Steve Frappier was one of the lucky ones in baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6.
As a gunman abruptly opened fire that afternoon, killing five and wounding six, Frappier escaped injury when a bullet miraculously struck the laptop in his backpack instead of him.
Frappier, a former Coconut Grove resident who moved to Atlanta last summer, is taking that life-changing experience and turning it into advocacy.
He has joined Everytown for Gun Safety and other national gun-control organizations in calling on Florida lawmakers to oppose a slew of NRA-backed measures this spring that would make it easier for conceal-carry permit-holders to have guns in public places.
Among those measures is one that now hits close to home for Frappier: Allowing concealed guns in airport terminals.
Some conservative lawmakers argue the Fort Lauderdale airport tragedy might have had a different outcome or might have ended sooner with fewer casualties had concealed-weapons permit-holders been legally allowed to carry their guns in baggage claim.
The shooting lasted less than 90 seconds.
“That type of legislation actually feels like the survivors are being blamed — as if we should have been able to have been armed and done something about it,” Frappier said.
Frappier’s story is one of many that advocates from Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America hope will resonate with lawmakers as the two groups host a lobby day at the Florida Capitol on Tuesday.
Photo credit: A bullet was lodged in Steve Frappier’s laptop after suspected shooter Esteban Santiago opened fire in baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6. Frappier has become a gun-safety advocate and is speaking out against proposals in the Florida Legislature that would allow the open-carrying of guns and allow guns in airports and other areas that are currently “gun-free zones.” (c/o Facebook)