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Senator Stewart, District 13 — Press Release


February 15, 2018

CONTACT: Ali Ak?n Kurnaz, 850-487-5013

Senator Linda Stewart Calls For Gun Safety Legislation Be Heard

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) is calling on her colleagues in the legislature to place SB 196, a bill relating to gun safety, on the agenda for a hearing. The bill bans the sale of civilian versions of military assault weapons and the high capacity magazines that make them so lethal. Filed for the second year in a row, the legislation has yet to appear before any committee.

SB 196 is designed to ensure that the 17 souls lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre were not in vain, but instead are a call to action.

“I am sad. I am angry. We have 17 dead children,” said Senator Stewart. “It is pathetic that we as adults cannot have a meaningful conversation about assault weapons. We have a responsibility to act. There is no legitimate reason whatsoever to own these weapons designed for mass murder. We’re not taking anybody’s guns away and we’re not infringing on anybody’s right to hunt or to protect themselves. We need to start getting control of the things we can by enacting commonsense laws to help prevent what happened in Parkland and at Pulse nightclub from being repeated. So long as I hold this office, I will use its powers to that end—so help me God.”

SB 196 is intended to prevent weapons specifically designed to deliver high rates of lethal gunfire without the need to pause and reload from falling into the hands of people such as the shooter who carried out the MSD High School massacre. The ban would not apply to guns already purchased in Florida. SB 196 has stalled at the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Chair Greg Steube has held the bill from being placed on its agenda.

Senator Stewart added: “I am calling on Chair Steube to allow us to at least begin the conversation on assault weapons. The senseless killings of Americans cannot become the norm for our country, nor should the easy sale of guns designed for maximum damage. Military-style weapons belong on the battlefield, not in general use.”

A companion bill, HB 219, has been filed in the Florida House of Representatives by Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando). It, too, remains stalled in the House committee process.