Parents head to Tallahassee to reinforce message on gun control

About 40 parents fight for tougher gun laws after Parkland school shooting

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Glenna Milberg - Reporter

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Parents of students from Parkland and Coral Springs are headed to Tallahassee on Monday to pressure Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws in the state in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead.

About 40 parents left on a bus from Coral Springs to the state capital to meet with lawmakers on the topic of gun control.

"We want our lawmakers to feel our pain and feel what we're going through," parent Shelbie Seys told Local 10 News.

Gov. Rick Scott last week announced a $450 million action plan to keep Florida students safe. His proposal calls for a ban on gun purchases for anyone younger than 21 and restricting gun purchases from the mentally ill.

"I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who is a danger to themselves or others to use a gun," Scott said Friday.

Scott's proposal will go before the Legislature, which has two weeks left before session ends.

Many students and parents want a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15 that former student Nikolas Cruz used to kill 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.

"The message that these extremely intelligent and articulate children -- our children -- have advocated last week, we'll be up there to reinforce that," parent John Willis said.

There were originally about 100 parents expected to make the trip, but less than half showed up.

Still, dozens of South Florida students and their families were already in Tallahassee Monday.

The common refrains at the event that was part rally, part lobbying, was "Not one more," "Never again" and "Enough is enough."

"We have the power over the government as the people," Stoneman Douglas student Katherine Guerra said. "This is a democracy, so as much as people think that the government has the power, we need to know that we do, and we elect our officials and we can also vote them out." 

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