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Longshot Bid For Special Session On Guns Falls Short

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

House Republicans have killed an effort by their Democratic colleagues to call the state Legislature to Tallahassee to address gun violence in a special session. 

In straight party-line votes, 56 House Republicans voted against the special session proposal, making it impossible for the Democrats to reach the required 60 percent support, according to the latest tally released Friday evening by the Florida Department of State.

Democrats needed 72 of 120 votes in the House and 24 of 40 in the Senate to require the special session.

The polling that began Wednesday showed 30 House Democrats have voted in support of the special session.

In the Senate, voting also was split along party lines, with 16 Republicans against and 10 Democrats in favor of the session. House Democrats called for the special session in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, but were quickly opposed by Republicans leaders in both chambers.

The Democrats wanted seeking background checks for the transfer of all firearms, prohibitions on the sale and possession of large-capacity magazines, revisions to requirements about in-home weapon storage, an expansion of the state’s “red-flag” law that allows judges to order the removal of guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others, and the creation of an “Urban Core Gun Violence Task Force.”

The polling of legislators is scheduled to continue until Tuesday. State lawmakers will be in Tallahassee the week of September 16 for the first pre-session committee week in advance of the 2020 legislative session, which begins Jan. 14.