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Lawmakers File Bill to Ban AR-15-Like
Weapon Used in Orlando Massacre

| January 10, 2017

Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifles

The Sig Sauer rifle Democratic lawmakers in Florida want to ban.

In the wake of mass shootings at an Orlando nightclub and at the Fort Lauderdale airport, the gun-control debate intensified Tuesday with Democratic lawmakers filing legislation to try to improve gun safety while an appeals court heard arguments about local-government gun ordinances.


Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, announced they are sponsoring a proposal (SB 254) that would ban so-called assault rifles and “large capacity” ammunition magazines. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, is sponsoring the measure (HB 167) in the House.

The bills would specifically ban the ownership of Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifles, which was the type of weapon used by Omar Mateen in killing 49 victims at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June.

“We cannot continue to say I’m sorry or let’s pray for these folks. We do. But that’s not what we need. We need gun-safety legislation,” said Stewart, whose district includes the Pulse nightclub. “We’ve got to start talking about this and we’ve got to start acting.”

Smith said banning military-style assault weapons is part of a “common sense” approach to gun control, while also urging lawmakers to improve funding for comprehensive mental-health programs.

“I think it is common sense, and Floridians understand that it is wrong and unacceptable for civilians to have access to firearms that can fire 30 rounds, like a Sig Sauer MCX, in a matter of seconds,” Smith said.

In addition to the assault-weapon ban, Farmer said he is working on other legislation, including a measure (SB 142) that he said would eliminate “loopholes” in Florida’s trigger-lock law, which requires guns to be safely secured when they are kept near children 16 or younger. Farmer is also working on a bill calling for broader background checks for gun purchases, although the measure has not been filed.

Farmer’s district includes Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where five people were fatally shot Friday. He said if some of the measures had been in place, “perhaps” they could have prevented some shooting tragedies, although he said it would take a “concerted” effort by multiple levels of government to deal with the problem.

“But we must begin somewhere,” Farmer said. “These are small yet important steps, if passed, will move Florida to a place where families can live, play and work and, yes, travel to an airport safely and without fear of being gunned down.”

The gun-safety legislation is supported by a coalition of groups including the League of Women Voters of Florida, the Florida PTA and Equality Florida.

But the legislation sponsored by three minority-party, freshmen lawmakers will face significant opposition in the Republican-dominated Legislature, which has been more supportive of gun rights rather than efforts to curb guns.

In fact, a few hours before the lawmakers held their gun-safety press conference at the state Capitol, another group led by Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum was at the 1st District Court of Appeal, urging the judges to find unconstitutional a law that preempts local governments from passing gun-control ordinances.

Under the law, Gillum and other members of the Tallahassee city government were sued by gun-rights groups, including Florida Carry Inc., because they refused to remove a decades-old city ordinance that prohibits shooting guns in a public park.

Gillum and other Tallahassee officials could be subject to a $5,000 fine and possibly removed from office under the 2011 law for defending the local ordinance, although the gun groups’ lawsuit was rejected by a circuit court. The lawsuit is now the subject of the appeal.

“These kinds of pre-emption laws take power away from local citizens,” Gillum said. “When the state overreaches, and takes away our ability to make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of the people who elect us, that is bad for democracy and that is bad for local home rule.”

Eric Friday, a lawyer representing Florida Carry, said the Tallahassee officials “swore an oath, and took a job, to follow the laws of the state of Florida.”

“They have chosen not to do so. They have stated here that they want to continue to regulate firearms, whether the Legislature tells them they can or cannot,” Friday said.

Friday likened the pre-emption gun law to the uniform traffic code for the state.

“The city doesn’t just get to do whatever they want, just because they want to do it or just because they don’t like the law,” he said.

The three-judge appellate panel will issue its opinion at a later date.

–Lloyd Dunkelberger, News Service of Florida

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26 Responses for “Lawmakers File Bill to Ban AR-15-Like
Weapon Used in Orlando Massacre”

  1. Mark101 says:

    Can they also put a ban on allowing punks out of jail to soon that have committed a crime, and put a stop to those slap on the wrist for punks that have committed a crime. Sure ban the gun. Its not going to matter anyway, criminals will always have access to guns, just like they do with hard drugs.

  2. #Bernie2020 says:

    I am all for our 2nd Amendment but these weapons shouldn’t be available to the public. They are too dangerous and cause more damage then they are worth. If this Ban stops one attack like the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it’s worth it.

    At least with a hand gun or shot gun, you might be able to stop a shooter or have a better chance to survive from being shot.

  3. Insanity says:

    Unfortunately banning weapons will not prevent mass killings. Two of the worse mass killings in the US happen while the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect.

