Renewed calls for Florida gun control after mass shooting near Hialeah: Gun Control
Florida is facing fresh calls for gun safety laws after a shooting at a rap concert in Miami left two dead and 20 injured early Sunday morning.
Police are still searching for the gunmen.
"These gun-violence driven murderers...they're targeting individuals and hitting innocent people that have nothing to do with their beef. Ruining families. Harming mothers," said Miami-Dade County Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III in a news conference Monday. As Ramirez spoke, a father of one of the victims interrupted, shouting "You all killed my kid."
The shooting remains under investigation, but it is drawing attention to Florida's checkered history with gun control. The state passed a wave of new gun laws after the Parkland shooting in 2018.
But since then, gun restrictions have been stripped away in Florida law.
Earlier in May, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation that would further restrict local governments from enacting their own, tougher gun laws.
"You have fought against efforts to prevent gun violence & your signing of a preemption law punishing cities who try to pass gun safety measures only ensures we are at greater risk," Parkland father Fred Guttenberg tweeted at Gov. DeSantis after the Miami shooting. "I had hoped for more from you."
Guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The new law widens an existing state ban on local governments instituting their own gun control measures to include "oral instructions" that could come from a law enforcement agency.
Proponents of the law argue it closes the final loophole used by local governments to enact gun control.
"We’re dealing with a fundamental constitutional right," said Rep. Cord Byrd (R- Neptune Beach) when the law was being debated. "I brought this forward so that local governments will stop violating their rights and stop wasting taxpayer money."
Opponents, mainly Democrats, warn cities and counties shouldn't be held back and punished for trying to put gun safety measures into place.
"This is a place where, lets be truthful, we've had Parkland. This is a place where we had the Pulse Nightclub shooting. This is a place where we've had countless other shootings," State Sen. Bobby Powell (D-Palm Beach County) told CBS12 News in an interview. "When we continue to relax regulations on gun ownership and people being able to get their hands on firearms, we'll continue to have the problems that we're having."
Other gun safety advocates are seeking changes at a federal level. Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo told CBS News' Face the Nation that gun violence is a "public health epidemic."
"They need to come out of their own corners, the left and the right, and come to the middle, which is where most Americans are," Acevedo said. "We need to have universal background checks. We need to make burglarizing these licensed gun stores a federal crime with mandatory sentencing. And we need the federal government, and both sides, to address this issue because without legislation, without certainty as it relates to holding these criminals accountable. We're never going to get through the summer, without much more death and distress."