Rally calling for ban on assault-style rifles to be held in Tallahassee

From Reuters - February 21, 2018

PARKLAND/TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Student and parent activists from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff members were slain last week in a shooting rampage will hold a rally on Wednesday at the state capital, calling for a ban on assault-style rifles.

Last weeks massacre, the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, has inflamed a national debate about gun rights and prompted young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and across the United States to demand action for stricter firearms controls.

Were here to make sure this never happens again, Diego Pfeiffer, a senior at Stoneman, told a crowd that included hundreds of students from a Tallahassee high school on Tuesday after arriving at the capital.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student expelled from Stoneman Douglas High for disciplinary problems, was arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities say he was armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault-style rifle that he legally purchased from a licensed gun dealer last year, when he was 18.

The Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives rebuffed a bid to bring up a bill to block sales of assault-style rifles in the state.

Floridas legislature has taken up at least two bills during its current session intended to provide broader access to guns. But signaling a possible shift, state Senator Bill Galvan, the chambers next president, called for a bill to raise the legal age limit for purchasing assault rifles from 18 to 21, the same as it is for handguns. The legislatures current session ends on March 9, leaving little time for a vote.


Calls for national student walkouts and marches in the coming months were gaining steam on social media. That included the March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington, D.C., spearheaded by some Parkland students.

The youth-led protest movement that erupted within hours of the shooting attracted prominent celebrity supporters on Tuesday when film star George Clooney and his wife Amal, a human rights lawyer, said they would donate $500,000 to help fund a gun control march in Washington planned for March 24.


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