Florida senators vote not to stop sales of AR-15s

Florida lawmakers on Saturday nixed a proposal that would have placed a moratorium on the sale of AR-15s, the type of firearm used in the deadly school shooting in Parkland on Valentine's Day.

Florida lawmakers on Saturday nixed a proposal that would have placed a moratorium on the sale of AR-15s, the type of firearm used in the deadly school shooting in Parkland on Valentine's Day.

While debating a wide-ranging bill written after the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, state Senators voted mostly along party lines while debating what should be added — or removed — from the legislation.

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That included a two-year moratorium on the sale of AR-15s and a full-out ban on "assault weapons."

Senators voted 21-17 to defeat amendments to add the ban and moratorium to the bill. Two Republican senators, René García and Anitere Flores, crossed party lines on the vote. Both are from Miami-Dade County.

The back-and-forth occurred during an extraordinary Saturday session in the Senate to try to forge a compromise on a school safety plan.

Both the House and the Senate delayed taking up the proposal Friday as they work toward a legislative session March 9 deadline to pass new safety laws.

The Republican-led Senate also rejected amendments to:

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  • Allow family members to take out risk-protection orders, which prevent people who could harm themselves or others, from purchasing guns.
  • Create a statewide gun registry to track gun ownership.
  • Reverse a state law that bans local governments from enacting stricter gun control measures.

The Senate will continue to debate until 9 p.m. Saturday night.