Florida Lawmakers Just Voted on Assault Weapons Ban and Bill to Arm Teachers. The Results

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On Saturday, state senators voted on a measure that included an amendment that would have banned assault weapons, a move that was largely considered as a potential response to the mass shooting as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, as well as one that would have removed a provision allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom.

According to a report by Reuters, just weeks after the deadliest high school shooting in US history, the Florida Senate rejected a proposed ban on assault weapons.

The vote, which came in at 20-17 against the ban, was mainly on party lines, with 15 Democrats and two Republicans, Sens. Rene Garcia and Anitere Flores, supporting the measure.

An additional amendment concerning whether the removal of a provision that allowed some Florida teachers to be trained and armed in the classroom also failed, leaving the measure intact.

This keeps the school marshal program, where teachers and faculty members can volunteer to undergo firearms training, allowing them to be armed while on school grounds, in place. Over 130 hours of training are required under the program.

The remainder of the bill remains mostly intact after the seven-hour session on Saturday. It includes a ban on the sale and possession of bump stocks, a device that allows a semi-automatic weapon to function similarly to a fully-automatic, as well as an increase to the minimum age for purchasing a rifle, changing it from 18 to 21.

The state’s three-day waiting period on gun sales would also begin being applied to rifles and shotguns. As of today, the waiting period is only used for handgun sales.

Additionally, the bill includes funds that would be dedicated to school safety initiatives and well as mental health programs.

The Florida Senate is expected to vote on the current iteration of the bill on Monday. If passed, it would then proceed to the Florida House.

Florida state law, based on a 2011 bill, currently prevents local governments from enforcing stricter gun control measures beyond what is required by the state. Local governments that defy the regulation can be fined, though some have chosen to do so regardless of the penalty.