Florida Senate Passes, Immediately Reverses Temporary Ban On AR-15 Sales
WASHINGTON (CBSNews) — Florida’s upper chamber briefly approved a ban on AR-15-style rifles before immediately reversing that move Saturday (Mar. 3). The Florida state Senate approved a two-year moratorium on the sale, delivery and transfer of AR-15-style rifles by a voice vote, the offices of the top Senate Democrat and Republican confirmed. But minutes later, that motion was reconsidered, and ultimately reversed by a roll call vote, with 17 votes in favor of the amendment and 21 against it.
Democrats had introduced the two-year ban as an amendment to a broader GOP-led bill on gun reforms. The GOP bill imposes safeguards to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill individuals who might harm themselves or others, and strengthen background checks at the point of sale, among other things. Students and others in Florida have called for stricter gun control measures, in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead last month.
That battle over tougher gun measures is waging on in Capitol Hill, too, as Congress struggles to determine what it is the president wants. President Trump has said he wants stronger background checks, gun access restriction for the mentally ill and the ability to arm teachers.
Mr. Trump also expressed an interest in raising the minimum age for purchasing some firearms to 21, saying Republicans are opposed to considering such a measure because they are “petrified of the NRA.” But the day after Mr. Trump expressed an openness to gun restrictions in a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers, the president met with the NRA.Thursday night following that meeting that Mr. Trump will not pursue gun control.
Florida’s senators don’t see eye to eye on gun control measures either.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, has pushed a bill to enhance criminal background checks, a bill requiring the FBI to tell states when someone fails a background check, a program for intervening when children are potential threats, and some form of temporary gun-violence restraining order. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, has pushed for a ban on assault-style rifles.