The Florida Senate just rejected a proposal to ban assault weapons, and voted for a measure to arm some teachers, weeks after 17 people were killed in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, reports Reuters.
An amendment that would have banned assault weapons attached to a wider bill failed on Saturday in a largely party-line vote, in response to the Feb. 14 killing of 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Douglas High School in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland, Florida.
The vote was 20-17 against the assault weapon ban, with two Republicans joining all of the Senate’s 15 Democrats in support of the proposal, the Miami Herald reported.
The full bill, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, is expected to pass the state Senate on Monday, then go to the Florida House.
Many of the students from the Stoneman Douglas high school have been very vocal in their support for anti-gun legislation, like Jaclyn Corin who tweeted after the bill was rejected: “This breaks my heart, but we will NOT let this ruin our movement. This is for the kids.”
Fellow classmate David Hogg, who has become one of the school’s leading activists on gun control, tweeted, “Elections are going to be fun!”
There was also an amendment to remove a provision to train and arm some teachers but it failed.
The bill raises the minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun to 21 from 18 and bans the use, sale or possession of bump stocks, which have also been mostly discarded by both Republicans and Democrats as an easy provision they can both agree to get rid off.
Bump stocks were what was used in the Las Vegas shooting that resulted in 58 people’s deaths. The bump-stock effectively turns semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
The bill includes $400 million in funding for schools to address mental health issues, the Herald reported.
Nikolas Cruz, the accused 19-year-old killer who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas, had a history of run-ins with the law and school officials. The Broward County school system and sheriff’s department have been criticized for not acting on red flags on Cruz’s mental health problems and potentially violent behavior that was called in by various people related to Cruz.
Other criticisms of the Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, have been prevalent among the conversations about gun control and gun laws, saying that Israel may be to blame for the lack of response to the shooting in the immediate time after the shooting.