- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 22, 2018

State Rep. Randy Fine said Thursday that the sponsor of the bill to proceed on gun control knew it would not pass, calling the move a “political stunt.”

“We actually read the laws before we pass them, and this motion would have forced us to vote on the bill no one had actually read. And frankly, it would have disenfranchised millions of Floridians, who on our bills, have the right to come and publicly testify on those bills as they move through committee,” Mr. Fine, Florida Republican, said on CNN.

The sponsor of the bill, Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee, reportedly did not inform the legislature that he was going to push for a motion to proceed to debate on the gun bill on Tuesday.

“If it was a serious effort, and not a political stunt, the sponsor could’ve let us know a few days before that he was going to do this so we might have been able to read the bill,” Mr. Fine said.

He added that he did not know the students from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School were in the gallery and said if he had known, then he would have had a meeting with them.

“You know how I found out they were in the gallery? When I heard them crying after the vote. That was not the appropriate way to treat those students,” Mr. Fine said.

The topic of gun control came back to the forefront last week when a gunman opened fire on the high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead and more than a dozen wounded. The suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, had a propensity for violence, according to disturbing social media posts. Police said he used an AR-15 to carry out the mass shooting.

Mr. Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is being held without bond.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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