Florida lawmakers pass gun-school safety bill 3 weeks after massacre

George Danby | BDN

The measure was passed by Florida's Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday and will become law in two weeks unless Republican Governor Rick Scott vetoes it.

The bill moves to Gov. Rick Scott's desk. The organization also contends federal law already prevents many Americans 21 or younger from buying certain types of guns.

Questions must be asked as to how a teenager with serious mental health issues and a known sadistic streak was able to buy a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

The new law also bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, gives law enforcement greater power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit, and provides additional funding for armed school resource officers.

Currently, the US Senate has no gun control bill scheduled for debate, and the only measure moving in the House of Representatives is a bill seeking for more training for students and teachers to address the school shooting.

The Florida Senate narrowly passed the bill Monday.

John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott, says the governor is "thoroughly reviewing" the bill.

A general view of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as staff and teachers prepare for the return of students in Parkland, Florida on February 27, 2018.

Law professor Ken Simons of the University of California, Irvine said school staff could be sued for their actions defending against a shooter if poor aim or a ricochet accidentally wounds or kills an innocent student.

The massacre is the deadliest school shooting to occur in the US since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, five years ago.

Mass shootings of this kind should inspire radical change to the laws governing access to firearms in the United States.

In a statement released by the county, officials said they do not condone students walking out during the school day.

But not all educators were supportive of the students.

The school district said it stands by its decision.

Democrat member Joseph Geller described the guardian programme as a "poison pill" in an otherwise necessary bill.

"We'll let justice take its course at this point", Lewis said.

Scott has refused so far to say if he'll sign the bill.

Republican member Chris Latvala responded to guardian program's opposition pointing out that it is not obligatory.

"To the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, you made your voices heard", Scott said.

Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School To Prison Pipeline, known as Gwinnett SToPP, sent a letter to Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks on Thursday, urging him to change the bell schedule to accommodate students participating in the 17-minute walkout that is scheduled for 10 a.m.

"My goal is this never happens again in our state", Scott, who will have 15 days to act on the bill after he receives it, told reporters Wednesday.

The bill also raises the minimum gun purchasing age to 21, something President Donald Trump threw his weight behind after the shooting.

Police have since accused 17-year-old Nikolas Cruz of being the gunman and a public outcry about gun violence has morphed into an outright movement with the social media campaign hashtag #neveragain.

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