Five years after toughening gun laws in the wake of the Parkland massacre, the Florida House of Representatives approved removing the requirement for gun owners to obtain an essential license to carry their firearms.
Voting took place on Friday along party lines, except for a representative from South Florida who said she should vote for her constituents, not her party.
She is a newly elected Republican Vicki López for the first time and representative of a very diverse neighborhood that includes Downtown, Brickell, Little Havana among other neighborhoods.
Despite protests from groups like Mothers in Action who fight for better gun control.
And the intense testimony of students who oppose the bill.
The Florida House of Representatives approved the proposal that allows the carrying of weapons without a license. The vote was 76 to 32 along party lines except for one Republican who voted against.
“I believe in the Second Amendment, I have guns, I always believed I had the right to defend myself, but that’s me,” says Lopez, who represents a district where 26% are Democrats. 21% Republicans and 39% Independent. .
Danny Perez, a Republican state representative, says:
“We don’t think the government should decide if a person is responsible, a person with mental capacity needs permission from the government to have these concealed weapons.”
The governor also supports wearing them openly in public view.
“Florida is one of 4 states, California, Illinois, New York and the District of Columbia that does not allow open firearms to be carried,” the governor said.
But López stresses that her obligation is to listen to the voices of those she represents who support getting a license.
“It doesn’t take away our right to bear arms, it doesn’t take away our right to defend ourselves, it gives us security, which someone who is a criminal or has mental health issues will not have. the right to carry his weapon,” he said.
In addition, she sticks to the training she received herself.
“He let me know how to use the gun, in what situations, how to do it safely.”
The bill has yet to be debated by the Florida Senate.
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