What sounds really simple is turning out to be a lot more complicated than perhaps sponsors of an assault weapon ban thought. State estimators are struggling to define what the wording of the proposed ban would mean should it pass.
Ban Assault Weapons Now is a group aiming to do just that. They were formed after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting. And their constitutional amendment petition has gathered nearly 100 thousand signatures, triggering an automatic review from the Supreme Court. But thanks to a new law, state financial estimators must also create a report showing the economic impact on the economy and state budget.
The amendment would ban the possession of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once. Katie Cunningham from the Governor’s office questioned Romeo about what capable meant.
“Majority of the firearms are semiautomatic rifles that are fed from a detachable box magazine, said Romeo. "So to answer your question the capacity would be determined by the size of that magazine.”
Cunningham says defining it that way adds a lot of guns to the list even if they aren’t being used to fire more than 10 rounds.
“Whether I had a 5 round, 10 round, 15, whatever, I mean it would still be capable of holding, in theory, more than 10 that would then put it in the parameters of this ban," explained Cunningham.
But that’s not how Gail Schwartz Ban Assault Weapons Now chairwoman sees it. She wasn’t at the meeting but last month in an interview month said the ban is an attempt to prevent weapons she says are designed for mass murder.
“What we’re trying to do is prevent the sale of military grade assault weapons such as the AR-15 and the AK-47 being sold in the state of Florida," said Schwartz.