Florida Senate Approves, Then Quickly Rejects Assault Rifle Ban

05 March, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Archie Newman
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In the all-day Senate session, lawmakers considered multiple measures aimed at reducing gun violence, including millions of dollars for school safety and improving mental health services, after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed. President Trump has said he wants stronger background checks, gun access restriction for the mentally ill and the ability to arm teachers.

The final version of the Senate bill is expected to be debated and voted on Monday.

The Florida Senate on Saturday voted down a bill to ban assault weapons, then immediately pivoted to a moment of silence for victims of the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school last month. Just two Republicans, state Sens.

Republicans argued that banning such weapons would violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms. While crafted by Republicans, some GOP senators still opposed it because they don't agree with raising the minimum age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 or requiring a waiting period to buy the weapons.

"The substance of our bill is still the same", Galvano said. Gov. Rick Scott has said he opposes arming teachers, and the program is opposed by most of the members of the 28-member Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, who fear that black students could become disproportionately discriminated against by school officials carrying firearms. Also, FBI crime statistics show that individuals are twenty-four times more likely to be murder by a criminal with a handgun than with all rifles combined, including so-called semi-automatic "assault rifles" like the AR-15. It would still be up to the school districts to decide whether to participate and sponsor teachers to undergo training. "The reason it is not being included is not because of constitutional law".

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The bill to ban assault weapons, including the AR-15 used in the school shooting, failed by a 20-to-17 vote.

The fleeting prohibition came on an unrecorded voice vote, in which lawmakers shouted yea or nay, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

For 15 minutes, the Florida Senate was in favor of a two-year moratorium on sales of assault weapons.

The body then moved to other legislation on guns. "And I, for one, wont be going home trying to pretend that I did something trying to solve the problem".


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