More than 28,000 petitions signed by Floridians seeking an end to gun violence were delivered to Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday at the state Capitol. In addition to petitions, organizers came with personal stories of tragedy.
In addition to passing four gun bills, lawmakers also killed revisions to the controversial Stand Your Ground legislation. And early Wednesday the Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Palm Beach man who was denied the right to use "Stand Your ground" as a defense.
Richard Martinez is quick to say that he didn’t give gun violence much thought, until his 20-year-old son Michael was gunned down at a Santa Barbara college just over a month ago.
Now, Martinez is delivering thousands of petitions to policy makers at every level of government, including 28,000 that were delivered to Scott.
“My son goes to college... and he’s dead," Martinez said. "I didn’t do anything until my son got killed, right? Well, I’m telling you, don’t wait till your kids get killed.”
Martinez isn’t alone. Erin Lafferty’s mom was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“It’s not normal for a 47-year-old woman to go to work in an elementary school and not come home from work," Lafferty said. "She wasn’t a Marine, she wasn’t a police officer, she was an educator and a really good one.”
All together, three dozen people participated Wednesday. They said their effort is young and will grow stronger.
“This is not going away. We’re not going anywhere,” said Christina Anderson, with Mom's Demand Action.
As the survivors left the Capitol, they left with the knowledge that this is a pro-gun state.
Because of the 2014 legislature, gun owners who feel threatened can fire a warning shot. Kids can point their fingers like a pistol and not be expelled from school, insurance companies can't charge you more if you own a gun, and applying for concealed weapons permits will be more convenient.