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Activists: Say 'no' to guns on campus


Activists are launching an aggressive campaign against legislative proposals that would allow guns on Florida campuses.

The groups, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, have a new television ad that will air across Florida. It features a clip of National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre telling the 1999 NRA convention that schools should be "absolutely gun free."

"What was true then should be true now," the ad says. "So why are Florida's lawmakers trying to allow guns into schools and force them onto college campuses?"

The TV spot references two pieces of legislation, one of which would allow permitted individuals to carry concealed weapons on college and university properties. The bill (HB 4005/SB 176) has already won the approval of one Senate panel, despite strong objections from Florida State University President John Thrasher and the state Board of Governors.

The other bill (HB 19/SB 180) would allow designated teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons on public school campuses.

The NRA has come out in support of both proposals, saying they will increase security on college campuses and at public schools. But Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America believes otherwise.

"Our kids' teachers enter the esteemed profession of education to teach, not to become sharpshooters," said Chryl Anderson, who volunteers with the organization's Florida chapter. "Florida lawmakers should do their jobs, too -- pass laws to keep Floridians safe from gun violence instead doing the bidding of the gun lobby."

In addition to the ad, the group will hold a rally at the Capitol on Monday.