scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Florida legislators vote down attempt to ban assault rifles

Sheryl Acquarola, a 16 year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was overcome with emotion in the east gallery of Florida’s House of Representatives after lawmakers voted not to hear the bill banning assault rifles.Mark Wallheiser/AP

Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the state 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.

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.

The Florida House’s move led conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza to make what many deemed an insensitive comment on Twitter, leading to a large and immediate backlash — and his name trending on the social media site.

At least one user, who listed her location as being in Boston, tweeted to publisher Simon & Schuster: “Your author, Dinesh D’Souza, is using his Twitter account to mock the survivors of the 2/14/18 gun massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.”