Florida House declares porn a public health risk shortly after denying assault rifle ban

Florida lawmakers on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health risk, less than an hour after they rejected a motion to consider a bill that would ban assault rifles.

The Florida House of Representatives opened its Tuesday session with a motion to debate a bill banning assault rifles, which it rejected by a 36-71 vote within three minutes, according to The Washington Post.

In the same session, less than an hour later, according to the newspaper, the legislature considered a GOP-backed bill to declare porn a public health risk, which it passed by a voice vote.

During the debate, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) questioned state Rep. Ross Spano, the GOP lawmaker who presented the pornography bill, asking if pornography has killed anyone or caused first responders to seek counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Smith later criticized Spano and the bill to The Associated Press.

“[Spano] was saying porn as a health risk was more important to address here in the Florida Legislature than the epidemic of gun violence," Smith told the AP. "These are their priorities. I don't understand the politics, to be honest, if I'm being honest. I'm not aware there's a base of voters who are losing sleep every night over the epidemic of pornography as a public health crisis."

Survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were present in the gallery watching while the lawmakers voted not to consider the ban on assault rifles, and many have since intensified their calls to vote the lawmakers out of office.

Sheryl Acquaroli, a junior from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN that the lawmakers’ decision to not consider the assault rifle ban was “heartbreaking.” Police say the gunman used an AR-15 assault rifle, purchased legally, to kill 17 people and injure 14 others at the school last Wednesday.

“It was just so heartbreaking to see how many names were up there, especially after it was my school,” Acquaroli said. “It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say 'no.'”