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Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during his State of the State address
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during his State of the State address in Tallahassee, Fla. on Tuesday.Phil Sears / AP

Giffords' group launches ad campaign targeting DeSantis on Fla. gun bill

The ad campaign blasts the likely 2024 candidate for supporting a bill allowing concealed carry anywhere without permits.


A prominent gun safety nonprofit is launching a six-figure ad campaign in Florida targeting Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican state lawmakers over their efforts to enact legislation that would allow individuals to carry concealed loaded guns anywhere without permits.

The campaign by Giffords — details of which were provided first to NBC News — will feature a full-page ad in the Miami Herald newspaper, as well as bilingual radio and digital ads that tie DeSantis directly to the proposed legislation and criticize the bills for endangering the lives of Floridians.

One of the digital ads features a narrator saying that DeSantis, because he supports the bill, “wants to allow nearly anyone to carry hidden, loaded guns in public—no questions asked.”

“Ron DeSantis is putting us in danger,” the narrator adds later in the 30-second spot.

Meanwhile, the newspaper ad, which ran in Tuesday's Miami Herald, features the outlines of two men both carrying concealed weapons, one who is described as having received firearm training and a background check and another who is described as having never fired a gun before and having been convicted recently of a violent felony.

The text below the images states: “If Gov. DeSantis gets his way, there will be nothing to stop the man in blue from carrying a loaded, hidden gun — no questions asked.” The ad then directs people to call DeSantis’ office to voice their opposition to the bill.

In addition, the campaign will feature events, including one later this week in Parkland, Florida — the site of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead — that will be led by Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman and gun violence survivor who founded the organization that bears her name.

A Giffords spokesperson told NBC News that the organization had so far committed more than $125,000 to the campaign through the end of next week, but that the group was “committed to fighting” the proposed legislation “as long as it takes.”

“Make no mistake, Florida Republicans are trying to ram through a law that will get people killed solely to help DeSantis’s nascent campaign against Donald Trump,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler said in a statement to NBC News. “We will make sure every Florida voter knows the consequences of this dangerous ‘Anyone with a Gun’ bill.”

Republican leaders have already introduced legislation that would allow people to carry concealed loaded guns anywhere without permits, and DeSantis, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has signaled it is one of his top priorities for the coming session.

“A constitutional right should not require a permission slip from the government. It is time we joined 25 other states to enact constitutional carry in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during his “State of the State” address to the Florida Legislature on Tuesday. In December, the governor had said that passing such legislation would “be something that will be done in the regular session.”

Under current Florida law, people who seek to carry concealed guns in public are required to get concealed weapons licenses from the state. A “constitutional carry” measure — as conservatives gun rights activists call the bill — or “permitless carry” — the term preferred by gun safety and gun control activists, as well as neutral groups — would eliminate the requirement.

In recent weeks, Florida Senate Republicans have combined the legislation with measures they say would increase school safety, like creating a standardized school threat assessment process and expanding a program that allows school district employees to carry guns at schools. Democrats have blasted the combination as a political ploy to make the permitless carry proposal more palatable to voters.