Florida governor expected to sign bill with new gun controls today
- Author: Jon Douglas Mar 11, 2018,
Mar 11, 2018, 1:06
"There are just no words". Republican Rep. Jay Fant said raising the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 was unconstitutional, and he voted no.
The complaint says the new law prohibits law-abiding citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 from lawfully purchasing a firearm of any kind.
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. Critics see that as posing a particular risk to minority students who they say are more likely to be shot in the heat of a disciplinary situation or if mistaken as an intruder. Ten House Democrats joined 57 Republicans in supporting the bill, while 19 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against it. He praised the Legislature, contrasting its quick action with what he called the inefficiency of the federal government in Washington. The Coach Aaron Feis Guardian program was named in honor of the coach who gave his life by shielding students with his body.
"I'm going to take the time and I'm going to read the bill and I'm going to talk to families", Scott told reporters.
"I'm glad however, the plan in this bill is not mandatory", he said, adding the program will be up to local officials to implement. He doesn't support arming teachers, however, and had wanted lawmakers to adopt his own $500 million proposal to put one or more law enforcement officer in every school. "You didn't let up and you fought until there was change".
Nelson mocked Scott as lacking "guts" for skipping an emotionally charged town hall forum attended by survivors of the shooting, and criticized Scott over the incentives Florida has offered to gun manufacturers.
Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina died in the shooting, said the law is the "beginning of the journey".
While more guns in schools has always been advocated by the NRA, the gun lobby staunchly opposed the Florida legislation, saying it "punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual". The Republicans also fought strongly on allocating more funds to arming of school security officers.
On Wednesday, students across the nation, including in Central New York, are planning to walk out of their schools in protest, either to advocate for stricter gun law or remember the lives lost in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Following the tragedy, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called for a review of mental health reforms. It also revived a contentious national debate on gun control.
As a gunman killed petrified students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, officers outside were having difficulty sharing crucial information with each other.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs school safety bill into law.
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.
She said she wants Scott to veto the money for the guardian program when he receives the budget.
Sharon Nesvig, the communications director for the Florida Education Association, said the group was very disappointed with the governor.
"The community's demanding action, they want something done", said Rubio on CBS television.
"We know we did the right thing", said Panthers executive Shawn Thornton, who helped arrange the Cup visit.
"I am going to do what I think are common-sense solutions", Scott said after he signed the bill.