February 16, 2018 Press Release

Gwen Graham Calls for Immediate Suspension of AR-15 and Assault Weapon Permits and Sales

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham is calling on Governor Rick Scott to issue an emergency order immediately suspending the permitting and sales of AR-15s and assault weapons like the one used in Wednesday’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

“The time for talk was before the shooting — we need immediate actions to stem the tide of violence and mass shootings being inflicted upon our state. Listen to the children who survived this shooting and the mothers who lost their kids. I stand with them in demanding our leaders take action now,” Graham said.

“Governor Rick Scott should immediately suspend the permitting and sale of the AR-15s and assault weapons like the one that killed 17 Floridians on Wednesday. These are weapons of war that have murdered countless Americans and continue to threaten our communities every day that they are sold,” Graham said.

“It is disgraceful that a troubled 18-year-old can purchase a weapon of war at all. It’s even more shameful that he can purchase one faster and easier than a handgun,” Graham said. “Instead of taking action, the legislature is taking a four-day weekend. They should work every remaining day of this session and for as long as it takes to address the crisis of violence we face.”

The semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle, which was used to murder 17 people and injure more than a dozen others on Wednesday in Parkland, Florida, is the same weapon that was used in some of the most recent and deadliest shootings in America including at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 first graders and six teachers were murdered in 2012.

“After the largest mass shooting in modern American history, Rick Scott sat on his hands. After 13 school shootings, Rick Scott looked the other way. After the massacre of children, Rick Scott won’t even say the words common sense gun safety laws,” Graham said. “If Rick Scott and Republicans in Tallahassee won’t even confront the problem we face, how can we expect it to ever stop? Rick Scott’s legacy will forever be covered in blood.”

Graham is calling for the immediate suspension of sales as a temporary measure and for the legislature to finally act on common sense gun safety proposals that she and other Democrats have demanded for years, including strengthening background checks, banning large capacity ammunition magazines, removing guns from domestic abusers, and imposing a ban on assault weapons.

“To our elected officials in The Legislature: It is time to act and engage. Don’t turn off the TV, don’t vacation over your long weekend. Listen to what the students in that school have to say. Listen to the grief-stricken parents. They are demanding your action and I am standing with them,” Graham said. “To the families in Parkland, I hear you. My heart is breaking for all of you, and I promise to do all that I can to create the change we need to prevent tragedies like this in the future.”