In Brief

Florida Senate votes to arm teachers, rejects assault weapon ban

School shooting survivors in uproar as only two Republicans back ban plan

The Florida Senate today “drew the ire” of gun control campaigners by rejecting a proposal to ban assault weapons but backing plans to arm school teachers.

The state’s Senate is due to vote on gun legislation that would create a programme for arming teachers, raise the minimum age for buying a rifle to 21, and pour millions of dollars into mental health schemes, USA Today reports.

However, Democrat-proposed amendments to the bill that would have imposed a ban on assault weapons was voted down, by 20-17, along with a plan to allow police to seize weapons from people who are the subject of a domestic violence injunction. 

Only two Republicans joined the Senate’s 15 Democrats in supporting the ban proposal, says Reuters

An amendment that would have removed a provision allowing some teachers to be trained to carry firearms in the classroom was also rejected.

The decision comes just weeks after 17 people were killed in the deadliest high school shooting in US history, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooter, Nikolas Jacob Cruz, used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to carry out the massacre - a gun that would have been included in the failed assault weapons ban.

Following the Senate vote, Stoneman Douglas student Jaclyn Corin tweeted: “This breaks my heart, but we will NOT let this ruin our movement. This is for the kids.”

State lawmakers observed a moment of silence in honour of the shooting victims shortly after rejecting the ban.

But Corin tweeted: “A MOMENT OF SILENCE WILL NOT SAVE THE LIVES OF INNOCENT AMERICANS.” 

“Florida is not disheartened by the pathetic choices made by our lawmakers,” added fellow student Cameron Kasky. “We’re simply excited to kick them out and save our own lives. ... We have a very clear understanding of who’s with us and who’s against us.”

Recommended

Quiz of The Week: 20 - 26 February
Boris Johnson chairs a session of the UN Security Council
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 20 - 26 February

Carbon apps, super shoes and VR art
van Gogh's Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat
Podcast

Carbon apps, super shoes and VR art

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?
Donald Trump wraps himself in the American flag during CPAC 2020
The latest on . . .

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?

Flu cases drop to zero as Covid measures cut transmission
Commuters wear face masks as they pass through Vauxhall underground station.
Getting to grips with . . .

Flu cases drop to zero as Covid measures cut transmission

Popular articles

Budget predictions: what will Rishi Sunak announce?
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poses with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street
Why we’re talking about . . .

Budget predictions: what will Rishi Sunak announce?

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 Feb 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 Feb 2021