Broward officials mull assault rifle ban straw ballot

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward voters might have the opportunity to weigh in on gun reform legislation, if efforts by the county’s charter review commission come to fruition.

This November, Broward voters could be asked if they want a ban on assault rifles. The Broward Charter Review Commission met Friday to talk about the issue.

The commission meets every 12 years to make changes to the charter. Friday’s discussion became heated at times, as members voiced their support for an assault rifle ban.

There’s a state law that prohibits local government from passing gun legislation, so instead commission members will ask voters for their opinion.

Students from Fort Lauderdale High School were on hand to listen to the conversation.

Several of them told 7News they are resolute in their demands for change. “Lives come before law,” said student JayAnne Forrest. “Lives come before questions of law. Our lives, our safety come before, whether we’re breaking the law or not breaking the law.”

Students are aware that local voters cannot make an assault weapons ban happen, so they’re happy with voters giving their opinions. They hope that sends a message to state legislators.

“We’re also very hopeful that we are able to make these strides toward a decrease in gun violence,” said Forrest, “because that should be out number one priority.”

The issue is one that hits close to home for these students. “I personally know a lot of people who were affected by the shooting, who were in the school,” said student Joelle Simpson. “I know someone who recently passed, so it definitely has had an effect on me and an effect on our entire community.”

“It’s not just a Parkland thing, it’s not just a Broward thing, and it’s not just another Sandy Hook,” said student Cassandra Catesson. “It’s gonna be different, and it’s gonna matter. That’s why we’re here for.”

County commissioners will now have to approve whether or not the straw ballot will make it onto the November election ballot.

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