Republican Governor Rick Scott signed into law controversial bill SB 7026, which did not include a ban on assault weapons. This is something that Democrats were actively pursuing after the Parkland shooting that took place last month.
In response, Chris Smith, a Democrat on the Florida Constitution Revision Committee, has introduced an amendment that would ban the ownership of assault weapons.
The amendment explains that “The sale or transfer of assault weapons, as defined in this subsection, is prohibited. The legislature may enact legislation consistent with this subsection, and may provide exceptions to the prohibition on the transfer of assault weapons legally possessed prior to the effective date of this subsection.”
In a statement, Smith explained that “Since the 2016 horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and especially after the Valentine’s Day tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School, Floridians have signaled their support for an assault weapons ban. Since the Legislature did not act, I wanted to give the people the power to decide for themselves.”
For the amendment to be adopted, 60% of Florida voters would have to vote in favor next fall.
Smith also added that the amendment keeps with the commission’s mission, saying that “Sometimes you have to react to things people want done. This is a way for the commission to say, ‘OK, this is an issue that didn’t come up, but it can be brought in now.’”