FL lawmakers on President's gun control plan

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 18:18:01-05

When President Obama laid out his plans for executive action Tuesday to streamline background checks for those buying and selling firearms - and beef up enforcement - he expressed surprise that gun control has become a partisan issue. 

But Florida Representative Matt Hudson, a Republican whose district includes Hendry and northern Collier Counties, doesn't think gun control measures should be an executive decision.

"I do not believe it's the President's responsibility by executive order to circumvent the Congress of the United States, and take away people's Second Amendment rights," Hudson said. "Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is not the way to solve crime."

Democratic Senator Dwight Bullard, who also represents Hendry and Collier Counties, believes the Presiden'ts plan to increase and enforce background checks is not heavy-handed.

"He's not being overzealous," Bullard said. "He's not taking it out of Congress's hands in terms of being able to address the issue, but he's really laying out a series of recommendations that are critically important."

As far as the issue of whether or not guns should be allowed on college campuses, Bullard points to the mass shooting at Florida State University in November of 2014 to illustrate his objection.

"When a parent sends their child off to the University of Florida, or Florida Gulf Coast University here in the region, they don't to go under the belief that someone's going to be walking around the campus armed," he said.

But Hudson points out that many campus shootings have happened in gun-free zones, and believes that college students who have a permit should be allowed to carry on campus.

"We're only talking about people who are 21 years or older anyway," Hudson said. "I think there is much hysteria about this, unnecessarily."