Florida Lawmakers Vote Down Assault Rifle Ban Days After School Shooting

The Florida legislature voted down a motion to consider banning certain semi-automatic weapons on Tuesday, despite public pressure. The vote comes less than a week after 17 people were killed by a gunman using an AR-15 in Parkland, Florida.

As CNN reports, the Republican-led state House voted down the motion, which also included provisions for high-capacity magazines, by a vote of 71-36.

As the politicians shot down the motion, many survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy viewed the proceedings. Some broke down in tears while other expressed their outrage.

"That's unacceptable," said survivor Spencer Blum. "It shows that they don't care about us."

Fellow survivor Sheryl Acquaroli added, "It was just so heartbreaking to see how many (voters') names were up there, especially after it was my school. It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say no."

Lawmakers who voted for the bill were also outraged. The bill's sponsor, state rep Carlos G. Smith, took to Twitter afterwards to put the blame on Republican lawmakers, including fellow Rep. Ross Spano.

Earlier in the day, Spano urged colleagues to pass a bill aimed to "protect" Floridians from pornography. Smith cited Spano prioritizing that bill in his statement.

"After House Republicans blocked our assault weapons ban, they did pass a bill declaring pornography a 'public health risk,'" Smith wrote. "Has anyone had to bury their child because of PORN? Ross Spano made that a priority above gun violence. He needs to own it."

As for the Parkland shooting case, former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz has confessed to the killings and is expected to plead guilty to the crimes.

No motive is yet known, but Cruz was previously expelled from the school after several violent incidents with classmates.


Local residents have held numerous vigils for the 17 people who were killed, the 15 others who were injured and others affected by the tragedy.