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Hillsborough rejects assault weapons ban but may extend waiting period to buy firearms

By Steve Contorno | National Political Correspondent
Published: March 7, 2018
Blake High School students and community organizers marched from the school to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa in response to legislators inaction reforming the state's gun laws after the Parkland school shooting. On Wednesday, Hillsborough rejected a local assault weapons ban. MONICA HERNDON | Times

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioners advanced a measure on Wednesday to extend the waiting period to buy a firearm from three days to five.

But commissioners also rejected a local ban on the sale of assault weapons, a proposal that would have flouted state laws and put them at risk of being fined or removed from office.

With the 4-1 vote, the county attorney's office will now draft legislation to extend the firearm waiting period. Final action could come as soon as the commission's next meeting in two weeks after a public hearing.

The proposal was introduced by Commissioner Les Miller and he was supported by Commissioners Victor Crist, Al Higginbotham and Sandy Murman.

Commissioner Stacy White voted no. Commissioners Pat Kemp and Ken Hagan were absent.

They also voted unanimously to advance new penalties for people who make threats to schools.

This story is developing.