MIAMI SPRINGS, Fla. – Rep. Charlie Crist called for the banning of assault rifles in Florida as a response to school shootings during a news conference about a new endorsement on Tuesday in Miami Springs.
Crist said he would do it by executive order on day one.
The former Florida governor, who represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is campaigning for the Democratic nomination to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“We have got to ban assault weapons now. Now! Our children deserve it. Our teachers deserve it. Most of all, our parents deserve it. How could any parent not worry now after seeing what has happened in Buffalo, Texas, and several others just in the last three days? This has got to stop,” Crist said during his speech.
A coalition of several organizations that represent teachers in Florida announced their support of Crist’s campaign to be the next Democratic gubernatorial candidate. The list included the United Teachers of Dade, a union representing about 30,000 Miami-Dade County Public Schools employees.
“We are living in a state where we have state lawmakers that are censoring what teachers can teach, that are banning books, instead of banning assault weapons,” said Karla Hernández-Mats, the president of the United Teachers of Dade.
Crist said that although he had previously supported charter schools, he no longer supports the model as it stands. He also said he wants more funding for public schools and more competitive pay. The organization’s position is DeSantis hasn’t done enough.
“I believe that public education is the equal opportunity provider in our country,” Crist said during his speech later adding, “I don’t want to take away any educational opportunities. I don’t want to hurt any students and what their parents think is best for their kids. I want to make sure that we absolutely fund public education the way it needs to be.”
The list of Democratic candidates running during the Aug. 23 primary also includes Nikki Fried, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Florida Sen. Annette Taddeo. The election is on Nov. 8.
Watch the news conference
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