Stoneman Douglas parents to attend Florida Constitution Review Commission hearing

Parents say new gun reform law isn't enough

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School families are on their way to St. Petersburg to push again for tougher gun restrictions after they say state lawmakers did not do enough with the gun reform law passed late last week.

About two dozen parents with the Kids First, Politics Second group boarded a bus early Tuesday, leaving from Coral Springs, to head over to the west coast to attend a public hearing held by the Florida Constitution Review Commission.

The commission rarely meets, but when it does, it holds public hearings around the state to get input from Floridians about potential changes to the state constitution.

"We're going to the CRC, which is the Constitutional Revision Commission, which is designated under our Constitution to meet every 20 years to go through the Constitution, to hear from people in the state and decide what needs to be changed or added to the Constitution,"  Parkland parent John Willis said. 

The parents previously went to Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers for gun control measures, and now they're taking their mission to the CRC.

"The message is that this community is hurting and that we clearly need gun laws that have been changed and that need to be continued to be changed, but we want to keep them as part of our Florida Constitution. The only way to do that is for voters to decide, put it on the ballot and see if we can get these new laws to stick," Shelbie Seys said. 

Parents said they are pleased that Gov. Rick Scott took action by raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, but they want more.

"We always said there was a lot that needed to be done and that it was an uphill battle, so this is, I guess, phase 2 of it," Seys said. 

"They never did an assault weapons ban, so there's a provision to add an assault weapons ban in Florida, and the recent polling out of FAU and several other institutions seem to indicate that there is enough support in Florida for an amendment, which needs 60 percent of the vote in November," Willis added.

The public hearing is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The group will arrive back in Parkland later in the evening.