Boycott spring break until Florida enacts new gun laws, Stoneman Douglas survivor says

Students step up activism ahead of national march on Washington

By Tim Swift - Digital Editor

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg (right).

PARKLAND, Fla. - Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and activist David Hogg suggested Saturday that students should boycott trips to Florida for spring break until lawmakers enact gun legislation.

"Let's make a deal; Do not come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed," Senior David Hogg said on Twitter. "These politicians won't listen to us so maybe they'll listen to the billion-dollar tourism industry in Florida."

Visit Florida estimates that tourists bring more than $100 billion to the state each year. The organization estimates that the majority of students come to Florida for spring break during March and April.

Wendy Glaab, 60, of Fonthill, Ontario, Canada, was among the first to respond. "I like many Canadians travel to Florida from time to time to escape our winter. I can’t speak for others but I will not be returning until meaningful gun control legislation is in place."

Hogg's comments come after several companies have distanced themselves from the National Rifle Association after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14. On Saturday, Delta and United airlines ended discount programs for NRA members.

Axios reported Saturday that Bank of America is looking into how it does business with companies that manufacture AR-15 rifles, the weapon used by Cruz and other mass shooters.

"Over 10 companies have severed their ties to the NRA in the last 24 hours. The impact we’re making is astounding," Stoneman Douglas student Sofie Whitney said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a number of changes to the state's gun laws. Scott said he support raising the age to buy an AR-15 rifle. He also proposed strengthening background checks to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people and banning bump stocks, a piece of equipment that enables a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster.

President Donald Trump has echoed Scott's positions on gun law while arguing that teachers should be armed inside schools. Scott does not believe teachers should be armed.

The NRA opposes raising the age limit to buy rifles and banning bump stocks.

The student activists said they welcomed Scott's proposals, but that those changes fall short of their demands, which include a ban on weapons like the AR-15 rifle.

Others replying to Hogg on Twitter suggested that musical acts cancel concerts in Florida until changes are made to the state's gun laws. The Twitter users cited decisions by Bruce Springsteen and other musicians to cancel tour stops in North Carolina after the state passed a law some viewed as discriminatory  toward transgender people.

Hogg and other Stoneman Douglas students have been highly visible in recent days on national television shows, promoting their cause. The students are planning a protest in Washington next month. The March for Our Lives is set for March 24.

Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres and the Gucci Co. have all donated thousands of dollars to the student group since the shooting. 

Copyright 2018 by WPLG The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.