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Legislation Banning Assault Weapons Filed

Close-up of a M4A1 weapons and military equipment for army, Assault rifle gun and pistol on camouflage background.
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Gun safety advocates are backing legislation they say would make mass shootings less deadly. The groups want lawmakers to ban the sale of assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines.

A proposed bill would make the sale, transfer or possession of military-grade weapons or large-capacity magazines illegal. Sen. Gary Farmer (D-Ft. Lauderdale) says if the rule was in place prior to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting, more people would’ve survived.

“If Nicholas Cruz had just had to reload more often fewer people would be dead today," said Farmer.

The legislation will also make owning unregistered fully automatic, semi-automatic, or burst fire rifles illegal. But getting the measure passed would be a heavy lift. Farmer and Orlando Democratic Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith are sponsoring the legislation for the second year in a row.
Last year it died without receiving a hearing in either chamber.

Gail Schwartz is the aunt of a Parkland school shooting victim.

"We didn’t do it after Pulse, after the Pulse night club shooting when 49 of our fellow Floridians were slaughtered. We didn’t do it after Parkland, when our kids and our educators 17 were slaughtered," said Schwartz. "But we must do it now."

Schwartz and her group Ban Assault Weapons Now attempted to get an amendment on the 2020 ballot. The measure never made it after the Florida Supreme Court ruled it’s motive was unclear.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.
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