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Parents Of Pulse Victim On Concealed Carry Bills: 'More Guns In More Places Not A Solution'

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A couple, whose son was murdered in the Orlando nightclub shooting, spoke out in Tallahassee on Tuesday against several proposed gun bills.

Some state legislators want to expand the places where people can legally carry guns in the state.

Wearing buttons with the word "Survivor" on them, Fred and Maria Wright took their powerful story of loss and pain to Florida legislators Tuesday.

Their son Jerry was one of the victims of the Pulse massacre in June of 2016.

The couple's goal is to prevent an expansion of gun rights in the state.

"The slew of laws they're proposing right now are outrageous," Fred Wright said.

"Our son was 31 years old. What happened to him was terrible, but we're having too much gun violence and more guns in more hands in more places is not the way to solve this issue," Maria Wright added.

The Wrights are concerned about bills proposed in Tallahassee that would allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at sporting events, airports, polling places – even public schools and college campuses.

The couple fears that allowing more people to be armed will lead to more confrontations and more shootings.

"We're just asking our legislators please we need common sense. We don't need more gun violence victims," Maria Wright said.

Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley is on the other side of the issue.

He believes if more good people are armed they will stop the bad guys.

"What we need to do, I believe, is empower law-abiding citizens to stop violent acts. They can, they will and they do," he said.

But that analysis falls short for the Wrights.

"If there had been more guns in Pulse, there would have been more dead," Fred Wright said.

They would like to see universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people like Omar Mateen or people with criminal records or significant mental health issues.

They believe that type of legislation will prevent others from losing their loved ones.

"No matter how much you protect your kids, no matter how much you love your kids, no matter who you are, gun violence affects all of us," Maria Wright said. "It's not a Republican issue. It's not a Democratic issue. It's an American issue."

Maria Wright sent CBS4's Carey Codd a text message a few hours ago saying that they wrapped up their meetings in Tallahassee and met with a number of Republican and Democratic legislators.

She said she feels there is common ground to be found on this issue.

The various gun bills are expected to go before legislative committees when the legislative session begins next month.


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