Less than a week after Nikolas Cruz used a legally-purchased AR-15 to murder 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida state legislators have effectively killed a bill that would ban assault rifles (along with large capacity magazines). The Associated Press reports that the Florida House has voted, 36-71, against even hearing the bill, and the associated committees aren’t set to meet again before the legislative session concludes in March. As such, there’s no chance for the bill to move to a full House vote for the foreseeable future (in a state where the governor and most prominent U.S. senator are very pro-gun and feeling the pressure).
Spectrum News 13 reports that the decision arrives following a candlelight vigil for those who hoped that GOP lawmakers would consider passing legislation — whether it involved bump stocks or raising the age for firearm possession to 21 — within the next three weeks. Local ABC 10 reports that a crowd of students (some of whom were bused in from over 400 miles away) were gathered at the Tallahassee capitol to no avail.
However, the Associated Press reports that some more receptive news arrived out of Tallahassee on Tuesday. That is, a Florida Senate committee has expressed support for placing weapon-carrying police officers within every Florida public school (whereas only half of schools currently have them). That proposal will be included in a larger education bill that will hopefully move to a vote before the session ends.
Also, President Trump has announced that he will direct the Justice Department to ban gun modification devices like the bump stocks used by Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock to make his semi-automatic devices fire like automatic ones. It’s a day of mixed news on the gun-control issue, but no one expected this problem to be fixed overnight.