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Florida senate bans AR-15 for 15 minutes, legalizes it again

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A church official holds an AR-15 rifle during a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo by AFP)

Florida lawmakers briefly ban AR-15, the weapon recently used in a deadly shooting at a school in the US state, and then immediately legalize it again.

The state legislature held an all-day session Saturday approving a two-year moratorium on sales of the weapon via a voice vote.

But 15 minutes after the approval of the amendment was ruled by the Senate president, some lawmakers changed their minds and overturned it by a margin of 21-17 in a roll call vote.

The flip-flop in the pro-gun senate led frustration among state residents, supporting gun control in the wake of a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on the afternoon of February 14, when 17 students and school staff were killed and 16 more were injured by a 19-year-old carrying an AR-15 rifle.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, staff and teachers exit the building following their return to school in Parkland, Florida on February 28, 2018.

The shooter, identified as Nikolas Cruz, managed to fire some 100 shots by the rifle.

According to US President Donald Trump, such decisions are made under pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association, which has strong influence on US politicians.

“You’re afraid of the NRA,” he told two Republican lawmakers who had failed to include an age limit for the purchase of the rifle in a rare statement with a talking point from Democrats.

According to Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky, "Florida is not disheartened by the pathetic choices made by our lawmakers. We’re simply excited to kick them out and save our own lives. We have more hope now than ever. We have a very clear understanding of who’s with us and who’s against us.”


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