Bill to ban assault weapons filed for third consecutive year

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Lawmakers are trying again to pass laws that would ban assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines in Florida.

For the third successive year since the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, state Rep. Carlos G. Smith has filed a bill (HB 455) in the Florida House that would nix the selling and purchasing of military-style assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.

The measure has never received a vote in the two years it has been proposed. The bill comprises a list of specific assault-rifles that could potentially be prohibited to sell and purchase including the Sig Sauer MCX rifle, which was the weapon the Pulse gunman used to kill 48 people and injure more than 68 on June. 12, 2016.

Ironically, Smith filed the bill last year about four months before a gunman killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. Days after the mass shooting, Florida House lawmakers still declined to consider the assault weapons ban.

“Gun violence prevention is an essential part of any comprehensive plan to address school safety as well of the safety of the general public,” Smith said in a statement. “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.”

While some individuals believe in being armed, they believe the Second Amendment is mostly intact because of the profit it brings companies.

Andrew Thompson, a graduating senior in interdisciplinary studies at Florida A&M, provided his point of view on the matter.

“I believe that the Second Amendment is worshipped and honestly manipulated for the sake of how much money it can bring a lot of companies,” Thompson said. “I’m a firm believer in arming yourself, but there should be more restrictions and additional levels of clearance to own an assault weapon or even make them purchasable.”

Though the bill has yet to be heard in any committees, some believe the bill would be beneficial in every aspect.

Alex Williams, a junior theatre major, said he favors a ban on assault weapons.

“I think this bill would definitely be beneficial. It’s going to save lives and make the world a safer place,” Williams said “It’ll prevent hate crimes. As far as it violating the Second Amendment, it won’t be the first time. We as a country need to come together and not only think for ourselves, but others too.”