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Saturday, October 01, 2005


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Florida gun law warning

Tourists travelling to Florida are being warned to avoid aggressive arguments with locals because they risk being shot.

A US gun control group is placing adverts in British newspapers this weekend to highlight new laws allowing gun owners to shoot anyone they feel is threatening their safety.

The Brady Campaign to Control Gun Violence said foreign tourists may be at risk because they are more likely to be perceived as a threat by locals.

Sarah Brady, who heads the campaign, said: "We think people visiting Florida should be aware of this law, and act accordingly. Visitors should be very careful about getting into an aggressive argument with anyone during their stay."

Around 1.5 million British tourists travel to Florida every year, and from next week, they will be handed leaflets as they arrive at Miami and Orlando airports.

Before the law was passed, Floridians could carry concealed guns in public places but could only use them as a last resort when there was no other way to avoid injury.

The new law eliminates the need to avoid such threats by allowing the gun user to "shoot first".

Keith Betton, spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents, said he did not think the adverts would have any impact.

He said: "If they're trying to scare people I think they've just wasted an awful lot of money.

"This law is not going to put people off travelling to Florida. Tourists are generally aware of the comparative freedom by way of carrying guns and are highly unlikely to put themselves in situations of confrontation."

Jul 17: Anti-gun crime plea in song


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