Parkland survivors watched in anguish as Florida legislators refused to take up assault weapon ban

Dozens of students traveled to the state capitol less than a week after the shooting left 17 of their classmates and teachers dead
February 21, 2018, 12:34am

Standing before a room of survivors of the Parkland shooting, the Florida House of Representatives voted to not hear a bill that would ban sales of assault weapons and high capacity magazines within the state.

The state legislators voted 36 to 71 against the motion, with all of the "yea" votes coming from Democratic members (including Kristen Jacobs, the House member who represents the district where Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located.) All of the "no" votes came from Republican members. Five Democrats and five Republicans abstained.

Before the vote, Florida House Republicans, including Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., Rep. Larry Ahern and Rep. Ben Albritton, who are pictured above, paused to have a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting. All three voted not to hear the assault weapon ban bill.

The Florida House did, however, declare that pornography is a health risk in a separate vote.

The room was filled with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, which left 17 dead, and dozens more were on their way to the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for greater gun control measures when the vote occurred. Nikolas Cruz, who admitted to police he opened fire on the school last week, allegedly used an AR-15, which he legally purchased, during the shooting.

Many of the teenage survivors of the shooting have become outspoken activists, speaking about their experiences and supporting gun control in what’s being called the #NeverAgain movement. In addition to lobbying at the state level, they are also organizing the March 24 March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

"People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control, and we can respect that. Here’s a time: March 24, in every single city," Cameron Casky, a high school junior and survivor said in an ABC News interview.