Florida Lawmakers Vote Down Attempt to Ban Assault Rifles One Week After School Shooting

Those hoping for sctricter gone laws were left disappointed.

florida shooting mourning getty feb 2018

Image via Getty/Joe Raedle

florida shooting mourning getty feb 2018

People all over the country were hoping that last week's tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida would have a silver lining and lead to stricter gun laws. Survivors of the shooting publicly begged for gun control and even organized a national march for awareness in the days following the tragedy.

Unfortunately, on Tuesday afternoon, legislators in Florida voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles like the one used by Nikolas Cruz to murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

As students from Douglas sat in attendance, the Florida House voted down the motion 36-71. In other words, it wasn't even close. This vote effectively ends any chance of the measure seeing any movement until the end of the legislative session on March 9.​

.@AP photo of Parkland students watching as the Florida House rejected another attempt at banning assault rifles. pic.twitter.com/iTX9tvRJIO

— Alejandro Alvarez 🫡 (@aletweetsnews) February 20, 2018

16-year-old Douglas junior Alfonso Calderon was one of hundreds of students who traveled to the state capitol to urge lawmakers to consider stricter gun laws. Calderon told reporters, "America is a gun society. That is what made (suspect) Nikolas Cruz seem normal. It is not normal for someone to have a stockpile of weapons in their room when they are mentally ill."

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have reportedly said that they will consider other proposals, which include raising age restrictions for gun purchases from 18 to 21. Lawmakers told students on Tuesday that these reforms might be the only realistic changes they could expect this session. 

With last week's shooting fresh in everyone's minds, this news came as another disheartening blow to people around the country who hoped the tragedy could serve as a vehicle for change.

The Florida House delivers a giant "to hell with you" to the Parkland students by voting down a motion to take up a bill banning AR-15s (which BTW were also the weapon of choice for gangs in Florida when I was in media there). Newsflash: these kids are going to turn 18 & vote.

— Diana Was Right (@JoyAnnReid) February 20, 2018

I feel very sad for children of these elected leaders, who eventually will realize their own parents do not care about their or their peers' safety or lives. https://t.co/y5YLsqN1CB

— Sharon Gelman (@sharongelman) February 20, 2018

I hope they were sure to tell the parents, kids & teachers of Parkland, “The AR in AR-15 doesn’t stand for ‘assault rifle,’ which you probably assumed, so really, you brought this on yourselves.” https://t.co/sWb5Av9veS

— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) February 20, 2018

In 2018, the people of Florida should vote those legislators down https://t.co/XCpsPFADF8

— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) February 20, 2018

For those of you at all familiar with Florida, this comes as a huge shock....to absolutely no one. And this was simply a motion to bring the bill up for consideration, not a vote on the actual bill...and it failed by almost 2 to 1...with Parkland kids in the gallery. https://t.co/KC7c4QXqMU

— Leon Kums (@g8erlaw68) February 20, 2018

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