horrible mass shooting in Parkland. If only one of the shooter’s family members, friends, or teachers were able to seek the temporary removal of the gun or any gun from his possession knowing his unsteady past.
“With so many mass shootings and the mantra “now is not the time to talk about gun control” we will never have the discussion,” said Senator Audrey Gibson.
“Now more than ever, these bills must be heard. The most recent shooting is unacceptable and too tragic to comprehend. It is time we step up and come together to act on meaningful gun safety reform,” declared Representative Lori Berman. “As a mother, my heart breaks for these families. There are no words to describe the horror of a child not returning home from school. Florida needs to set an example for the rest of the nation by not just demanding action but taking action.”
This is what the letter says:
The Honorable Joe Negron Senate President
The Honorable Richard Corcoran Speaker of the House
February 16, 2018
Dear President Negron and Speaker Corcoran,
In light of Wednesday’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, we must act now and pass meaningful legislation that can address the issue of mass shootings and stop future tragedies. To this end, we are pleading that under your leadership, the Florida House and Senate hold hearings on SB 530/HB 231.
As we have come to know, the 19-year-old who ended so many lives was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He was described as a “troubled kid” who enjoyed showing off his firearms and whose mother would resort to calling the police to help with disciplinary issues. Students feared him and mostly stayed away from him. In September, the FBI was warned about a YouTube comment by a person with the same name as the shooter, stating “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
There are numerous accounts and reports that point to the shooter’s troubled life. Many saw something but there was no legal mechanism to respond. It is time we give family and friends a process to ensure if they do indeed say something, something can and will be done.
Our bills, SB 530/HB 231, an act relating to Risk Protection Orders, would allow a family member, household member or law enforcement personnel to obtain a court order to temporarily remove a firearm where there is demonstrated evidence that a person poses a significant danger to themselves or others because of a mental health crisis or violent behavior.
California, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, and Indiana all have some form of a risk protection order in place. As the third most populous state in the country it is certainly time we discuss and debate these legislative proposals to curb gun violence. It is also timely to hear from our constituents about their ideas on this matter in a public forum while we are all gathered in Tallahassee.
As one of the survivors of Wednesday’s shooting said, “We’re children. You guys are the adults.” It is time to act and make changes that will save lives. Let us come together as one unified legislative body and not wait another day.
We ask for your favorable consideration of our request. Sincerely,
Senator Audrey Gibson District 6
Representative Lori Berman District 90