Nikki Fried wants Special Session expanded to tackle gun violence
Nikki Fried. Image via Colin Hackley.

She called for action following a shooting in Texas where at least 19 students were killed.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants a Special Session already underway to also tackle gun violence. In the wake of a deadly school shooting in Texas, she said political leaders must act.

“I want to be completely clear: offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ is not enough,” said Fried, a Democratic candidate for Governor. “It’s past time for us to take serious and meaningful action to prevent gun violence. The Legislature must add gun violence prevention reform to the current Special Session agenda. There cannot be any more children massacred or lives destroyed by mass shootings while our government sits idly by.”

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services handles Florida’s firearm permitting process, but Fried has no power over lawmakers. Fried, the only Democrat on Florida’s Cabinet, cannot expand the call on the Special Session, which was called by Gov. Ron DeSantis to deal with escalating homeowners’ insurance costs.

Lawmakers on Tuesday also took on condominium safety rules as part of business, but can work outside the call if there is a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. That may be unnecessary, as DeSantis’ call included changes to the Florida Building Code.

It’s unlikely DeSantis will call for further gun restrictions, as the Republican leader has previously suggested he wants to see gun rights expanded. He has said he wants constitutional carry, or permitless open carry, passed during his tenure as Governor.

Fried, who angered some Democratic gun control supporters when she sued President Joe Biden’s administration for restricting firearm access for marijuana users, made clear in her statement that stopping mass shootings will be a high priority for her.

“I am completely heartbroken and sickened by the news of another horrific mass shooting today in Texas,” she said.

“While our country is still reeling from the racially motivated murders in Buffalo just 10 days ago, this is yet another devastating tragedy that took the lives of innocent elementary school students. In Florida, we know all too well the pain and trauma that senseless mass shootings cause in our lives and our communities, and our hearts go out to the victims and everyone who has been hurt by gun violence.”

The last time Florida passed any gun rights restrictions came in 2018 in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland. That legislation was signed by former Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican now serving in the U.S. Senate.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Claude Kirk the younger

    May 25, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Why the left is so stupid on this issue is beyond my comprehension.
    The logical response is to harden schools security, keep one or more armed LEO’s on campus, allow teachers and staff the concealed carry option. There, simple, problem solved.

  • Richard Bruce

    May 25, 2022 at 10:22 am

    There is no such thing as gun violence. Objects are not violent, people are.

  • Cheryl L Crane

    May 25, 2022 at 10:25 am

    There needs to be statewide buybacks of guns ln every state and then send them to Ukraine and other countries who need military help. Get them out of the us, so they won’t be stolen again, and put back on the streets.

    • Rich7553

      May 25, 2022 at 3:57 pm

      Fewer than 10% of guns used in crimes are stolen per the DOJ.

  • People Control

    May 25, 2022 at 10:50 am

    I will vote for gun control the minute you show me a gun jump up, load itself, aim itself and pull its own trigger. Until then I am for PEOPLE control through swift and sweeping change against video gaming, gambling, the widespread use of intoxicants (including liquor) to the level of abuse, and overt, commercialized sexuality, and the return to religion-based social constructs where authorities insisted upon the acceptance of personal responsibility before the granting of personal rights.

  • MgM

    May 25, 2022 at 10:53 am

    I absolutely agree that there should be a special session to address gun-violence,
    in that session,
    Permit-less Carry should be introduced and passed.

  • Brian Littrel

    May 25, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Any politician writing, pushing, or endorsing new gun legislation is unqualified for office. Not one law of the maybe thousands of gun laws across the country has stopped any gun violence. No new laws will stop people from killing, even in large numbers. It is foolish to think “action” of new laws and restrictions will stop the violence. You can’t legislate the evil out of people. The opposite of restriction is needed. People who can defend themselves can stop and limit mass shootings. Give them tax breaks if they have and/or buy ammo, guns and take yearly safety classes.

Comments are closed.


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