Lauren Herwitz (center), an 18-year-old UF Health Science and theater freshman and March For Our Lives Gainesville member, protests Florida Senate Bill 7030, which would allow teachers to carry firearms in case of an active shooter, Wednesday afternoon“I’m almost in tears, this is just incredibly powerful and emotional," she said.

When Florida lawmakers postponed a bill to arm teachers back in April, March for Our Lives activists vowed to return to the Florida State Capitol to carry on their fight to end gun violence. 

Next week, they’re fulfilling that promise, and this time, they’re showing up with their own plan. 

March for Our Lives Gainesville will go to Tallahassee next Thursday with the Orlando, Parkland, Tampa and Tallahassee branches to meet with representatives and unveil their Peace Plan for a Safer Florida, a six-step policy agenda to prevent gun violence here in Florida. 

The six steps in the plan follow the acronym C.H.A.N.G.E, said Alexa Fishman, the outreach director for March for Our Lives Gainesville.

  • Change the standards of gun ownership

  • Halve the rate of gun deaths in 10 years

  • Accountability for the gun lobby and industry

  • Name a Director of Gun Violence Prevention

  • Generate community based solutions 

  • Empower the next generation

Fishman, a 19-year-old UF political science freshman, said moving forward with gun violence resolutions has been a challenge. She hopes representatives take action after discussing the Peace Plan.

“This is something that's really good,” she said. “And if we could just get representatives to even agree with some points on the bills, that would be great.”

In April, March for Our Lives Gainesville went to Tallahassee to take part in a Day of Action, which included a rally, press conference and protest in opposition of Senate Bill 7030 and House Bill 7093, both of which would allow classroom teachers in Florida to carry guns. 

Alyson Moriarty, the president of March for Our Lives Gainesville, said their last visit to the Capitol involved meetings with representatives about the general idea of gun violence prevention.

However, next week’s meetings will be with representatives who support the Peace Plan and have bills that coincide with it, as well as with those who stand against it, she said. 

“This time, we have a bigger goal, like it reaches more people and more bills,” Moriarty said. “So I feel like that just means more representatives.” 

Moriarty said because people on both sides of the political spectrum support the Peace Plan, she hopes to open up their minds and encourage them to represent those who support it as well. 

“March for Our Lives, to me, is more than like a political thing,” she said. “It's life or death.”

Correction: This article was updated to reflect the number of House Bill 7093. The Alligator previously reported differently