Tallahassee, FL – Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) re-introduced legislation for the third consecutive year to ban the civilian purchase of military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines in the wake of horrific mass shootings that continue to grip the state. Companion legislation in the Florida Senate will be filed by Senator Gary Farmer (D-Broward).
First introduced in 2017 after the Pulse shooting in Orlando where forty-nine people were killed, support for the legislation continued to grow after seventeen were tragically murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland in February. The stand-alone legislation was never heard in committee or given a vote, and amendments introduced by Rep. Smith and others to the MSD HS Public Safety Act in 2018 to pass similar assault weapons restrictions failed on mostly party lines.
Recent polling shows a majority of Floridians continue to support an assault weapons ban and advocates for gun violence prevention have launched a constitutional amendment initiative to put the issue before voters in 2020.
Representative Smith offered the following statement:
“Gun violence prevention is an essential part of any comprehensive plan to address school safety as well as the safety of the general public. We owe it to the victims and families of MSD, of Pulse and of everyday gun violence to keep assault weapons off our streets and to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. I will continue fighting this fight for as long as it takes.”
Senator Gary Farmer offered the following statement:
“The single common denominator for many of these senseless mass shootings is the use of these weapons of war. It is our obligation to pass this legislation to ensure the safety and security of our children in our homes and communities.”
Angie Gallo, Co-chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence offered the following statement:
“For a third year in a row Senator Farmer and Rep. Smith continue to be champions for the Coalition and the community at large. We are so thankful for their commitment to ban weapons of mass destruction and we look forward to working with them on this very good bill.”