Special Session on Gun Issues "Falls on Deaf Ears"
Florida Capital

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Democratic lawmakers fell well short Friday of getting enough votes to force a special legislative session on gun violence. 

Only 19 Republican lawmakers (18 percent) responded to a formal poll on holding the session, with all of them voting against the idea. 

Meanwhile, 57 Democrats (98 percent) supported a special session. 

Currently, 99 Republican and 58 Democratic seats are in both the Florida Senate and House.

“We felt as if what we’re asking to have a discussion about were things that are widely popular across the board, throughout the state of Florida and really the entire nation,” House Minority Leader Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, said during a conference call. “Unfortunately, those requests fell on deaf ears.” 

Democrats used a legal procedure to spur the poll, and lawmakers had until 3 p.m. Friday to cast votes. 

Republicans hold large majorities in the House and Senate. Calling a special session would have required support from 60 percent of the overall members of the House and the Senate.

Democrats wanted lawmakers to address issues of universal background checks, expanding “red-flag” laws, and regulating high-capacity rifle magazines after mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas.

On Saturday,  a crowd at Parkland’s Pine Trails Amphitheater joined communities around the country for the March For Our Lives rallies to implore lawmakers to take action on gun control.

At the Capitol Sunday, the framework for bipartisan legislation on gun safety was proposed. The proposal includes ten Republican senators. This would be the first significant federal action on gun violence in nearly 30 years.

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News Service of Florida Staff
News Service of Florida Staff
Florida News Service is the largest legislative news team in the state, providing provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of House and Senate sessions and more.