Democratic lawmakers call for stricter gun laws ahead of Parkland shooting anniversary

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Florida Democrats say the approaching anniversary of the Parkland School Shooting is a time to promote legislation which they say will curb gun violence. They are proposing more than a dozen bills.

Representative Margaret Good of Sarasota wants to institute universal background checks on all gun purchases, including those between individuals, which are now exempt.

“After the Parkland shooting, I researched policies to prevent gun violence and found that 96 percent Floridians support requiring background checks with virtually every gun purchase. I also learned that in states that require background checks, there are fewer instances of gun-related crimes,” said Good.

Others bills include an assault rifle ban and red flag legislation allowing family members to tell a judge someone in their family is dangerous and should have their guns taken away. They also oppose, as does the Florida PTA, a plan to arm teachers.

“Eighty-seven percent of mass shooters showed signs of crisis. Seventy-eight percent revealed their plans ahead of time. And yet Florida still falls at the bottom of mental health funding. We need to do better, and we must not, and should not, take the easy way out by arming our teachers," said Daniella Thomas of the Florida PTA.

Most of the ideas were rejected by the Legislature’s GOP majority last year.