Legislators in Florida won't hear assault rifle ban bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Legislators in Florida won't hear assault rifle ban bill

Posted: Updated:
PARKLAND, Fla. -

Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the state House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session.
  
The motion failed by a 36-71 vote.
  
As the Florida House opened its session Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won't meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.
  
McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.
  
Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they will consider proposals including raising age restrictions for gun purchases and the red-flag bill regarding temporarily taking away someone's guns if they are deemed a threat to others.
  
___
  
One of the three buses that were supposed to take school shooting survivors to the state capital has broken down as it prepared to leave.
  
The bus driver says the air conditioning on the bus is not working and they are trying to get another bus. They hope that the bus will join the other two that have departed for Tallahassee.
  
The group of about 100 students is making the 400-mile trip to the state capital to pressure lawmakers to act on a sweeping package of gun control laws.
  
The students plan to hold a rally Wednesday at the Capitol.
  
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3:05 p.m.
  
Authorities say a Florida teen has been arrested and had his rifle confiscated after posting a threatening video online.
  
A Wakulla County Sheriff's Office news release says 18-year-old Kane Watson was charged Monday with making threats to do bodily harm and making a false report. Officials didn't say which school, if any, Watson attended or whether he named a specific target.
  
Detectives say Watson posted a video to Snapchat that showed a tactical rifle being removed from a case and loaded with a magazine. A caption with the video said, "Don't go to school."
  
Detectives linked the post to Watson. Authorities say Watson admitted to posting the video, explaining that he did it to deal with stress through humor.
  
Crawfordville is about 435 miles northwest of Parkland, where 17 people were killed last week in a school shooting.
  
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2:50 p.m.
  
Students who walked out of classes in western North Carolina to protest mass shootings at U.S. schools say teenagers are tired of being ignored on the issue.
  
The Times-News of Hendersonville reports about 50 students left Polk High School on Tuesday and walked to the school entrance sign where they were greeted by an equal number of supporters.
  
Student body president Drew Bailey said school shootings are a humanitarian issue. Student body secretary-treasurer Luke Collins said students are tired of living in fear.
  
Students held cards with the names of 17 people killed last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida, when a former student went on a rampage with an assault rifle.
  
Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene supervised the event and helped direct traffic into the school.
  
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2:20 p.m.
  
Actor George Clooney and human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney are donating $500,000 to students organizing marches against gun violence, and the couple says they'll also attend next month's planned protests.
  
In a statement Tuesday, the Clooneys say they're inspired by the "courage and eloquence" of the survivors-turned-activists from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed at the school and others wounded when a former student went on a rampage with an assault rifle. Students are mobilizing a March 24 march in Washington and elsewhere to urge lawmakers to enact tougher gun control.
  
The Clooneys say they're donating the money in the names of their 8-month-old twins. The couple also says the family plans to "stand side by side" with students next month.
  
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1:50 p.m.
  
A group of students who survived the Florida school shooting have started their 400-mile trip to the state capital to pressure lawmakers to act on a sweeping package of gun control laws.
  
The students left Coral Springs on Tuesday afternoon and expect to arrive in Tallahassee in the evening. They plan to hold a rally Wednesday at the Capitol in hopes that it will put pressure on the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.
  
The fate of the new restrictions is unclear. Lawmakers have rebuffed gun restrictions since Republicans took control of the governor's office and the Legislature in 1999. But some in the GOP say they will consider the bills.
  
Wednesday will mark one week since authorities say a former student killed 17 students and faculty at Stoneman Douglas High School.
  
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1:15 p.m.
  
Buses are preparing to take about 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students to Tallahassee so that they can pressure state lawmakers to pass more restrictive gun laws.
  
Dozens of reporters and cameras swarmed the students as they prepared to leave. Many of the students wore burgundy T-shirts of the school's colors. They carried sleeping bags, pillows and luggage and hugged their parents as they loaded the bus for the 400-mile journey.
  
Alfonso Calderon is a 16-year-old junior. He says he hopes that the trip will start a conversation between the Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and the students over commonsense laws on guns.
  
___
  
(Corrects to three buses instead of two)
  
12:20 p.m.
  
Students from several Florida high schools have taken to the streets in a show of solidarity with students from a nearby school where 17 students were gunned down in their classrooms on Valentine's Day.
  
Video footage taken from television news helicopter crews showed several dozen students who walked out of West Boca Raton High School on Tuesday morning, apparently bound for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland.  Many of the students were wearing their backpacks. The distance between the schools is about 11 miles (17 kilometers).
  
Several dozen more students gathered outside Fort Lauderdale High School, holding signs with messages that included "our blood is on your hands."
  
On Monday, students at American Heritage High School held a similar protest.
  
Former Stoneman student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
  
___
  
Midnight
  
A hundred Stoneman Douglas High School students are busing hundreds of miles across Florida to its capital to urge lawmakers to act to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week.
  
After arriving late Tuesday, they plan to hold a rally Wednesday in hopes that it will put pressure on the state's Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping package of gun-control laws.  Shortly after the shooting, several legislative leaders were taken on a tour of the school to see the damage firsthand and appeared shaken afterward.
  
Chris Grady is a 19-year-old senior on the trip. He said he hopes the trip will lead to some "commonsense laws like rigorous background checks."

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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