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Democrats Call For 'Assault' Weapon Ban

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, will outline proposed legislation Wednesday that would ban “assault-style” weapons in Florida.

The Orlando lawmakers will hold a news conference at the Orange County Courthouse, pointing to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year and to the deaths of at least 59 people in a shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas, according to a news release.

Smith on Tuesday filed his version of the legislation (HB 219), while Stewart filed a similar measure (SB 196) in August. The Republican-dominated Legislature, however, has repeatedly rejected gun-control measures in the past.

A proposal sponsored by Stewart and Smith during the 2017 legislative session to ban so-called assault rifles and "large capacity" ammunition magazines was not heard in House and Senate committees. The new legislation is filed for the 2018 session, which starts in January.