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The Florida Senate Votes Against a Ban on Assault Weapons

On Saturday, the Florida Senate voted down a measure to ban assault weapons. The vote came just weeks after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead.

State senators voted largely along party lines against the ban, which was an amendment to a larger bill known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Only two Republicans voted in favor of the amendment, which failed 20–17. Student activists responded over the weekend on Twitter with calls to vote out senators who voted against the measure.

The bill raises the minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21, and bans bump stocks—devices that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones, which were used in a mass shooting in Las Vegas last year that took 58 lives. It also preserves an amendment to arm and train teachers, and $400 million in funding to address mental-health issues in schools.

The Senate is expected to pass the full legislation today, sending the bill on to the Florida House.