Moms Demand Action push for gun safety in wake of child shootings

ORLANDO, Fla. — In the past  two weeks, at least eight children in Central Florida have been hospitalized or killed because of gunfire.

Six of those children were the actual targets of a crime.

Experts say the shootings are part of a much larger trend of juveniles being killed in violent crimes.


The issue has begun ramping up discussion about how to stop gun violence among young people.

Danille Veillette, with the group Moms Demand Action, attributes much of the increase to the availability of weapons falling into young hands.

“We’re seeing youth are having access to guns they’ve never had before,” Veillette said.

Read: Driver, passenger injured in shooting near downtown Orlando

On April 3, a Belleview teen was killed after he and a group of boys took turns shooting at each other while wearing a bulletproof vest.

On that same day, two 16-year-olds were involved in a shooting near Kingspointe Parkway in Orlando.

Read: 2 teens shot, killed near playground at Sanford apartment complex

According to Moms Demand Action, the violence isn’t slowing down and the time for action is now.

Right now, their big push is getting out into the community with other groups to try and stem the tide of violence

In areas like Pine Hills, they have started partnering with the group Credible Messengers of Florida to help spread the word.

Read: Police: Teen killed after boys take turns shooting at each other wearing body armor

“Essentially they’re saying, I’ve been down that path and I’m going to give you the opportunity and the tools to take a different path,” Veillette said.

Moms Demand Action says while they feel there needs to be a solution at the federal level, they will also push state and local leaders for funding of various programs.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.