The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund plans to spend more than $200,000 on an ad campaign, in opposition to classroom teachers carrying firearms on school campuses in Florida.
The gun-control group, largely funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will include a digital billboard truck that will drive around Tallahassee all next week, as state lawmakers enter the sixth week of the nine-week legislative session.
The campaign also will include full page ads in some of the state’s largest newspapers, including the Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tallahassee Democrat, St. Lucie County News and Bradenton Herald.
And it will feature digital display ads in online news outlets statewide.
A main issue is that over the past year, classroom teachers were excluded from the so-called “Guardian” program that would allow certain school staff to be armed. Now, lawmakers have proposed to include classroom teachers in the program.
The original guardian legislation last year, was part of a sweeping law created in response in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in February 2018, where 17 students and staff were killed.
The Florida House was scheduled to vote on the bill this week, but leadership pulled the proposal off the agenda. That happened on the same day that several hundred students from around the state traveled to Tallahassee to protest the scheduled vote.
Earlier in the week, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group affiliated with Everytown for Gun Safety, delivered boxes of petitions signed by more than 8,000 Floridians calling on Republican leaders — House Speaker Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano — to show support for legislation that would require criminal background checks for all gun sales.
Polls show that Floridians overwhelmingly support requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Yet proposals to close loopholes that exempt private gun sales from background checks have been stalled in the Legislature this spring.