PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop in St. Petersburg Wednesday to sign multiple bills into law focused on protecting young people.

One of the bills was inspired by Gabby Petito.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. DeSantis signed series of bills aimed at child protection  

  • One of the bills was inspired by Gabby Petito

  • One of those bills includes better training for law enforcement on how to handle domestic violence situations

The southwest Florida woman died in August 2021 when she was killed by boyfriend Brian Laundrie while the two were on a cross-country vacation.

She was 22. Laundrie later took his own life upon returning to Florida.

One of those bills includes better training for law enforcement on how to handle domestic violence situations.


The Petito family has been pushing for it and Desantis said he is proud to make it law.

"Gabby's father Joe has been supporting and pushing for the language in the legislation as well as other members of the family and foundation,” said. Gov. Ron  DeSantis (R). “And today we honor those efforts by making this the law of the land in the state of Florida."

The bills signed today include:

  • HB 1545, which protects children from grooming activities and other sexual offenses.
  • HB 1131, which establishes a grant program within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to create online sting operations to target sexual predators.
  • HB 1235, which creates stricter guidelines for sex offender registration.
  • SB 1224, which strengthens the role of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office and implements new training requirements to ensure law enforcement properly assesses a domestic violence situation.
  • HB 305, which expands the evidence that can be presented to a jury in sex-abuse cases where the victim is a minor and increases penalties on those who take part in sex trafficking of minors.

“In Florida, we let kids be kids, and we protect children from those who seek to harm them,” DeSantis said. “Today’s anti-grooming legislation punishes those who seek to prey on children and rob them of their innocence. Florida will continue to be the best state in the country to raise a family.”