Amy Beth Bennett-Pool/Getty Images, Scott Olson/Getty Images
- Ron DeSantis quietly removed the need for training or background checks to carry concealed firearms.
- Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg called DeSantis a “pathetic, small-minded individual.”
- Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the 2018 Parkland school shooting.
Parents of children killed in the Parkland school shooting have condemned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new law that allows Floridians to carry concealed firearms without a permit.
“Constitutional Carry is in the books,’ DeSantis said on Monday after signing H.B. 543 into law in a small, private ceremony. A brief statement from his office on the signing said the law “strengthens Floridians’ Second Amendment rights.”
Fred Guttenberg, the parent of Parkland shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, told the AP that DeSantis was a “weak, pathetic, small-minded individual” for signing the bill.
Jaime Guttenberg, then 14, was killed in the 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“I will chase him down across the state as well as possibly across the country,” Fred Guttenberg told the AP. “Ron DeSantis today put his signature to a bill that guarantees there will be more Jaimes.”
“Ron, your weakness won’t make you less responsible. The inevitable next shooting because of this will be because of you,” Guttenberg separately wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Manuel Oliver, whose 17-year-old son Joaquin died in Parkland shooting, also tweeted on Monday protesting DeSantis’ new bill.
“The next victims are on you @GovRonDeSantis. It’s time to walk out and disrupt your stupidity,” Oliver tweeted on Monday.
—Manuel Oliver (@manueloliver00) April 3, 2023
Guttenberg is an outspoken advocate for gun control. After his daughter’s death, he co-wrote a book called “American Carnage,” which aims to dispel misinformation related to gun violence.
Oliver is also an activist, and started a non-profit organization “Changetheref,” which aims to raise awareness about mass shootings. He was arrested and given a citation on March 23 in Washington, D.C., after he shouted at lawmakers during a House hearing on gun laws.
The permitless concealed carry law DeSantis signed on Monday will take effect from July 1. It allows all Floridians who are licensed to bear arms to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit.
This law also means that background checks and training won’t be required for people who want to carry concealed firearms in public.
DeSantis signing this concealed carry law comes just a week after a shooter opened fire at The Covenant School in Nashville, killing three children and three school staff.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press release issued on Monday that it was “shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill behind closed doors.”
“This is the opposite of common-sense gun safety,” she added.
DeSantis’ new bill is the latest in a slate of controversial laws he has passed since becoming governor in 2019. These include restricting abortion services and the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which limits what teachers can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Guttenberg, Oliver, and a representative for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.