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Days After High School Shooting, Florida House Votes Against Ban On Assault Rifles

‘We do have a right to go to school and not fear for our lives,’ say Florida shooting survivors

Tyra Hemans, 19, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, boards buses with fellow students to travel to Tallahassee, Florida to meet with legislators in Coral Springs, Florida.

Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the state House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session.

The motion failed by a 36-71 vote.

Two students from the Florida high school, Suzanna Barna and Lewis Mizen, talk to PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff about the shooting and the change they hope to drive in state and national gun laws.

As the Florida House opened its session Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won’t meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.

McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they will consider proposals including raising age restrictions for gun purchases and the red-flag bill regarding temporarily taking away someone’s guns if they are deemed a threat to others.

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