March 23, 2018

Scott signs school safety bill

12 March 2018, 01:49 | Rodolfo Wallace

Gov. Scott signs school safety bill in wake of Parkland shooting

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Gun Bill Arming Certain School Staff Into Law

The NRA's lawsuit says "This blanket ban violates the fundamental rights of thousands of responsible, law-abiding Florida citizens and is thus invalid under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments".

It raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and creates a waiting period on sales.

Scott previously said he believed it was the job of the police to protect students at teachers from shooters. Bill Nolte, superintendent of the Haywood County district in North Carolina, says he still shows up at school sportsman's club tourneys even though his son graduated. The bill also creates a new program that would allow some school personnel to be armed.

Florida is one of the most permissive states in the country for gun purchasers.

"The Leon Classroom Teachers Association does not want anyone in the schools with a weapon who is not a sworn law enforcement officer", said Scott Mazur, LCTA President.

"At the end of the day, we'll be left with a really good gun-control, gun-reform bill in the state of Florida", Moskowitz said.

"We're not able to have an evidence-informed debate because, effectively, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health are not allowed to study the issue", Elis, a listener from a small town in Rio Arriba County, N.M., says.

The state teachers union urged Scott in a letter Thursday to use his line-item power to veto funding for the Guardian program. The 19-year-old accused of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day was already being held without bond on 17 charges of murder.

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Surrounded by family members of the 17 people killed in the shooting just over three weeks ago, the GOP governor said the bill balances "our individual rights with the need for public safety".

The Florida House and Senate earlier this week voted to send the bill to the Republican governor for approval in wake of the deadly February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Parkland parents and students were instrumental in the passage of Florida's first gun restrictions in almost two decades, said Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Coral Springs Democrat who graduated from Douglas High and served on the Parkland city commission.

"Allows law enforcement to seize firearms when a person has been detained under the "Baker Act.' Also prohibits a person who has been "adjudicated mentally defective" or who has been 'committed to a mental institution" from owning or possessing a firearm". "You know, when I was younger, the organization seemed to be primarily focused on gun safety and hunters' rights".

Until the Parkland shooting, Scott was championed by the NRA as a defender of gun rights.

"We support the bill", Fusco said. "There is now going to be a real conversation about how we make our schools safe".

Cruz faces 17 murder counts and 17 attempted murder counts in the shooting.

Cruz's public defender withdrew an initial not guilty plea, leaving him to "stand mute" for now, but has said he will plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table and sentence him to life in prison instead. Prosecutors have not announced a decision.

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