“We wanted to make a national statement,” Munz says.
Jacksonville businessmen Michael Munz and Peter Rummell’s names appeared Saturday in a full-page paid advertisement in The Wall Street Journal calling on lawmakers to support a package of gun law reforms.
Americans for Gun Safety Now! paid for the advertisement featuring the names of 21 individuals, including lawmakers, government officials, business leaders and professional athletes.
The Journal published the ad as more than 1 million people rallied for gun reforms in Washington, D.C., and across the country Saturday, including in Jacksonville.
According to the ad, the group is made up of “people representing a wide variety of stakeholders” who want to “create a national strategy for bringing about real reform, protections and changes to our nation’s gun laws.”
“We wanted to make a national statement and all the names you see in there are people who feel strongly about it,” Munz said Monday.
The group outlined a six-pronged legislative agenda it plans to lobby for at the federal, state and local levels. The agenda includes the elimination of bump stocks, a limit on high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing ammunition, raising the age limit to purchase guns to 21, expanding universal background checks and providing additional support for mental health services.
Munz said he’s fine with the recognition that comes with appearing in the ad and the political implications of supporting the group.
“We wouldn’t have put our names in The Wall Street Journal if we didn’t have a desire to express our support for what Ambassador Hoffman started,” said Munz, referring to Florida Republican donor Al Hoffman Jr.
Hoffman is a former U.S. ambassador to Portugal.
The New York Times quoted Hoffman, along with Rummell, in a Feb. 18 article where the two called for changes in gun laws.
Hoffman told the Times he would withhold campaign donations to politicians opposed to gun reform measures. Rummell stopped short of that commitment.
The group formed after a gunman used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to kill 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14.
Munz said Monday the advertisement and the group’s message speaks for itself.
“There needs to be a good national conversation about this,” said Munz, who applauded Gov. Rick Scott for signing new legislation which imposes certain limits on firearms.
“We can take the Florida model national and move forward,” he said.