• Florida Republican proposes gun reform measure limiting who can purchase assault rifles

    By: Daralene Jones

    Updated:

    More details have been revealed about the Republican-sponsored proposal being filed in Tallahassee that would restrict who could purchase an assault rifle. 

    Channel 9 sat down with the state senator who is drafting the law, David Simmons, who said the measure is being put into place to prevent the sale, gift, lease or loan of an assault rifle to anyone under the age of 25.

    "The question is how do we deal with this significant crisis today and that is with young men using these assault-type weapons, creating some of the worst crises (and) massacres that we have seen," Simmons said. 

    When asked why he didn't go for a complete ban on assault rifles, he said it's "not necessary to go that far," but the draft he intends to file is so that the dialogue can be opened. 

    Democrat Carlos Guillermo-Smith was among the first to speak with Simmons about the proposal.

    "These are weapons of war, made for war and don't belong in civilian hands no matter the age," said Guillermo-Smith.

    Anyone between the ages of 21 and 25 could still obtain an assault weapon if they're law enforcement, a service member or if they complete a 16-hour firearm course, safety certification and obtain a license to carry.

    The draft is similar to an amendment gun control advocates are trying to get on the ballot as a referendum. Their version does not include the same exceptions and there is no age attached to it. 

    According to the FBI, there have been 21 active shootings in Florida since 2009. All of the shooters, except for one, were men, and 16 were older than the age of 25.

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