Honoring a pledge she made immediately following the 2016 massacre at Pulse Nightclub, State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Wednesday reissued her call on Senate lawmakers to adopt amendments banning assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump-fire stocks, as well as strengthening school safety zones. So far, every one of these amendments has been rejected during the committee hearings as a proposal that arms teachers but falls short on gun reform measures sought by victims of the Parkland massacre heads to the full Senate for a vote.
“This bill has failed Floridians’ outcry for action,” said Senator Stewart, whose district witnessed a 29-year old’s assault weapon siege on Pulse. “I will continue to press for changes in our laws that will deliver substantial, meaningful change. Students and parents have asked their lawmakers to do one thing, to stop enabling the spread of weapons of war and the high-capacity magazines that make mass murders efficient. Instead, we have a bill that puts more guns in classrooms. It is my hope that we can, as Senators, as a chamber, as human beings charged with the life, liberty, and happiness of our fellow human beings, be the authors of action.”
SB 7026 establishes the Florida Sheriff’s Marshal Program to arm teachers and faculty—which is largely opposed by educators and Floridians—but fails to include common-sense measures such as an assault weapons ban that addresses the core of Florida’s epidemic of violence and that has overwhelming support by the public, according to most recent polls.
The Florida Senate convenes on Thursday, March 1, 2018 to take up SB 7026 for consideration. Senator Stewart has vowed to offer an amendment that bans assault weapons and high capacity magazines once again from the Senate floor.