This Wednesday the traditional Miami-Dade Day was celebrated in Tallahassee, when political and civic leaders from the county meet in the state capital. And on this day the legislature is also debating very critical issues for Florida, such as gun requirements.
This Miami-Dade Day in Florida’s capital is ending with a heated debate that brings Florida one step closer to eliminating firearms licenses.
Outside the Florida State Capitol, a celebration of the culture and flavors of Miami-Dade.
Followed by intense debate over a bill that would allow firearms owners in Florida to carry their guns without the license or training that is now required.
Bill HB 543, to allow anyone to carry concealed weapons without the need for a license or permit or training to learn how to use them, was approved a week ago with 76 votes in favor and 32 against by the state House of Representatives, Republican majority, during a legislative session. It is now in the senate, where a final vote is awaited.
On this county day in Tallahassee, local leaders meet with their state representatives and right now there are concerns about new gun laws.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava explained her point of view. “Just like there are other things that we regulate, it is important to protect the community and (the) people who have weapons (it is) better to have training, registration.”
For his part, Commissioner Anthony Rodriguez, who was a state legislator, said: “Yes, I have concerns, but this is not that people are going to be carrying their weapons showing them, it simply eliminates the permit part.”
Rep. Vicki Lopez was the only Republican to vote against the bill in the House that passed it by a Republican supermajority before the Tennessee school tragedy.
“It gave me a lot of anxiety to know that the children (lived) another tragedy in a school, we have to do what we can do to ensure that the children go to school,” says López.
But the massacre has not changed the position of most Republicans.
Ana Maria Rodríguez, state senator (R), assures that “the constitution already gives us the right to bear arms and it is important to remember that, that it is a right that we already have. People who are going to commit crimes, criminals are never going to follow the laws anyway.
While 28 Republican senators argue those points, 12 Democrats promise to make themselves heard.
This Wednesday the senators are discussing amendments and answering questions, while this Thursday will be the debate and the final vote.