Republicans in the Florida House rejected a motion by Democrats Tuesday to debate legislation to prevent the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles and extended magazines in Florida.
The vote was 71 to 36, with 10 lawmakers not voting. Three seats are vacant in the 120-member House.
The sponsor of the assault weapons ban is Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat. The bill (HB 219) was referred months ago to the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, which is chaired by Rep. Ross Spano, a Republican from Dover and candidate for attorney general.
The bill, like thousands of others filed each session, was never scheduled for a hearing. Democrats argued Tuesday that last week's massacre of 14 high school students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland demanded that the Legislature give the issue its full attention.