Student activists from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff were shot and killed will call for a ban on assault-style weapons when they meet with lawmakers and hold a rally on Wednesday in Tallahassee, the state capital.
Last week’s 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 in Parkland, Florida and across the United States to demand stricter firearms controls.
“We’re here to make sure this never happens again,” Diego Pfeiffer, a senior at Douglas, told a rally 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 Douglas for disciplinary problems, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities say he was armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault-style rifle he legally purchased from a licensed gun dealer last year, when he was 18.
The Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives has rebuffed a bid to bring up a bill to block sales of assault-style rifles in the state.
Florida’s legislature has taken up at least two measures during its current session intended to provide broader access to guns. (Reuters)