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Florida special session on gun issues is rejected

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Democratic lawmakers fell well short Friday of getting enough votes to force a special legislative session on gun violence.

Only 19 Republican lawmakers responded to a formal poll on holding the session, with all of them voting against the idea. Meanwhile, 57 Democrats supported a special session.

“We felt as if what we’re asking to have a discussion about were things that are widely popular across the board, throughout the state of Florida and really the entire nation,” House Minority Leader Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, said during a conference call. “Unfortunately, those requests fell on deaf ears.”

Democrats used a legal procedure to spur the poll, and lawmakers had until 3 p.m. Friday to cast votes. Republicans hold large majorities in the House and Senate.

Calling a special session would have required support from 60 percent of the overall members of the House and the Senate.

Democrats wanted lawmakers to address issues of universal background checks, expanding “red-flag” laws and regulating high-capacity rifle magazines after mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas.