Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s been almost year since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
This Thursday, February 14, marks one year since that tragic day when confessed gunman Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting rampage at the school killing 17 people, including 13 students, and injuring another 17 people.
On Monday survivor David Hogg, along with Fred Guttenberg who lost his daughter Jaime in the shooting, teamed up with the gun advocacy group Do Something Florida! and presented their first batch of petitions to the office of Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections.
“We are here today because it’s time to turn our grief into action,” said Gail Schwartz, whose nephew died in the massacre. “It’s time to ban the type of military grade assault weapons in the state of Florida that are used by our military overseas on our enemies on the battle field.”
The petition calls for a state constitutional amendment to be placed on the 2020 election ballot that would ban the sale of military-grade weapons in Florida.
“I don’t believe that assault weapons should be in the hands of civilians. Police officers, the military, we own a gun, I am not trying to take guns away from anybody except for people who shouldn’t have them,” said Debra Hixon whose husband Chris died in the school shooting.
“We understand that gun violence is a preventable issue and that the biggest story on any child’s mind shouldn’t be whether or not they make it out of their classroom,” said Hogg.
CBS4 News recently spoke with Dan Faires, General Manager of National Armory in Pompano Beach, for our coverage of the 1-year mark since the Parkland shooting.
We spoke with him about a host of issues related to guns, gun control and new gun laws.
He said following the changes made in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Bill, gun owners should be concerned about their rights.
“Nobody’s worried about losing their gun rights and they should be,” he told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “Because there’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes that people don’t know about it. When they start taking away one thing, there’s more coming down the pike. Florida’s a great example. In Florida, the law changed, this is only Florida, if you’re under the age of 21, you can’t buy a rifle.”
Faires was referring to the provision in the MSD law that raised the age to purchase a rifle in Florida.
He said he sees a similar concern in the effort to ban assault weapons.
After the shooting, Hogg and his some of his fellow Douglas high students created the “March For Our Lives” movement to demand gun reform now. The movement gained national attention with a huge rally last March in Washington DC.
Among the reforms sought by the group is a ban on assault weapons used in most mass shootings, restrictions on high capacity magazines and major changes to background checks.
Hogg said much has been accomplished in the last year but the mission is not over.
“We nearly double youth voter turn out for 18 to 29 years olds compared to 2014. We’ve gotten over 70 new gun laws passed with the help of groups like Moms Demand Action and other gun violence prevention organizations that are grassroots across the country. On top of that, nationally, we have significantly increased youth voter turn out. We also have hundreds of young people studying to run for office on the local level,” said Hogg.
It will take more than 700,000 signatures on petitions to get a constitutional amendment question on the ballot. Do Something Florida! said they have a fraction of that but are working on it daily to get the required number to get it on the 2020 ballot.