Students meet with Florida state leaders

Posted at 10:53 AM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 18:50:23-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) —  Students from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in a shooting rampage split into several groups to meet with lawmakers and other state leaders in the state's capital.

FULL COVERAGE: Parkland school shooting

One group met with Attorney General Pam Bondi behind closed doors to talk about mental health issues and later joined other students in a question and answer session with Senate President Joe Negron and Senators Rob Bradley and Bill Galvano.

Some tearfully asked why civilians should be allowed to have weapons like the AR-15 used in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Negron didn't directly answer the question, saying, "That's an issue that we're reviewing."

Negron also said: "We have to balance the rights of law-abiding citizens to obtain weapons to protect themselves for other lawful purposes. We have to balance that right with making sure that people who are mentally unstable or have other deficiencies are not allowed to obtain weapons. So I think that the actual weapon that was used in the horrific attack should be part of the discussion. There are a number of other aspects that should be discussed as well.”

The students burst into applause when Galvano said he supports raising the age to purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21.

One student told WPTV's Alyssa Hyman: “I'm here today because I'm never going to let anyone else go through the pain I'm going through. I'm never going to let any other student, any other parent, another teacher, American citizen, any other person in this world go through the pain I'm going through right now.”

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