Florida County Commissioner Calls for Ban on Assault Weapon Sales

A commissioner from Florida's fourth-largest county is calling for a ban on assault-style weapon sales, among other regulations. Tampa, a major hub for business and tourism, is located in Hillsborough County.

Democratic Commissioner Les Miller announced Thursday that he also wants to extend the waiting period to purchase a gun from three to five days. Additionally, Miller wants to institute a misdemeanor charge for anyone who makes a threat—including via social media—against a Hillsborough County school.

In the past two weeks, more than four students in the county have made violent threats against their middle or high schools.

BREAKING: Hillsborough County Commissioner proposes ban on assault weapon sales and longer waiting period for gun purchases.

This is #Florida's fourth largest county. https://t.co/LzdN98ZMBt

— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) March 1, 2018

This proposition does not technically fall under the county's purview. A 2011 Florida law "prohibits localities from enacting their own gun rules and imposes a fine of $5,000 on any local official who tries to pass one," the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Despite this, Miller's proposal has been added to the agenda for the county commission's next meeting on Wednesday. The agenda did not appear available online as of Thursday night. Republicans on the board outnumber Democrats 5-2.

The announcement comes as the state and country continue to reel from the Parkland, Florida, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. The shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is accused of gunning down 14 students and three staff members with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.

Sixty-two percent of Florida voters now support a nationwide ban on assault weapons, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

The Florida House on Tuesday also approved a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy any gun to 21 years old and require a three-day waiting period for all gun purchases, among other policy changes.