Amid recent mass shootings in New York and Texas as well as the Parkland massacre in Florida in 2018, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is promoting an information campaign to better inform concealed transport permit holders about how to store their weapons safely in an attempt to reduce gun violence.
“We believe increasing education about these simple safety measures will help save lives,” Fried said during the virtual press conference.
She noted that guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens, according to BeSMARTforKids.org. The Be SMART group participated in the press conference.
Fried is a gun owner herself, she said.
“I understand how to be responsible and make sure we are responsible in how we carry a gun. And I know how important it is to take simple steps to keep myself and those around me safe,” Fried said at the press conference. “We will mail this information to everyone who receives a concealed weapons license in the state and will be available to all of our licensees and licensing and tax collector offices.”
The information campaign will encourage the safe storage and behavior of firearms, for example by ensuring that ammunition is stored separately from the weapon, by modeling responsible behavior around firearms and by asking that homes children visit also secure their guns responsibly.
Fried’s press conference on Wednesday comes as testimony continues in Nikolas Cruz’s conviction trial. He was the shooter who killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County on February 14, 2018. Cruz could be put to death or sent to prison for the rest of his life, according to the South Florida Sun. Sentinel. .
More recently, mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York in May and at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas soon after, have reignited debates about how to reduce gun violence in the United States.
Fried noted that while gun control conversations tend to focus on mass shootings, we “don’t talk enough about the shootings that happen every day.”
“I believe there are responsible actions we can take to make our community safer that do not infringe on the constitutional rights of responsible gun owners, such as expanding background checks and laws on the red flag, closing loopholes, banning high capacity magazines and banning assault rifles. our streets,” Fried said at Wednesday’s press conference.
Fried is a lawyer, elected to the statewide cabinet and a Democratic candidate for governor in the August primary against U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, a Democrat. Crist is a former Republican Governor, Attorney General, and Commissioner of Education. He said he plans to ban assault rifles completely if he becomes governor.
Fried did not make the same statement. But she reaffirmed on Wednesday that she will “keep assault rifles off our streets.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis is campaigning for re-election this year and is considered a potential presidential pick for 2024.
He wants to sign a so-called “constitutional support” bill before leaving his post as governor. Constitutional carry refers to allowing people to carry weapons without a concealed carry license.