Gun violence has surged in the state of Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis took office, with no signs of decreasing. Violent crimes involving firearms and gun-related homicides increased at least 20% each.
For the first time since the state began collecting data 27 years ago, guns were listed as the most common weapon used in aggravated assaults.
Even though the numbers are staggering, DeSantis promised to sign a permitless concealed carry bill into law, allowing Floridians to carry firearms without so much as a simple background check.
United States Senators, Rick Scott (R-FL), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) continue to vote against even the most basic common sense gun legislation – like voting against federal legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of domestic violence.
Even after the Uvalde massacre, DeSantis prevented Democrats in the state legislature from holding a special session to address firearm violence.
In 2020, nearly 80% of all murders in Florida were committed with a firearm. According to American Progress Action, the proportion of manslaughter cases involving a gun also rose during this period, jumping by over 100%.
- Aggravated assaults with a firearm rose 34 percent from 2019 to 2020, making guns the most common weapon used in aggravated assaults in Florida—the first time this has happened since data reporting began in 1995.
- More than four years after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, young people in the state are increasingly likely to die from gun violence:
- In 2020, guns were the second-leading cause of death for youth in Florida, and child firearm deaths increased in 2021.
On average, more than 200 children and teens in Florida are killed by gun violence each year.
While the GOP pushes the baseless claim that immigration is the reason for the increase in crime in America, statistics and facts tell a different story. A majority of the guns used by the Mexican cartels originated in the United States – and more than 25% of guns used in crimes in territories, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico – come from the U.S.
In 2020, U.S. officials stopped gun traffickers attempting to smuggle more than 80 firearms—including a sniper rifle, a suppressor, and more than 60,000 rounds of ammunition—from Florida to Venezuela. Many of these weapons were purchased online or from retailers in Florida.
The National Rifle Association has spent upwards of $2 million on Florida legislative races through their Political Victory Fund, with Miami native, Sen. Marco Rubio being the recipient of over $3 million of NRA blood money.
Florida gun sales increased 43% in just two years. With over 1.4 million in sales in 2021 alone.
Republicans like to drone on about the “high crime” in Democratic-run cities and states, despite being debunked. Comparing Ruby Red Florida, with its lax gun laws, and true-Blue New York, with its strict gun laws, Florida fails miserably.
According to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) data, more than 28,000 crime guns were recovered in Florida in 2021; 80 percent of those guns were originally sold within the state, showing the deadly impact Florida gun laws are having on residents.
Numbers don’t lie, and these tell a grim story of what’s to come if Republicans like Ron DeSantis continue to prioritize culture wars, embrace weapons of war, and refuse to condemn the increasingly violent and hateful rhetoric coming from the right.
From American Progress Action’s report, it’s crystal clear that the driving force behind increased gun violence is MAGA. Help us all.
Original reporting by The Center for American Progress Action Fund.
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