    Federal Assault Weapons Ban – September 13, 1994 to September 13, 2004

    Oklahoma City bombing – April 19, 1995

    9/11 – September 11, 2001

    If there’s a will, there’s a way. You are not going to stop a determine enemy. Just look towards Europe, they’re using trucks as weapons and unfortunately, they are being successful in inflicting mass death and injuries.

  4. Freddy says:

    Democrats are dreaming trying to pass this legislation.

  5. Bill says:

    Somebody else that’s confused are you telling me if they outlaw that gun then the Outlaws are going to turn them in don’t think so that’s the ignorance of lawmakers and people that want to make a name for themselves

  6. Elbert Tucker says:

    I say let’s ban the top murder weapon in the US, according to FBI stats. But there will be a down side to this ban. So, you’re thinking, another gun ban extremist. But, nay. According to the FBI 2013 stats, the “hammer”, far out distanced the gun as the murder weapon of choice. Of course, banning the hammer comes with it’s own down side. New home construction will no doubt increase cost as it will generate more time building houses, as well as other items. Anchors for those pictures and other items hung in the family room, will be more difficult, as a lot of anchors are tapped in with a hammer. And, no doubt those involved in building, and repairing barbed wire fences, and repairing other types of ag fences, will surely have the cowboys up in arms, or hammers, as the case may become. I’m sure the cowboys would find someway to conceal their hammers. I wonder if there would be a debate over a Concealed Hammer Permit? I suppose Australia is on the right track, in that they ban just about anything unreasonable, and yet, for some reason, their murder rate has increased, since banning guns, knives, swords, etc. Imagine that!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The public needs to have the same fire power as its government barring weapons of mass destruction, constitutionally speaking, and should be instructed in safety in use of same. Also mental screening questions should be asked of every gun purchaser.

  8. Justin says:

    We don’t need more gun control.

  9. r&r says:

    If this is the start of gun control look at Chicago, they have a gun control law and also the highest death rate caused by guns in the country.

  10. Julia Moon says:

    AR 15s are no more dangerous than a semi auto rifle. They have less recoil and are better for self defence that they’ll be more accurate. Learn about guns before you can have an opinion. You can be nearly just as fast with a pump action shotgun. Not having one and learning to use it can nake you more vunerable. Police can’t telepirt if you’re in danger, ya know.

  11. Geezer says:

    The problem here is more complex than the passing of specific bans.
    That attack in Orlando wasn’t caused by the availibility of AR type guns.
    This was simply the agenda of a man ashamed of his homosexual leanings,
    and he figured he’d make it right by perpetrating a night of wholesale murder at his
    preferred pick-up spot.

    Without getting into specifics, there many other methods of mass killing
    that are easier than sneaking a carbine type of weapon into a night club.
    I certainly don’t wish to suggest another method of attack….why give ideas…

    Our society seems desensitized to killing. This is why you’ll see more of the same
    using an assortment of methods. It’s a different world today, where you can
    coordinate attacks using the internet and cell phones. We have a pandemic of
    hatred in this modern connected world, much of which is aimed here, or conjured
    up here.

    The future isn’t rosy. Don’t expect all this to stop. Notice what r&r said, and Elbert Tucker…
    Are they wrong?

  12. Anonymous says:

    If I’m not mistaken, both of these shooters were on the FBI watch list. These tragedies most likely would have been tworted if the FBI didn’t drop the ball on these guys.
    More mental health funding would serve the cause better.
    Banning a type of weapon isn’t or hasn’t stopped a criminal with il intent. So, IF a type is banned, they will use another and who do you think the laws will affect? That’s correct “the law abiding” only.
    I’m opposed and would not support this bill(s).

  13. #Bernie2020 says:

    This weapon needs to come off the streets.

    Any other reasoning is null in void.

    The public does not need to have the same fire power as its government. If you think the men and woman of the armed services are going to knock down your door because TRUMP or OBAMA tells them to do so your crazy. The US government has checks and balances unlike NAZI Germany.

    If these weapons were a drug, toy, car or any other “TOOL” they would be pulled from the market or heavily regulated to protect the children regardless to what the bill of rights say.

    Also after Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 the government CHANGED the laws regarding fertilizer and airline security so using that theory the ban should be voted in. Any attempts to do this again have been stopped.

    But what I do find funny is each time this topic comes up regardless if it is on here, Facebook or any other media platform the constant fact is Republicans/ Gun nuts can ever quote a fact that is true. It like they are just stuck in the mist of lies and propaganda they see from MEMES and Breitbart.

    Facts only matter if its a Democrat and her email server.

    FACTS:

    Per http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/baseballbats.asp

    Firearms: 67.8%
    Knives or other cutting instruments: 13.4%
    Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.): 5.7%
    Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.): 3.9%
    Other dangerous weapons: 9.2% (baseball bat)

  14. Sherry says:

    Thanks Bernie2020. . . you are absolutely correct!

