The Florida State Legislature Just Blocked a Ban on Assault Weapons Less Than a Week After the Parkland Shooting

Less than a week after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students and wounded at least 14, the Florida House voted against a bill that would have banned assault weapons in the state.

As CNN reports, Florida House Rep. Kionne McGhee of Miami asked that HB 219, which had been filed earlier this year and was still in committee, but had never been scheduled for a hearing, to be expedited to the House floor a vote in light of the Parkland shooting. HB 219 would have banned AR-15 rifles, like the one Nikolas Cruz used in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, as well as other assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

"While this is an extraordinary procedural move, the shooting in Parkland demands extraordinary action," McGhee, who originally introduced HB 219, said to the House prior to voting.

Despite the past week's emotional pleas to lawmakers by students who survived the shooting, the Republican-controlled Florida House voted 36-71 to block the bill. As the New York Times reports, several students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas were present for the vote and one student broke down in tears as the results were announced.

"The next death of someone with an assault rifle here in Florida is going to be on them," Sheryl Acquaroli, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, told CNN after the vote. "It's going to be their fault."

Over the weekend, dozens more students from the high school are traveling to Tallahassee, the state's capitol, where they plan to make their voices heard by marching on the capitol and speaking to lawmakers about gun control. Hopefully, their accounts of the horrific tragedy they experienced — and the ways in which it could have been prevented — will force lawmakers to think long and hard about the way they voted on Tuesday.