PARKLAND, Fla. — Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the Florida House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session. The motion failed by a 36-71 vote on Tuesday.
As the House opened its session, 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.
Sheryl Acquarola, a 16-year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was present for the vote on Tuesday and was overcome by emotion by the decision not to hear the bill. Acquarola was one of the students in Tallahassee channeling their anger and sadness into action.