NewsLocal News


Heckled and pressured, Rooney won't back assault rifle ban

Posted at 10:19 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 22:19:28-05

Despite jeers and boos from hundreds at a town hall meeting in Ft. Myers Thursday night, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Florida) says he doesn’t think banning assault rifles will prevent another mass shooting.

Rooney hosted two meetings, one in Marco Island and one in Ft. Myers for the first time since February 14th, when 17 people were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.

"This guy here? The police had been out to his house over 30 times. The FBI had been told a long time ago this guy was a problem and didn't do anything about it,” said Rooney, referring to confessed shooter Nicholas Cruz.

But that answer didn’t satisfy many in the crowd, including several graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

"I refuse to let it be known as the next Columbine, or next Sandy Hook,” said Michael Weissman, who graduated last year.

Weissman says he believes in the Second Amendment, but doesn't understand why anyone would need an automatic weapon.
"Because of the shootings, because there are extreme madmen out there, and you never know what they have the potential to do."
Congressman Rooney says more needs to be done on the front end to make sure people who shouldn't possess guns, aren't able to get their hands on one.
"If you standardize the age so that you need to be
21 to get a gun, like you do for pistols, you have a waiting period, in the event of high risk attributes are presented.”

Rooney says his vote on gun reform isn't guaranteed, unless it includes a measure to allow out of state concealed carry permits to cross state lines.