Ad Highlights NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre “No Guns in America’s Schools, Period” Speech at 1999 NRA Convention; Will Run March 5 – 13 Across Florida
Coalition of Moms, Students, Law Enforcement Officials, Educators, Gun Violence Survivors, and Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus to Rally Against Five Guns in Schools Bills at State Capitol Monday
Tallahassee, FL – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today released a new television ad, titled “Backpacks, Not Bullets,” that will air across Florida television between March 5 and 13. The ad highlights remarks by National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre at the 1999 NRA convention, in which he said “We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period.”
The ad urges Floridians to contact their legislators and speak out against the five separate bills the gun lobby is pushing that would allow guns in K-12 schools and force guns onto public college and university campuses against the will of the State University System. Moms recently spoke out against S.B. 176, legislation that would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus, before the bill was approved 3-2 in the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
On Monday, March 9 at 10 AM, a coalition of moms, students, law enforcement officials, educators, gun violence survivors, and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus will rally against these guns in schools bills at the State Capitol and deliver 12,000 postcards to legislators with the message “Backpacks and bullets don’t mix.”
“Our kids’ teachers enter the esteemed profession of education to teach, not to become sharpshooters. Florida lawmakers should do their jobs, too — pass laws to keep Floridians safe from gun violence instead doing the bidding of the gun lobby,” said Chryl Anderson, a volunteer with the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Allowing guns into our schools and forcing them onto our college campuses endangers faculty, students and law enforcement – backpacks and bullets just don’t mix.”
“The ad shows that the NRA once shared the common sense belief that guns don’t belong in schools but has since adopted an extreme approach to allow guns everywhere, no questions asked,” said Colin Goddard, survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and Everytown for Gun Safety Senior Policy Advocate. “As a survivor of the deadliest school shooting in American history, I know the right course of action to keep students safe is to keep guns away from dangerous people in the first place. The gun lobby’s push to force colleges to allow guns on campus against their will is dangerous and misguided.”
Further Information on Guns and Florida Schools
The five bills the gun lobby is pushing would allow guns in K-12 schools and force guns onto the campuses of public colleges and universities. They are:
- HB 4005: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus
- SB 176: Would force public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus
- HB 19: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools
- SB 180: Would let some concealed weapons licensees carry concealed guns on school property, including K-12 schools
- HB 251: Would change Florida law to decriminalize carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly, in a school safety zone, as long as the person surrenders the firearm at the earliest opportunity.
- Florida’s State University System, which includes 12 universities, their police chiefs, and the Board of Governors, opposes guns-on-campus legislation, saying it could “create new challenges in our ability to provide a safe and secure learning environment.”
- Florida State President John Thrasher and FSU Police Chief David Perry strongly oppose the legislation in the wake of FSU’s shooting on campus in November. Thrasher has said, “When it comes to guns on campus, the consequences far outweigh the positives.”
- The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators opposes the legislation.