Parkland students begin trip to Tallahassee in search of legislative action
A woman places flowers at one of 17 crosses placed for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland.

school shooting protest

Students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting are traveling to Tallahassee on Tuesday in search of legislative action that can prevent a future massacre like the one they experienced.

Meetings with Attorney General Pam Bondi, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Senate President Joe Negron and other legislative leaders have been set up for Wednesday, according to student group leader, Jaclyn Corin.

“This is not about Republicans or Democrats,” Corin said, “but about the 17 lives that we have lost — they will not die in vain.”

As of now, the teenager-led #NeverAgain movement is focused on lobbying four Senate bills: SB 1476, which could repeal a provision that does not allow state or local government agencies to keep track of privately-owned firearm; SB 838, which would require a three-day waiting period for private handgun sales; SB 196 that bans the sale and transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines; and SB 1434, which would boost funding for mental health in schools.

The last bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, is the only one with Senate leadership backing. The other Democrat-championed bills eyed by the group of students are unlikely to move in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“Our hope is that the Senate may have a Special Session in the future using our suggestions for new bills,” Corin said.

While students will be lobbying for these proposals, the next Senate president, Bill Galvano, is crafting legislation that would make it illegal for someone under 21 to buy an assault rifle and would impose a three-day waiting period for purchasing assault rifles. Negron has also said he intends to propose $100 million in mental health funding for schools.

As the Senate leads the conversation on proposals in wake of the mass shooting, the House has yet to hatch a concrete plan on what it seeks to do. While sources tell Florida Politics the efforts will likely mirror those being talked about in the Senate, Corcoran has been vague on what he wants to do.

“I look forward to working with the Governor and Senate to find solutions that fulfill the most fundamental mission of government — to keep our citizens — our children —safe,” Corcoran said.

As the student head to the Capital to march and talk to legislators, Leon County schools will excuse absences of students who wish to  participate in events occurring at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“I just want people to take action to fight for what they think needs to be done even if that’s only mental healthcare and no gun reform or just the opposite,” David Hogg, one of the students who survived, said.

“I don’t care how it’s done, I just know I don’t want to see anyone else die.”

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.

One comment

  • Tricia K.

    February 20, 2018 at 7:42 am

    And these informed, passionate, savvy students who are of voting age will vote for candidates who want to pass common-sense laws about controlling weapons, and elect politicians who aren’t beholden to the NRA.

Comments are closed.


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