FL senate approved AR-15 ban for 15 minutes before rescinding it

Jo Lloyd
March 5, 2018

The assault weapons ban was rejected 20-17 with two Republicans, Sen.

"I want us to do today what the kids asked us to do when 10,000 of them came up here on the steps of the capitol and asked us", she said.

On Saturday, lawmakers spent almost eight hours debating dozens of amendments to the 100-page bill to strengthen school safety procedures and restrict gun purchases.

In response to the Parkland shooting, busloads of students and protesters gathered in Tallahassee to call for strict gun control measures, including a ban on semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15, which was used in the shooting.

- Introduce some nominal gun control measures, including banning sales to those younger than 21 and requiring a three-day waiting period and background check for all purchases from licensed dealers.

The Senate had planned to take up its version of the legislation Friday, but with dozens of amendments drafted by Democrats, Senate leaders made a decision to spend almost eight hours Saturday debating the issue.

It was clear that senators were divided on the bill, and not just on party lines.

On the other side, Democrats say the legislation doesn't go far enough.

The bill, drafted after the deadly mass shooting at a Broward County high school, includes provisions to arm teachers, strengthen school security measures, raise the age on access to rifles and increase mental health funding in schools.

Republicans argued that banning such weapons would violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"Our founding fathers weren't talking about hunting, and they weren't talking about protecting themselves from the thief down the street who might break in", said Republican Sen. And, because of House rules, the Senate bill has to be sent to the lower chamber by Wednesday in order for the House to act on it before the last day of session next Friday. Lawmakers are scrambling to take some kind of action before then.

The bill will likely be passed on Monday.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has been lobbying lawmakers to pass his plan to assign at least one law-enforcement officer for every 1,000 students at a school. 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.

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