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The bills would specifically ban the ownership of Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifles, used in the Pulse massacre last year.

In the wake of mass shootings at an Orlando nightclub and at the Fort Lauderdale airport, the gun-control debate intensified Tuesday with Democratic lawmakers filing legislation to try to improve gun safety while an appeals court heard arguments about local-government gun ordinances.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, announced they are sponsoring a proposal (SB 254) that would ban so-called assault rifles and “large capacity” ammunition magazines. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, is sponsoring the measure (HB 167) in the House.

The bills would specifically ban the ownership of Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifles, which was the type of weapon used by Omar Mateen in killing 49 victims at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June.

“We cannot continue to say I’m sorry or let’s pray for these folks. We do. But that’s not what we need. We need gun-safety legislation,” said Stewart, whose district includes the Pulse nightclub. “We’ve got to start talking about this and we’ve got to start acting.”

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