HB 1223 and HB 17 Would Walk Back Sensible Gun Violence Prevention Laws on Age Restrictions and Waiting Periods Passed in the Wake Of The Mass Shooting At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School In Parkland, Florida.

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2024 – It has been six years since 17 students and staff were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of this tragedy, the Florida legislature passed several measures to prevent a horror of this magnitude from ever happening again in the Sunshine State. Now, legislators have introduced bills to strip away these protections and leave Floridians vulnerable to gun violence, which continues to rage in the state. Leading with a legacy of expertise in gun violence prevention, Brady has condemned these bills.

Fred Guttenberg, gun violence survivor and senior advisor to Brady, said:

“My daughter Jaime will always be 14, the age she was when she was shot in her classroom in Parkland. Jaime didn’t get to learn to drive, she didn’t get to grow up, and the only place I can visit her is at her grave. Had these sensible gun violence prevention laws been in place before February 14th, 2018, I would still have my daughter. That gun-lobby-backed politicians want to roll them back should outrage every parent and every person throughout Florida.
“Mandatory waiting periods are supported by 77% of Americans, but HB 17 threatens to remove that safeguard. Establishing waiting periods before firearms can be transferred to purchasers provides a necessary buffer to help protect people who might be reaching for a firearm in crisis. Legislators have the opportunity to protect children and families and save lives by refusing to move these dangerous bills forward. They must block this legislation and prevent any other parents from ever having to know what it is like to bury their child.

Robert Schentrup, gun violence survivor and co-founder of Brady’s youth arm, Team ENOUGH said:

“It is ludicrous that lawmakers are even considering these bills. I will never get to see my sister Carmen again because the 19-year-old Parkland shooter was able to legally purchase an AR-15. There’s nearly universal agreement that at under age 21, your brain isn’t developed enough to drink alcohol, but Florida lawmakers think 18 is mature enough to purchase a killing machine? Their logic defies common sense. Six of the nine deadliest mass shootings from 2018 to 2022 were carried out by individuals under 21. There’s a clear pattern here and lawmakers should heed it as a warning.
“If the current age restrictions were in place in 2018, I would still get to hear Carmen laugh, watch her grow up, and get to experience life with her here on Earth. How many more people – even children – need to die before Florida’s leaders will say enough is enough?”

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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