TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After last week's school shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 people, a growing number of top Republican Party donors have vowed to discontinue financial support of candidates who don't support a full ban on assault weapons.
They join the voices of at least 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who will be at the Capitol this week supporting a ban on the weapons.
It's the second year in a row the legislation has failed to get a hearing.
Florida state Sen. Linda Stewart, a sponsor of the legislation, said she thinks things may be different now.
“The component of the very young has really caused there to be attention more than there ever has been,” Stewart said.
Gun sales in Florida didn't spike after the shooting. Pawn shop owner Mark Folmar said that could change if the ban gets a hearing.
“Because they feel like they won’t ever be able to get this again, and so now is the time,” Folmar said.
Paige McFadden, who survived a shooting at Florida State University in 2014 after the attacker’s gun jammed, said that, even though each mass shooting since has made her relive the memory of her experience, she doesn't support banning assault weapons.
“I'd rather them be registered and licensed. That way, if in the instance they obtain these firearms, it’s assigned to a particular individual and therefore they should take responsibility," McFadden said.
The GOP-controlled Legislature is reluctant to restrict guns, but Gov. Rick Scott, who has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, said all options are on the table.
Republican lawmakers are considering a proposal that would add a three-day waiting period for a rifle purchase, increase mental health screenings and raise the age to purchase assault rifles to 21.