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TALLAHASSEE, FLA.10/25/17-Sen. Oscar Braynon II, D-Miami Gardens, during the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO


Democrats propose assault weapons ban for Legislature’s gun package

Gun control activists didn’t get everything they wanted in the firearm safety proposals released Friday, but they aren’t giving up without a fight.

Calling the Legislature’s safety plan a “band-aid” and saying the proposed measures don’t “go far enough,” Democratic lawmakers announced on Monday that they had filed amendments to the plan — including one that would ban assault weapons sales — ahead of the plan’s first hearing in the Senate Rules Committee Monday afternoon. 

Talking to reporters before the committee meeting, Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon compared the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre to what happened at Pulse, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas. He said the commonality between the killers is the use of an assault rifle.

“Assault rifles are weapons of war, they belong in the battlefield — not in our schools, our churches, nightclubs or anywhere in our country,” Braynon said before heading to Senate Rules, which he vice chairs. 

The ban amendment was filed by Miami Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who also sits on Rules.

Braynon said there also is an amendment to remove the proposed “Marshal Program,” in which school faculty can opt to carry firearms at school after undergoing training. Gov. Rick Scott opposes the idea, but it is a provision included in the Legislature’s package.

In the Senate, that package is divided into three bills: SPB 7022, SPB 7024 and SPB 7026

The Rules Committee will hear lengthy testimony on the amendments, but each will likely fail. The 13-person panel is stacked with 8 Republicans. The plans released on Friday are backed by incoming and current Republican leaders in the House and Senate.

When asked whether Senate Democrats would vote against the legislation if the amendments were not adopted, Braynon said it would be “premature” to speak for how they might vote because the legislation is constantly evolving. 

Written By

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at

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