TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – With students from Stoneman Douglas High school present, the Florida state House voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session.
The vote comes less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at the South Florida high school. The gun used was reportedly an assault-style rifle – an AR-15.
The motion failed by a 36-71 vote.
As the Florida House opened its session Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines.
The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won’t meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.
McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.
Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they will consider proposals including raising age restrictions for gun purchases and the red-flag bill regarding temporarily taking away someone’s guns if they are deemed a threat to others.
Meanwhile, students in South Florida and around the country staged walkouts and lie-ins in an effort to let lawmakers know they want a change nation’s gun laws.
A group of about 100 South Florida students were making a 400-mile trip to the state capital to pressure lawmakers to act on a sweeping package of gun control laws. In spite of troubles with one of the buses taking the students to Tallahassee, they say they plan to hold a rally at the state’s Capitol Wednesday.
Students who walked out of classes in western North Carolina to protest mass shootings at U.S. schools say teenagers are tired of being ignored on the issue.