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Gun Reform Activists Stage Sit-In at Rubio’s Office, 10 Arrested

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Dozens of people gathered at Senator Marco Rubio’s office in downtown Orlando for what was expected to be a 49-hour sit-in.

Police arrested 10 of the protesters on misdemeanor trespass charges Monday evening, when the building closed to the public, at the request of the building's owner. The protesters were released late Monday on $250 bond. 

Each hour was to mark the loss of a life at last month’s Pulse nightclub shooting, named the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

Organizers said that nearly a month after the shooting, lawmakers aren’t doing enough to keep more fatal shootings from happening.

Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse on June 12 in a rampage that left 49 victims dead and injured 53 at the gay nightclub.

The protesters said they were targeting Rubio because of the support he has gotten from the National Rifle Association and his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Anna Eskamani is part of the nonpartisan coalition. She asked lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to take a serious look at the nation’s gun laws.

“I know it’s difficult to find common ground but we can all agree that too many people are dying and that we need to do something about it and a decision to do nothing is a decision.”

Lawmakers so far have proposed reform that would keep potential terrorists from buying guns. Sen. Rubio is behind a proposal to keep potential terrorists from buying guns. But he says the answer is not changing gun laws, but cracking down on terrorist groups.

Organizers are pushing for more comprehensive reform that address mental health and gun safety.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.