Florida House committee votes down request to put assault rifle ban in new gun bill

Parkland parent says governor confident that 'historic' bill will pass

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida House committee voted down a request Tuesday to put an assault rifle ban in whatever the new gun bill comes out to be.

The Senate committee voted the same request down on Monday.

Lawmakers heard more passionate testimony from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their parents Tuesday, but their comments and chanting had little effect on senators and House members.

Some parents told Local 10 News that they wanted some assurance that Florida would even have a new gun bill.

"The governor has assured us that he is almost certain that -- obviously he can't guarantee it -- but that the law will pass," parent John Willis said. "Even though it doesn't have the things that we want -- we want other things in it -- he said at least there is going to be some historic change in Florida, and that's what he asked us to bring back to our really articulate kids."

Both the House and Senate versions of the new gun bill call for the age requirement to purchase a gun in Florida be raised to 21. The versions also call for a bump stock ban, but there are certain loopholes.

The vote comes a day after about 1,000 protesters wearing orange T-shirts with #gunreformnow on them held a rally on the steps of the Florida Capitol.

The Monday morning demonstration was led by former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who's a Democratic candidate for Florida governor.

This is the second wave of protests in Tallahassee. Last week, thousands of people rallied at the Capitol.

The gun control demonstrations were sparked by the shooting deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14.

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