Possible assault weapons ban in Florida

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - After last week's shooting, which claimed the lives of 17, a growing number of top GOP donors have vowed to discontinue financial support of candidates that don't support a full ban on assault weapons.

Cropped Photo: Cory Doctorow / CC BY-SA 2.0

They join the voices of at least 100 students from Stoneman Douglas High School who will be at the Capitol this week supporting a ban on the weapons.

This is the second year in a row the legislation has failed to get a hearing.

Sponsor Linda Stewart, a Democratic senator from Orlando, thinks that now things may be different.

She said, “The component of the very young has really caused there to be attention, more than there ever has been.”

So far, gun sales in Florida haven't spiked after the shooting. Pawn shop owner Mark Folmar says that could change if the ban gets a hearing.

“Because they feel like they won’t ever be able to get this again and so now is the time,” Folmar stated.

Paige McFadden survived the FSU school shooting in 2014 after the attacker’s gun jammed. Even though each mass shooting since has made her relive the memory of her experience, she doesn't support banning assault weapons.

She says, “I'd rather [people] be registered and licensed, that way, if in the instance they obtain these firearms, it’s assigned to a particular individual and therefore they should take responsibility.”

The GOP-controlled legislature is reluctant to restrict guns, but Governor Rick Scott, who has an A+ rating from the NRA, says all options are on the table.