Residents at Orlando rally call for action to prevent gun violence

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Moms, students and survivors fed up with gun violence are using their voices to stand up for all the lives lost.Wednesday, Moms Demand Action and Florida Rising got people together to commemorate shooting victims as well as call for a ban on assault rifles. It comes after recent mass shootings like the one where eight people were killed at a Texas outlet mall just weeks ago. They’re also reflecting as next month marks seven years since 49 people were killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting. “I could’ve died in this building right behind us,” Pulse survivor Ricardo Negron-Almodovar said. The survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting told a crowd that seven years later, things feel scarier. “Today in Florida, we’re less safe than we were that night,” Negron-Almodovar said. A bill that would lower the age to own a gun in Florida, coupled with a permitless concealed carry law set to take effect in July, have the group demanding change. “We have been fighting gun violence prevention for years but it is time for an assault weapon ban,” said Gay Valimont, the Florida legislative lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.As part of its Wake Up Wednesday initiative, Florida Rising joined Moms Demand Action to host a rally calling for gun reform. “It’s literally fear that we feel every single day just leaving our homes,” Lee Perry of Florida Rising said. “No amount of voter suppression in this state will silence the voices of young people and we pledge to make our voices heard at the ballot box in 2024,” Alexis Dorman of FSU’s Students Demand Action said. One student says the trauma is too much to process, especially after losing a 14-year-old cousin in the Parkland shooting. “The shooting itself lasted only minutes but for me and my family, the aftermath is never ending,” said Sam Schwartz, a family member of a Parkland shooting victim. Pine Hills residents say it’s tearing communities apart. “If we ever get an assault weapon ban, we would still need help with all the other root causes of gun violence,” said Seven Charlestin of March for Our Lives Pine Hills. “We live in very unsettled times and crime is rising, people are fearful and so they’re looking for solutions, so I get it, but I own a business, a gun shop that’s been around since 1886,” Carey Baker said. Baker, a former Republican state lawmaker and owner of a gun shop in Mt. Dora, believes the problem goes beyond the weapons. “I’m an NRA instructor. I believe all of us should have good gun training, gun safety, rules and laws and we should be responsible. And honest gun owners are,” Baker said. “Our problem is all confined the criminal element and if we address that problem, then we solve our violence issue.”One of the student speakers who lost a loved one in the Parkland High School shooting said he’s planning to host a sit-in in Washington, D.C., next month.It’ll happen the same week as the seven-year mark of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.Top headlines: 2-hour search for missing Florida kayaker ends with arrest Tickets on sale for Brightline trips between Orlando and South Florida Police: Woman accused of trying to snatch 6-year-old in Daytona Beach says she was ‘jealous’

Moms, students and survivors fed up with gun violence are using their voices to stand up for all the lives lost.

Wednesday, Moms Demand Action and Florida Rising got people together to commemorate shooting victims as well as call for a ban on assault rifles.

It comes after recent mass shootings like the one where eight people were killed at a Texas outlet mall just weeks ago.

They’re also reflecting as next month marks seven years since 49 people were killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

“I could’ve died in this building right behind us,” Pulse survivor Ricardo Negron-Almodovar said.

The survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting told a crowd that seven years later, things feel scarier.

“Today in Florida, we’re less safe than we were that night,” Negron-Almodovar said.

A bill that would lower the age to own a gun in Florida, coupled with a permitless concealed carry law set to take effect in July, have the group demanding change.

“We have been fighting gun violence prevention for years but it is time for an assault weapon ban,” said Gay Valimont, the Florida legislative lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

As part of its Wake Up Wednesday initiative, Florida Rising joined Moms Demand Action to host a rally calling for gun reform.

“It’s literally fear that we feel every single day just leaving our homes,” Lee Perry of Florida Rising said.

“No amount of voter suppression in this state will silence the voices of young people and we pledge to make our voices heard at the ballot box in 2024,” Alexis Dorman of FSU’s Students Demand Action said.

One student says the trauma is too much to process, especially after losing a 14-year-old cousin in the Parkland shooting.

“The shooting itself lasted only minutes but for me and my family, the aftermath is never ending,” said Sam Schwartz, a family member of a Parkland shooting victim.

Pine Hills residents say it’s tearing communities apart.

“If we ever get an assault weapon ban, we would still need help with all the other root causes of gun violence,” said Seven Charlestin of March for Our Lives Pine Hills.

“We live in very unsettled times and crime is rising, people are fearful and so they’re looking for solutions, so I get it, but I own a business, a gun shop that’s been around since 1886,” Carey Baker said.

Baker, a former Republican state lawmaker and owner of a gun shop in Mt. Dora, believes the problem goes beyond the weapons.

“I’m an NRA instructor. I believe all of us should have good gun training, gun safety, rules and laws and we should be responsible. And honest gun owners are,” Baker said. “Our problem is all confined the criminal element and if we address that problem, then we solve our violence issue.”

One of the student speakers who lost a loved one in the Parkland High School shooting said he’s planning to host a sit-in in Washington, D.C., next month.

It’ll happen the same week as the seven-year mark of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

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