While I do not believe gun control is the central component to the nation's crime problem, I do believe it is a critical element. Stricter punishments, tougher sentencing, and crime prevention, coupled with gun control, are the keys to this national crisis.
Unfortunately, after almost two decades of Republican rule, our nation has not been left any safer in terms of guns and crime. Under the Republican Congress, the Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire. This negligence has no doubt contributed greatly to the steady climb and recent spike in gun-related crimes and murders, especially in South Florida. It is clear more now than ever that gun control measures are in order. Crime in our nation has spiraled out of control and guns have become far too accessible. We need to protect the rights of responsible gun owners, while keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
Although laws pertaining to concealed weapons are a state issue, I am deeply concerned by Florida's relaxed gun control laws, particularly our state's concealed weapons laws. These laws are regularly misinterpreted and abused. I do acknowledge that we are afforded certain rights and responsibilities, yet we must be mindful, first and foremost, that we hold ourselves accountable for upholding and respecting the rule of law.
Rest assured, as gun control legislation is considered before the House of Representatives, I will continue working to reduce the number of firearms in our communities and will continue to support mandating thorough backgrounds checks on those citizens who choose to possess guns.