Northwest Florida’s representatives to the Florida House each voted against holding debate on a proposed bill which would outlaw the sale of assault rifles in the state.
The motion, by Rep. Kionne McGhee of Miami, would have placed HB 219 before the full House for debate. That bill — which was killed in committee earlier in the legislative session — would ban the sale of “selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire,” including the AR-15, the weapon that was used in last week’s deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as well as many other mass shootings. Thirteen students and three staff were killed in the shooting.
A group of surviving students from the school looked on as the House voted the motion down 36-71. The vote fell along party lines, and Northwest Florida representatives Clay Ingram, Frank White, Jayer Williamson, and Mel Ponder — all Republicans — each voted with the majority against the motion.
Some Republicans have signaled, though, that they could be willing to consider lesser measures, including raising the legal age for assault rifle purchases to 21 as well as the institution of a three-day waiting period and changes to the background check process.