Jason Haeseler, a candidate for the Florida Representative seat in District 21, said Florida has the lowest funding for mental health resources of all states. This is mostly true. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute says Florida is 51 out of 52 in the U.S., ahead of Puerto Rico. PolitiFact reported that the data used to make the ranking is based on money spent by Department of Children and Families’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Office and doesn’t include funding from other sources, like Medicaid.
Yvonne Hinson, a candidate for the U.S. Rep. seat in District 3, said there is a state that banned assault weapons and fines owners who haven’t turned in weapons $1,000 daily. This is false. Hinson misspoke calling the ban statewide when it was only enforced in one town. Deerfield, a town in Illinois, banned assault weapons and fines owners who haven’t surrendered their weapons $1,000 a day.
Amol Jethwani, another candidate for the Florida Representative seat in District 21, said “One out of every three Americans knows someone who’s been shot.” This is false. In 2017, Pew reported 44 percent of Americans know someone who has been shot. Jethwani was likely referring to outdated data from a 2006 study from Princeton University that found one in every three American adults knows someone who has been shot. The report was cited on the website of The Brady Campaign, an anti-gun violence organization.
Olysha Magruder, a candidate for the 8th District seat in the Florida Senate, said 97 percent of Americans support criminal background checks for all gun sales. This is true, according to a February 2018 report from the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Politicians, including candidates for U.S. Rep. District 3, Florida Rep. District 21 and Florida Senate District 8, sat in at a town hall on gun law reform in the Reitz Union on Saturday. The event was organized by student group UF Stands with MSD, which is changing its name to Never Again UF.