One Florida lawmaker has issued a stark warning to the state’s spring breakers, claiming that violent or abhorrent behavior will be met with action.
"I just want to be really clear about something," Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., said on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Tuesday. "We have some of the bravest law enforcement in the country, and I think the governor's been pretty straightforward about how we do back the blue. So this type of behavior will not be tolerated."
Luna represents the St. Petersburg area, one of Florida’s many vacation and spring break destinations along with other cities like Clearwater, Naples, the Keys, Panama City Beach and Miami Beach.
Over the weekend, two fatal shootings in Miami Beach forced local authorities to implement a curfew. It primarily impacts the South Beach area and will run from 11:59 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, the city said in a news release. An additional curfew will likely be implemented Thursday through next Monday, March 27.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Sunday that numerous people visiting the area have brought multiple firearms with them and "created a peril that cannot go unchecked."
"Despite unprecedented police presence, for two consecutive nights, Ocean Drive has been the scene of deadly shootings. So, tonight, Sunday March 19, we will be implementing a midnight curfew for South Beach as part of our emergency powers. In addition to a midnight curfew, the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption will be prohibited in the curfew area after 6:00 p.m. tonight," Gelber added.
The city said the curfew is an attempt to prevent rowdiness from "excessively large and unruly crowds" and comes after two separate shootings Friday night and early Sunday that left two people dead.
Rep. Luna predicted the recent events won’t have a "long-term" impact on Florida’s crime levels nor potentially drive away future residents or tourists.
"Across the state of Florida, unfortunately though, when you get a lot of times massive [groups of] kids, there's drinking involved, this kind of stuff happens," the congresswoman said.
For parents who have college-aged children visiting Florida for their spring breaks, Luna encouraged families to keep an open line of communication.
"Be the parent, check in on them, ensure that they're not doing this stuff," she encouraged, "because I do think that there's an accountability mechanism back home. These kids obviously do go back, and so they need to answer for some of their behavior."
"And unfortunately, we live in a digital age, so what you do now might come back to haunt you later on – so remember that," Luna added.
In 2022, the city similarly imposed a midnight curfew following two shootings, also on Ocean Drive. In 2021, there were about 1,000 arrests and dozens of guns confiscated as Miami Beach officials were forced to take steps to calm rowdy spring breakers.
"As I said before," the Republican congresswoman said, "Governor DeSantis, as well as many prominent Republican politicians from the state of Florida, have backed the blue. And we saw that during the summer riots with BLM. We don't tolerate that behavior in Florida."
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.