Florida lawmakers pass gun bill that allows arming 'some' school staff

Casey Dawson
March 11, 2018

Survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting and many of their supporters rallied at the high school on February 21 to protest a lack of gun legislation.

"I'm going to review the bill line-by-line, and the group that I'm going to be talking to, the group that I care the most about right now, because it impacted them so much, is the families", Scott told reporters Wednesday.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Brakkton Booker joins us now from Parkland, Fla.

"I am going to do what I think are common-sense solutions", Scott said after he signed the bill.

My heart sinks a little more each time news breaks of a school shooting, or any mass shooting for that matter, but I'm never surprised and this is perhaps the worst part of it all.

Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a former Parkland city commissioner, ended the eight hours of debate with an emotional account of seeing the high school after the shooting, attending victims' funerals and working with students and families while the House was forming the legislation. Families of the shooting victims wrote a letter to the House legislators on Tuesday, urging them to pass the gun package.

Now, here's a little bit of what is in the bill.

The Florida Legislature this week passed a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase rifles, boost spending on mental health programs and creates a three-day waiting period. It bans bump stocks, those devices that make semi-automatic weapons act like a machine gun.

In the city of Hampton, the New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology also has an event posted on actionnetwork.org.

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It also includes a voluntary "guardian program" named after Coach Aaron Feis who was slain in the Parkland attack, which is meant to "aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises" by allowing some school employees to be armed.

The governor has supported the bill since its formulation.

The NRA focused its criticism on the age-based gun ban and new waiting periods.

The minimum age to purchase handguns in the USA is 21.

Though the governor does not fully support the act of arming teachers, he signed the bill since it allows local communities to opt out. "Do we have a perimeter set up right now and everyone cleared out of the school?" Cruz lived with Deschamps only briefly before moving in with the Sneads. A judge ordered him to remain in jail without bond.

Through withdrawing the guilty plea, the defense hopes that the death penalty will be taken off the table. On Thursday, the Broward Sheriff's Office released 911 calls and police dispatch tapes of when deputies arrived on the campus during the shooting. Let's take a listen.

"Stay at least 500 feet away at this point", Peterson radioed, just seconds after the gunman stopped firing and ditched his weapon.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools are encouraging students to find alternative ways to make their voices heard, saying that a coordinated walk-out March 14 could pose a safety hazard. He is the armed school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas who has since resigned.

U.S. policing protocols generally direct officers to confront active shooters immediately, rather than waiting for SWAT teams to arrive. As the tape seems to suggest, he just called for a perimeter outside. "They are generated because Mr. Cruz has a high-profile case and is on suicide watch", Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes said in a statement.

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