Pulse and Parkland survivors join Democrats in calling for an assault weapons ban

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It wasn’t the shooting at the pulse nightclub in Orlando that caused Florida lawmakers to take up gun control. Instead, it was the shooting in Parkland at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that caused lawmakers to act, passing laws to raise the age to buy guns to 21 and installing red-flag laws.

But survivors and their families say more needs to be done.

“Joaquin ended up shot four times with an AR15,” says Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver one of the students killed in Parkland.  “We didn’t do it after Orlando, we didn’t do it after Vegas, we didn’t do it after Parkland and I asked myself why do we have to do it after why don’t we do it before.”

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On Monday, Manuel Joined Democratic lawmakers and other families in calling for a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

“This is the fifth year in a row that we are sponsoring this legislation to ban military style assault weapons and large capacity magazines and we’re doing this to protect our communities , we’re doing this to protect our friends and our families,” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando).

The bills (SB 370/HB 653) would “prohibit the sale, transfer, or possession of military-grade weapons or large-capacity magazines.”

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Similar bills have failed to garner a vote in the past, and this year’s effort will face similar opposition in Tallahassee.