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Senator Stewart, District 13 — Press Release


February 23, 2018

CONTACT: Ali Akin Kumaz, 850-487-5013

Senator Linda Stewart Rejects Republican Proposal, Calls On Full Assault Weapons Ban

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) continued to call for a full assault weapons ban today as Governor Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Senate and House unveiled a series of warmed-over proposals by the National Rifle Association. The plan was received with unabashed criticism from Senator Stewart and lawmakers in both chambers for omitting a ban on the sale of civilian versions of military assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

“If the final version of this proposal does not include an assault weapons ban, I will not vote for it and I certainly won’t go back to my constituents to tell them, disingenuously, that a bill that puts more guns in schools is the best we could do,” said Senator Stewart. “Thousands of Floridians drove to the capitol demanding one thing, not that we do just something. A ban on civilian purchase of weapons of war and the high-capacity magazines that enable mass murderers is what they wanted. I heard them. My Democratic colleagues in the Senate heard them. And now we have an obligation to turn their voices, this tragedy, into laws that reflect the severity of this crisis.

“For the past two years I have been unwavering on this issue. I appreciate the efforts of my friends across the aisle to do something. However, asking teachers to focus on anything other than teaching is the wrong approach. Not addressing the root cause of this epidemic is the wrong approach. Raising the age to 21 won’t prevent nine in ten tragedies of this nature. A waiting period won’t prevent these massacres. They won’t even consider a moratorium. The burden is now on the leadership of this chamber to produce a product that does the right thing. And no amount of salesmanship will convince me, a skeptical public, or the survivors of these repeated mass casualty events of their sincerity unless they are willing to take a meaningful stand on the only thing that will prevent these tragedies from happening again.”