US REPUBLICANS and Democrats clashed in Florida’s state legislature yesterday over gun control.
The House appropriations committee was considering a Bill to raise the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and introduce a three-day waiting period.
Democrats pushed an amendment that would see all assault weapons banned and introduce a mental health examination before anyone is allowed to buy a gun.
Amber Hersh from Parkland, the city where Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with an AR-15 assault weapon on February 14, called on legislators to back the amendment, saying: “Our children lost a friend. Our friend lost a daughter. This is your opportunity. The world is watching.”
But Republicans voted the amendment down 18-11. They also defeated a Democrat amendment that would have removed clauses allowing for armed teachers in schools.
Teachers will need law enforcement training, be deputised by the local sheriff’s office to carry concealed weapons and be approved by the school district to take guns to school under the law.
Tuesday’s session was quieter than Monday’s, when more than 1,000 protesters wearing orange T-shirts rallied outside Florida’s Capitol in Tallahassee under the slogan #gunreformnow.
One held a sign from the film The Sixth Sense, reading: “I See Dead People ... thanks to the GOP [Grand Old Party, ie the Republicans] and the NRA [the National Rifle Association gun lobby].” Other signs read: “Take the Pledge: No NRA Money.”
The March for Our Lives planned for March 24 in Washington for gun control is looking for a new route as the National Mall has already been booked for filming purposes.
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