Tampa Bay area lawmakers weigh in on gun debate

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA) — Adopted in December of 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, Americans have the right to bear arms. And while some lawmakers differ on gun rights, both sides agree they want to help start a conversation on who should be able to be armed and where.

State Senator Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg believes it’s a case by case basis.

“I support the second amendment right to bear arms, but I do not believe everybody should be packing,” Rouson said. “I’m not sure that bringing guns to a gun fight leads to peace or leads to safety.”

On the other side, State Representative Dan Raulerson from Plant City is a gun advocate ready to make a difference.

“The one thing I would change would be to allow people to have concealed weapons so they can protect themselves and others,” Raulerson said.

Another major concern both agree on is keeping guns away from someone who’s mentally unstable.

“I don’t know that we’re going to eliminate crazy people getting guns. I’m not sure we can eliminate that,” Raulerson said.

Something both men agree on 100 percent is increasing the conversation regarding gun laws.

“How do we have a dialogue from both sides?” Raulerson said. “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican or Martian.”

Rouson agrees.

“We need dialogue and let’s listen to each other’s ideas,” he said.

Until then, Rouson has one other suggestion for gun owners.

“So many times in the Tampa Bay Area, cars are broken into for the sake of securing a weapon that is not secure,” he said.

Florida’s biggest gun law change this year happened when Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 128 into law. Basically, it better defines the Stand Your Ground Law regarding justifiable homicide protection here in Florida.

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