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Gun control a key issue for Florida voters ahead of Tuesday's primary

Gun debate in Florida's primary election
Florida primary elections take on gun control debate 09:01

The deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, is bringing the issue of gun violence back into the headlines ahead of the state's gubernatorial primary. Tuesday's vote will come just days after two people were killed and 11 others wounded when a gunman opened fire during a video gaming competition at a popular mall Sunday. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A spotlight on gun control emerged in Florida following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland six months ago, an issue that is still largely split along party lines.

Miami Herald reporter David Smiley tells CBSN these mass shootings may have an even greater impact on the general election.

"One of the really sad realities of the situation is I think there's a legitimate question as to whether we'll have another shooting between now and November, because it's not really so much a question of if there will be one, but when," Smiley said.

Parkland students spent the months following the shooting at their school advocating for tougher gun laws and encouraging young voters to get involved in upcoming elections. That activism will likely get stronger ahead of the November election.

"We have Parkland parents who have endorsed a candidate for the Democrats who might be on the ballot in November and I think it's likely that if Phil Levine, who is the candidate that's been endorsed, if he's not on the ballot, then chances are good they may endorse whoever is and be out there campaigning front and center for the Democratic party," Smiley said.

The other Democratic candidates for governor include Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, real estate investor Jeff Greene and developer Chris King.

The Republican candidates are state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Rep. Ron Desantis, who has been endorsed by President Trump. The candidates are vying for the seat left open by Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate.

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