    Unfortunately, actual facts do NOT matter to many who comment here. They are living “brain washed” lives that have been completely twisted into fear filled hate and paranoia. Presenting factual information can be a frustrating exercise when trying to educate the FOX zombies. There are plenty of examples showing how removing guns from a populace has drastically brought down the murder rate. . . such as in Australia. BUT, even acknowledging such evidence would undermine their incredibly stubborn prejudices!

    “I” appreciate your efforts though! Good Luck!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bernie 2020 you place too much trust in your government. The last five U S Administrations were puppets for the Globalist’s agenda with the United Nations peace keeping forces as their tool of enforcement. If Marshall law were to be declared and a sitting U S president asked for help from the U N, then it would not be American soldiers we US citizens would be facing. It would be most likely East European/Russian troops who would love the chance to drop the hammer on a an American. I’ll keep my weapons and pray for the best Thank you. Don’t trust any administration Democratic or Republican too far. They are all corruptible human beings and that much power has a way of corrupting people. Study your world history. History repeats itself over and over. Don’t be a fool the wolves are always at the door waiting to pounce, be vigilant and wise.

  16. Lancer says:

    Democrats are the best gun salesmen.

  17. Outsider says:

    Sherry, banning alcohol would bring down the drunk driving deaths in this country. Are you willing to give up your’s to save lives?

  18. #Bernie2020 says:

    I don’t trust the government but IF Marshall law is declared., US TROOPS will protect their country and men and woman like you and I will join them in necessary. They have plenty to share.

    Also no one is saying you can’t have firearms to protect yourself. ( I have one) The point is some weapons are just not safe in public hands. Too many people are being murdered. We need some common sense and laws that are the same for each and every state.

  19. Tony says:

    Guns kill people like spoons make people fat. If guns are or were outlawed then only outlaws will have guns.

  20. Tony says:

    Yes, alcohol kills more people than guns. Ban alcohol, not guns. Get a grip folks, are we going to outlaw kitchen knives next. Jeez, we might hurt ourselves with a kitchen knife.

  21. Tony says:

    Ban cigarettes next. Let’s take away all the dangerous stuff and people’s rights. Yea, that makes a whole lot of sense. Knee jerk reactions are not the answer. Grow up and put on your thinking caps and big girl panties folks.

  22. #Bernie2020 says:

    Tony

    Your 3 comments prove my point from my 1st post.

    IF a brand of spoons kept cutting people upon use or was used in a rashes of attacks, they would have a restriction on them or even be banned. The other spoons, that aren’t a problem wouldn’t be effected. FOr instance, here in palm coast if I bought 3 bottles of Tide and 3 packages of Sudafed with cash it’s oke but in some area’s of the midwest, you can’t purchase TIDE or Sudafed without a drivers licence because of the Meth abuse.

    Alcohol and tobacco are regulated and have the same restrictions in all 50 states. I can’t just sell a bottle or a pack without a licence on craigslist and they don’t have shows where anyone, some times without an ID can just buy the product. In fact when 250K Americans died each year from Drunks in the 80’s. The government CHANGED the laws regarding drinking and driving and cut the deaths in half. People still die from DWI accidents but it also has saved lives.

    Simple fact your examples are poor and lack any solutions. Just talking points with no action.

  23. Tony says:

    Bernie
    You need to read your History books. The folks that wrote the Constitution knew this day was coming and that people such as yourself would try to give our rights and freedoms away. We have had a dictatorship for the past 8 years and the Constitution has been chipped away at. The checks and balance system was bypassed on numerous occasions with so called executive orders. More government regulation of our freedoms is not the answer. Pray for our nation and never give up your freedoms as you may never get them back. I understand how people such as yourself could become misguided by sharp tongued politicians but please remember they don’t always have your best interest at heart.

  24. Geezer says:

    Let’s ban synthesizers! Today’s music sucks!

  25. #bernie2020 says:

    @tony

    I’ve read our history and I’ve seen Trump issue a whole lot of executive orders since Friday. In fact he’s done the same as Obama so do you consider him a dictator?

    Bush signed the patriot act does that make him a Dictator?

    Again your points are weak and right leaning.

    And don’t worry about me and freedom. I know full well how important protecting that is. But
    asking for a common sense gun control bill for all 50 states and DC isn’t taking you
    Freedom. It’s protecting mine.

  26. #bernie2020 says:

    @tony

    I’ve read our history and I’ve seen Trump issue a whole lot of executive orders since Friday. In fact he’s done the same as Obama so do you consider him a dictator?

    Bush signed the patriot act does that make him a Dictator?

    Again your points are weak and right leaning.

    And don’t worry about me and freedom. I know full well how important protecting that is. But
    asking for a common sense gun control bill for all 50 states and DC isn’t taking your
    Freedom. It’s protecting mine.

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