Florida sheriff rails against gun laws after announcing the arrest of minors involved in a deadly shooting: 'All the gun laws we got in place didn't prevent it, did it?'

Florida sheriff rails against gun laws after announcing the arrest of minors involved in a deadly shooting: 'All the gun laws we got in place didn't prevent it, did it?'
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods speaks during a press conference on April 20, 2018.Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
  • A Florida sheriff railed against gun restrictions after the arrest of two minors.
  • The two juveniles are charged with first-degree murder in connection to the shooting deaths of three others, police said.

A Florida sheriff on Friday railed against the gun restrictions during a press conference after his department arrested two minors they believe are linked to recent deadly shootings.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said at a news conference that the two minor boys are 12 and 17 years old and are both charged with first-degree murder. Insider is not including the names of the suspects due to their age.

"There are individuals out there viewing, and to include some of you media, who want to blame the one thing that has no ability or the capacity to commit the crime itself, and that's the gun," Woods said at the news conference. "These individuals committed the crime. So what's the solution?"

The sheriff's department identified the first victim as Layla Silvernail, 16, who was found shot on the side of a road in Forest Lakes Park, Florida on Thursday, according to WKMG.

Another unidentified 17-year-old boy was found shot on Friday morning and a second unidentified 16-year-old girl was found dead with a gunshot wound in a car that belonged to Silvernail on Saturday, police say.


Police are also searching for a third 16-year-old suspect and the Marion County Sheriff's Office is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest, WKMGreported.

Woods said that he doesn't have the answer for gun violence and that society does not "hold our juveniles accountable."

"All the gun laws we got in place didn't prevent it, did it? Neither will any new ones. Because here's the fact: The bad guy is going to get a gun no matter what law you put in place. These juveniles shouldn't even possess a handgun but they did," Woods added.

Woods Blamed schools for "minimizing the actions" of their students for causing juveniles to be more prone to crime.

"Across the state and across this nation need to quit minimizing the actions of their students," Woods said at the press conference. "Hold them accountable. That's where the failure is."


Gun laws have been a topic of national conversation since a shooter gunned down six people, including three students, at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on March 17 — prompting protests from three Democratic members of the state legislature on the House floor. The protests later caused the expulsion of two Black members from the state House of Representatives, which, in turn, ignited further controversy.

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law allowing people in the state to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Students are still forbidden from carrying guns on school campuses and the new law still requires that firearms be secured and that people carry a valid ID while carrying one.

On Tuesday, one day after DeSantis signed the bill into law, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student accidentally shot himself in the leg in the school's parking lot while carrying a gun with no holster, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

It's unclear which laws Woods was referring to during the press conference. The Marion County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Saturday.