DeSantis Rejects Gun Violence Directive

Shown at the commemoration and balloon release L-R is Marvin Boone and Ron Davis (Charles Betts Photo)

Gov. Ron DeSantis is once again declaring that Florida won’t go along with a directive from the Biden administration, this time in regard to the advisory on gun violence announced this week by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
Murthy, the nation’s top doctor, declared gun violence a public health crisis last week and released a 39-page report called “Firearm Violence: A Public Health Crisis in America.” In it, he reports how gun-related injuries have become the leading cause of death for children and adolescents since 2020, surpassing motor vehicle crashes, cancer, drug overdoses, and poisoning.

Murthy’s advisory lists specific policy changes, including some that would require congressional approval. But it was met with a resounding no by DeSantis.

“During COVID, unelected bureaucrats used ‘public health’ as a pretext to deprive citizens of their rights — and I signed legislation to protect Floridians from government overreach,” the governor posted on X on Wednesday afternoon. “Now, Biden’s Surgeon General is attempting to violate the Second Amendment through the ‘public health’ bureaucracy. “

“We will not comply,” DeSantis added. “Florida will always reject the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional power-grabs.”

Among the policy changes Murthy listed are universal background checks, expanding purchaser licensing laws, banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use, and creating safer conditions in public places related to firearm use and carry.

In 2022, 48,204 people in the United States died from firearm-related injuries, including suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths. That’s 8,000 more lost lives than in 2019 and more than 16,000 more lives lost since 2010, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Second Amendment advocates consider Desantis’ record on guns as mixed. While they applaud his signing legislation last year to allow Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit, they remain unhappy that he has not pushed for the Legislature to pass an “open carry” law, despite publicly saying that he supported it.

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