Florida gun control activists push to get assault weapon ban on 2020 ballot
A memorial setup for those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Gun control advocates in Florida are pushing to meet a February deadline for enough signatures to get a proposed constitutional amendment banning assault weapons on the 2020 ballot, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: If successful, the ballot measure would place some of the tightest limits on the weapons most commonly used in mass shootings. It would "outlaw all new semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition in either a fixed or detachable magazine," per the WSJ.
The big picture: Semiautomatic rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s have been used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S., including in Parkland, Orlando and Las Vegas.
- As mass shootings in the U.S. persist, background checks have overwhelming support among voters, with nearly 90% saying they want Congress to expand them, per a WSJ/NBC poll conducted between Aug. 10–14.
- 69% of voters support banning assault-style weapons, according to a Hill-HarrisX survey released Thursday.
Ban Assault Weapons Now, the political action committee promoting the effort, is comprised of survivors and relatives of victims of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland and the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, which collectively killed 66 people.
- They face a long road ahead, having only reached 106,000 of the 766,000 signatures needed by February. The ballot language for the measure must also be approved by Florida's conservative-leaning state Supreme Court.
- 59% of Florida voters support a ban on the sale of guns classified as assault weapons, according to a Quinnipiac poll in June. Amendments in Florida need 60% voter support to pass, per WSJ.