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FL – GUN RIGHTS – Gun rights would be expanded at churches, other places of worship under new Florida bill

FL – GUN RIGHTS – Gun rights would be expanded at churches, other places of worship under new Florida billun rights would be expanded at churches and other places of worship and for local government officials in Florida who want to carry firearms at meetings under two bills approved by a House committee Tuesday. Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee cited several shootings around the country as they supported the bills, including one last month in which security volunteer Jack Wilson fatally shot a man who opened fire in a Texas church, killing two. “Every day that this is not the law in Florida is an insult to people of faith who attend church,” said Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini. “We are probably moments away from the next Jack Wilson story, the next opportunity for someone to stand up in a church and save a life, and the failure of this bill to pass would, I think, encourage such violent acts.” While Florida doesn’t prohibit guns in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, many religious organizes worship on properties that also contain schools, ranging from preschools to universities, and guns are banned in those places. The measures were also passed as Florida’s Democrats call for more gun restrictions two years after a shooting at a Parkland high school left 17 dead. Republicans have largely ignored those calls, while the two bills approved Tuesday received bipartisan support. “I understand that sometimes gun issues are hotly contested in our society, but on this measure here, members, there really should be no contesting this. This is something we all should be voting for, because the truth is that those people who attend churches are in harm’s way,” said Republican Rep. Byron Donalds.  [full article]

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