March for Our Lives unveils 'Peace Plan for a Safer Florida'

Florida lawmakers over gun control initiative. (James Case / CC BY 2.0)
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The gun control movement that was sparked in the wake of the Parkland shooting was in the State Capitol Thursday, rallying behind multiple gun reforms including legislation that would ban so called assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

NRA and republican opposition remains steadfast.

Dozens of students from across the state came to push for gun reform.

"What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!” students chanted.

The students, part of the March for Our Lives Movement, are backing what they are calling the 'Peace Plan for a Safer Florida'.

“Here in Florida we lose nearly 3,000 lives due to gun violence each year,” said Alyssa Ackbar with the Tampa chapter of March for Our Lives.

The plan includes universal background checks for gun and ammunition purchases, preventing domestic abusers from owning a firearm and most controversially a ban on assault style weapons and high capacity magazines.

"There is no need for an assault weapon,” said Senate sponsor of the assault weapon ban Gary Farmer.

The legislation has been filed for the past four consecutive years, but has never received a hearing.

“The 49 from Pulse, the 17 from Parkland and many, many others deserve a hearing to ban military style assault weapons,” said House sponsor Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

While it’s unlikely the legislation will be heard during the 2020 session, a constitutional amendment that would ban all semiautomatic weapons capable of carrying more than ten rounds has gun rights groups more concerned.

Former NRA President Marion Hammer plans to fight the amendment when it comes up for review by the State Supreme Court.

“The way it's worded it would ban essentially every semiautomatic long gun known to man,” said Hammer.

The proposed Ban Assault Weapons Now Amendment still needs more than 600,000 signatures before February 1st to be eligible for the 2020 ballot.

The state’s attorney general is also petitioning the State Supreme Court to block the assault weapon ban from the 2020 ballot. She also believes the amendment would likely ban all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.