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Florida Lawmaker Pushes for Ban on Assault Rifles


After two mass shootings in the state, some Florida lawmakers want an all-out ban on assault rifles.

Florida would join a small handful of states in the Northeast and California if it passed a ban.

The legislation calls for banning assault-style automatic rifles. It also calls for gun buyers to face tougher background checks, and it would make it harder to sell a gun to someone else.

“These are small but important steps that if passed will move Florida to a place where our families can live, play and work, and yes, travel to an airport safely, and without fear of being gunned down, or someone bearing arms and lurking around the corner,” said Sen. Gary Farmer, the bill’s sponsor.

There are Florida voters who support the legislation.

“I believe anyone carrying an assault rifle does not have good intentions. So I definitely believe these assault rifles should be banned,” said one voters.

Generally, something like that wouldn’t go through in Florida,” said John Dezendorf with Fowler Firearms in Fort Myers.

That’s because Republicans control the House and aren’t likely to support the bill.

“Democrats have always wanted to come after our firearms,” Dezendorf said.

Both sides will likely agree on tougher background checks.

“I’m personally not opposed to background checks,” said Chris Knott with Naples Security Solutions.

Knott has served in military combat and now teaches people how to these guns.

He believes there’s a misconception when it comes to who owns them.

“I personally train Fortune 500 and 100 executives,” Knott said.

He said the problem isn’t guns but who is getting them.

“I think the focus would be far better served from a legislative standpoint focusing on mental health and how it’s identified and how that information is shared with mental health officials,” Knott said.

It’s a debate that will continue in 2017, leaving both sides shaking their heads.

“When I hear the debate, I’m usually pretty shocked because in Canada we don’t have assault rifles. They’re not allowed,” said Chris Wilson.

The new bill also would make it more difficult to sell a gun to someone.

Farmer said his bill was planned before Friday’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport.


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