DeSantis Doesn't Back Federal Changes to Address School Safety

After Iowa shooting, candidate opposes new gun laws
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2024 3:36 PM CST
DeSantis Doesn't Back Federal Changes to Address School Safety
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event Wednesday in Waukee, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Responding to the school shooting in Iowa on Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declined to endorse any changes in federal laws—including gun restrictions—and said student safety should be addressed locally. "We obviously, you know, have a responsibility to create safe environments. The federal government is probably not going to be leading that effort," the Republican presidential candidate said. DeSantis made the remarks in an interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register. He said his state has been successful in preventing mass shootings, especially through mental health. "That's an underlying sickness in society," DeSantis said, adding, "And I think that involves things like mental health."

He led his state government's response to the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, per the Hill. DeSantis said Thursday that in addition to changing laws around mental health, Florida allocated more than $1 billion toward security at schools. He made clear that gun restrictions are not a strategy he favors. "I don't support infringing the rights of law-abiding citizens with respect to the ability to exercise their constitutional rights," DeSantis said. Gun laws in cities don't work, he said. "The reason why you have those in a lot of the inner cities is because these are repeat offenders who are not held accountable." (More Ron DeSantis 2024 stories.)

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