Is Florida too easy on gun owners? (includes video story)

Florida has the 19th highest rate of gun violence in America, averaging an annual death rate of 2,849 people. Deaths rose by 15% from 2011 to 2020.

In April 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 543, allowing concealed carry without a permit to anyone who is 21 years or older. It went into effect in July.

Some Florida residents believe it will increase gun violence in the state.

“I just want to feel safe,” said Maria Victoria Chacon Briceño, the former leader of Miami’s chapter of the Students Demand Action, an organization that advocates for gun control. “I want to make sure that guns are in the hands of people that are well trained and are just well educated on how to be a safe gun owner.”

Sophia Bolivar is a senior at FIU majoring in digital journalism and focusing her studies on criminal justice. Sharing a love for both writing and photography has led her to pursue a career in journalism.

Melissa Krikler is majoring in digital broadcasting with an area of concentration in psychology. She wishes to continue her studies after to receive a master’s.