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Vigils will be held across Tampa Bay area to honor Parkland shooting victims

Posted: 10:25 PM, Feb 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-14 09:35:01-05
Vigil for Parkland victims.

TAMPA, Fla. — February 14 will mark a horrific anniversary in Florida history. The day marks one year since a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 students and staff.

“As an individual, as a mom, as a parent, just a person, that’s my hope that I never have to know someone that has gone through this. It is devastating,” Melissa Ransdell said. Ransdell joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America following the Parkland shooting to try and make a difference with her voice. "That is my hope; we can stop this. Never another, but it continues to happen, and until they make changes that’s the case.”

Ransdell said the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act was a groundbreaking first step towards protecting our classrooms.

Former Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law creating some gun law reforms, including a mandatory three-day waiting period to buy a gun, raising the age to buy a rifle to 21 years old, and the requirement that all schools have a guardian.

On Tuesday, Senate Bill 7030, made it through a key committee. Once the legislative session begins March 5, it could be one of the first bills the Florida Senate could consider.

“We are not for more teachers having guns in our schools, but we are open to dialogue,” Ransdell said.

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Several groups including We the Students, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and March for our Lives will be holding vigils in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

One vigil in Tampa begins at 7 p.m. at Tampa City Hall. Another will be at Williams Park in St. Petersburg from 5-6 p.m.

“It is difficult, but it is a long road, we are in it for the marathon this isn’t a sprint, and we are there for that,” Ransdell said.