DeSantis says Florida won’t comply with surgeon general’s gun violence advisory

June 27, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said his state will not comply with the Surgeon General’s newly issued public health advisory on gun violence, calling the move “unconstitutional” in a post on the social platform X on Wednesday.

“We will not comply,” DeSantis wrote. “Florida will always reject the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional power grabs.”

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared firearm violence a public health crisis on Tuesday, citing a consistent rise in firearm-related deaths.

“Firearm violence is a public health crisis,” Murthy said in his announcement. “Our failure to address it is a moral crisis.” 

DeSantis indicated he would treat the new advisory with the same resistance he directed to pandemic-era measures during the spread of COVID-19.

“During COVID, unelected bureaucrats used ‘public health’ as a pretext to deprive citizens of their rights– and I signed legislation to protect Floridians from government overreach,” DeSantis wrote on X. 

“Now, Biden’s Surgeon General is attempting to violate the Second Amendment through the ‘public health’ bureaucracy.”

The DeSantis team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the advisory, Murphy calls on the government to implement universal background checks, require secure firearm storage and ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use. He also called on lawmakers to “create safer conditions in public places related to firearm use and carry.” 

In April, DeSantis signed a bill into law that now allows Floridians to carry concealed guns without a permit. At the time, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre slammed the decision as “the opposite of commonsense gun safety.”

DeSantis was not alone in criticizing the administration for the advisory. The National Rifle Association (NRA) made a statement shortly after Murthy’s announcement, similarly arguing that the rule threatened Second Amendment rights.

“This is an extension of the Biden Administration’s war on law-abiding gun owners,” wrote NRA Director Randy Kozuch in a statement on X.

The surgeon general’s office did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.