Oh no! Florida killed a counter-terrorism bill right before the Orlando attack.
Florida lawmakers rejected a key piece of counterterrorism legislation earlier this year, prompting outrage from some defense experts who told the Washington Free Beacon that the victims of Sunday’s mass terror attack in Orlando could have used the measure to hold those who plotted the assault accountable.
On the heels of Sunday’s shooting, in which an attacker who pledged allegiance to the ISIS terror group killed 49 bystanders, marking the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, some are criticizing Florida’s legislature for rejecting a counter-terrorism bill that would have paved the way for victims of these crimes to sue the organizers and sponsors in state court.
The legislation, known as Andy’s Law, has already passed in at least five states but was rejected earlier this year by Florida’s legislature despite gaining bipartisan support from state lawmakers.
Florida Republican House Speaker Steve Crisafulli killed the counter-terror the bill by preventing it from coming to a full vote in the State House.
The legislation could have empowered victims of Sunday’s attack to seek unprecedented recourse in state court by allowing them to file suit against the attackers and anyone identified as supporting the plot. Any suit would have fallen under statutes governed by state RICO laws.
The law would have boosted criminal penalties for terrorism and the support of terrorism. It also provides state-level legal recourse for terror victims who have experienced trouble pursuing their cases on a federal level.
While the Florida version of Andy’s Law overwhelmingly passed out of several committees in the state legislature, it failed to see final passage.
“Unfortunately, because Andy’s Law failed to pass in the Florida House of Representatives, victims of the Orlando Jihadist massacre, as well as their surviving family members, have been denied a powerful tool for seeking retribution against those individuals and organizations who may have supported or inspired Omar Mateen,” the alleged perpetrator of Sunday’s attack, said Christopher Holton, vice president for outreach at the Center for Security Policy.
Sunday’s attack is just the latest terror assault to take place in the Sunshine state.
Read more: WFB