Tampa mother advocates against the concealed carry bill

Concealed Carry

A bill passed in the Florida House would allow Floridians to conceal carry a weapon without a license.

TAMPA, Fla. — A bill to do away with concealed carry licenses passed in the Florida House Thursday.

Under House Bill 543, Floridians can conceal carry a gun without a safety course.

It’s a bill favored by republicans and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

One Tampa mother is against the bill after her daughter was shot and killed here in the Tampa Bay area.

“I wish heaven had a phone. I would call her to see how she is. I miss our conversations,” Lamaria Smith said.

On the night of Dec. 1, 2021, Smith found out her daughter wouldn’t be celebrating her 22nd birthday.

“Because the gun was in the wrong hands, my daughter was gone in 10 seconds. She was shot in the head,” Smith recalled.

The Tampa mother is now advocating against gun violence. 

“My life will never be the same, my life is sad, I don’t see a good happy day coming nowhere near in the future, I’m missing my daughter,” Smith stated.

She believes House Bill 543 is dangerous. It would allow Floridians to conceal carry a weapon without a license. 

The safety course that is currently required to get a concealed carry license would no longer be required if this bill becomes law.

The NRA advocates for the bill saying it strengthens a Floridian’s right to self-defense.

“I think it will make it easier for the wrong people to get the guns in their hands,” Smith explained.

She doesn’t want other parents to live her nightmare. 

“I just lost my daughter a year and a half ago, and my life is literally a living hell. My life has been upside down. I mean, every day constantly I think about it,” Smith said.

As the bill passes through the House, Smith is asking Florida lawmakers to think about Savannah.

“I want her back, and there is nothing I can do about it,” the Tampa mother said. 

The bill will now head to the Senate where it will need to be voted on by lawmakers.

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